Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pride and Spite...and a Bit of Obsessing

I have not fallen off the edge of the earth, or toppled over the edge of Hell.  Although it feels a bit as if I might have, since the "Defy the Dark" contest has still not announced the winners.  I know, I know.  It is an exquisitely torturous limbo that I am living in, and I am trying to gear up by preparing for the worst.  This means trying to find another outlet for the story in the event that I am not one of the three finalists. 

And then, I get distracted by obsessing over the numbers:  Okay, so there were 1,242 entries.  So that means I have a 1 in 414 chance of winning.  But, that does not account for how many might actually have been good.  Hm, let's assume that half of them were really pretty good.  That gives me a 1 in 207 chance of winning.  Wow.  I still don't like those odds. 

So I guess I should just stop crunching numbers and start looking for an alternate home for my story.  Just in case.

I am working on compiling a list of leads for future reference.  I am creating a list with hyperlinks to the websites, because I want to make sure that the contact information and such are the most current available. 

I have also made a submissions spreadsheet so I can keep track of what is out pending rejection  review, who I have heard from, and deadlines. 

This makes me sound oh-so-much-more-organized than I really am.  My real life consists of writing articles at the kid's bus stop at 7:30 a.m., writing on my lunch break, writing when no one is looking, and writing at home after the kids go to bed.  I try to work in 500 words of my novel each day, and I am also scouting about for short story contests that might be promising.

That's a lot of writing.  I wish more of it could be dedicated to my novel, though.

It seems a bit strange to me that I can get paid for my words, that my words have actual monetary value.  So strange.  As in I-am-going-to-wake-up-any-minute strange, or soon-they-will-realize-I-am-not-a-real-writer odd. 

Oh, oh!  I also have a print article coming out in a local publication in January.  This makes me deliriously happy.  It makes me ponder whether there is a discreet way I can "accidentally" leave the magazine (conveniently open to my article page) at several family members' homes.  Not out of pride or spite, mind you, but just to prove the nay-sayers wrong.  Okay.  Um...maybe there is a bit of pride and spite there...  Rats.

At any rate, I am plugging along.  If any of you know of any good horror/fantasy markets for short stories, or can offer any words of encouragement, or ways to deal with the endless waiting, please let me know...maybe you can help curtail another pointless round of number-crunching.

And, since I am too lazy to find a more appropriate photo to somehow neatly wrap up the non-existent theme of this rambling post, I offer you this:

My cat's eyes glass over at my incessant number crunching...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Edge of Hell

Writers' Hell
I am in Limbo.  (Which, I just googled and found out was Latin: limbus, meaning "edge or boundary, referring to the 'edge' of Hell.)  Okay, maybe I am not literally in hell, but as close as a living, aspiring author can get to Limbo.  You see, I currently have a story entered in a contest over at Figment.  The winners were supposed to announced "on or about September 12, 2012."  So, like...any minute now.  But they haven't been announced yet.  I have nearly worn out my keyboard hitting the refresh button, to no avail.

I also have a short story that I just submitted to Shimmer magazine.  I am currently waiting for the lovely, Shimmery People over there to find it in their overstuffed inbox, read it, and (fingers crossed, knocking one wood, wishing on a star) decide they want more than anything to include it in their publication.  We shall see.  It takes three weeks or so to hear back.  In the meantime, I will write other things, and read, and obsess, and hit the refresh button, and wonder if my inbox is broken.

If you are so inclined, you should feel free to cross your fingers as well, maybe knock on wood, say a prayer or offer up a good intention.

I could use it!

For those that are, likewise, waiting to hear back on submissions, please let me know how you are coping and keeping your sanity...assuming, of course, that you are maintaining some precarious hold on your mental health.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

I was supposed to update everyone on Friday about how I had rocked everything last week, how I had slayed it, how the week had NOT gotten the better of me.

News flash:  It did!

I spent the long weekend sniffling, sneezing, coughing, taking medicine, giving kids medicine, and otherwise not reveling in my awesomeness. 

Never fear, though.  I am feeling moderately better.  I even got an article cranked out today, and started a pitch for another publication, and I worked a bit on the novel. 

In other words:  Life goes on.

This minor setback won't, however, keep me from dreaming big and making impractical assertions of how I am going to do it all and have it all...what fun would that be?

But for now I will be content with the fact that I can breathe out of both nostrils, and be thankful for decongestants and kleenex with lotion.  It is the little things, you know?

I will play catch up more later.  For now, I am going to get a bit more rest before I go back to the day job tomorrow.