Have you ever looked at a new program or initiative and asked yourself, “Was the irony intentional?” Seriously.
My total writing today comes to about… one paragraph.
Work has absolutely breathed down my neck today. Too many emergencies and too many people asking, “Oh, can you do me a favor?” And such tiny things eat up my time.
It wouldn’t be so bad if some of it wasn’t drone work. By drone work, I mean data entry or mindless tasks that don’t work the brain. Programming works the brain, makes you think. I did do some of that today. I’m actually patting myself on the back for writing robust and highly reusable code.
But it all came at a cost. Sure, I knocked out my workload, but I’ve accomplished nothing today writing wise. I shot two submissions to Everyday Fiction yesterday, but that’s it otherwise.
If you haven’t checked out EDF, do so. It’s a nice submission site for poets and bit writings. The pay is a meager $3 you get over Paypal (and an additional buck if they choose to publish it in an anthology) , but the length of the stories is just 1,000 words or less. For all would be writers, we probably come up with all kinds of tidbits and pieces and ideas that go no where and easily get abandoned. Well, at least here you can make a bit of capital off of them. And poets? There’s a spot for the poetic as well.
My current piece is a character driven sci-fi bit. A short story that would probably come to less than 9,000 words if I angle my cards right. I’ve also been very careful to track what has been submitted where, as just about every publisher is extremely careful to state that simultaneous submission are unacceptable. If they reject, I can take it elsewhere. Until they reject, they have reviewing rights. So staying organized is kind of important. I do this with a spreadsheet that reminds me where to submit and what they’re looking for/ There’s also a color code indicating whether something has or would be rejected, when it has been submitted, whether it’s in editing or whatever.
Have a good night folks, I’m off to find inspiration at the bottom of a bottle.
My second short story is dead.
I let my creativity get ahead of my planning. The story that was developing was a good one, full of investigation and somehow blending some action in there as well. But half way through the process, I stopped and stared at it. And I realized that I had failed to accomplish the overall goal of the submission window: To introduce Xaphan the faceless to the reader.
Sure I eventually do it, but I do so at the end. And Xaphan’s reputation is covered through hearsay and rumors, which would be fine if this were a novel and I had time for that. But still I do not really introduce the audience to Xaphan, face to… faceless.
Narrativium suggested that I rewrite and improve on it, adding Xaphan in. But doing so would be a different piece whose storytelling quality I cannot guarantee. I can recycle the characters and maybe an idea or two but that’s all.
What also saddened me was that the overall technique I use to introduce Xaphan was little different from the previous short story, of which I am much more satisfied with but need to rewrite to make the story more concise. The difference being is that Xaphan is introduced early, and is constant throughout the story. That and the ending is way more satisfying with Xaphan leaving his mark on the Imperium. Not in a gigantic, universe shattering way, but large enough to be a nuisance. If I’m going to use the same approach, I might as well just use the better one.
Back to the drawing board.