Well, it’s time to reflect on my year before I run off for the New Year’s celebrations. I did start the year with the three-month Apocalypse Diet, which I blogged about. It was an interesting experiment and I didn’t have to eat brains or truly battle zombies.
This year I was determined to write more and send out more. I can say I had a record year for submissions and rejections, and maybe even for acceptances. In some ways I call this my bridesmaid year, as in always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I think I had a record number of stories held for final selection or shortlisted, but in the end did not make the cut. In some ways this is more painful, yet encouraging. So that this is not hyperbole I’ll give a list of those places where my stories and poems were held past the first reading:
- Writers of the Future honorable mention for Monstrous Aberrations
- Friends of Merril fiction contest (one of ten shortlisted) for The Ties That Bind
- Aurora Award nominee (poetry) A Good Catch
- Punchnell’s (literary fiction)
- Pedestal Magazine (poetry)
- New Quarterly (poetry & literary fiction)
- Gulf Coast (poetry)
- Tesseracts 16 (fiction)
- Whitefish Review (poetry)
- Stupefying Stories (fiction)
- Dark Faith 2 (fiction)
- Penumbra–Dreams issue (fiction)
- Scape (fiction)
- Plasma Frequency (fiction)
- Abyss & Apex (fiction)
- Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (fiction)
- Horror World anthology (fiction)
But…it was also a year for acceptances and works published, though in the end I’ll see most of these out next year. The first four were published and the rest are out next year I hope.
- Mermaid (poem) in Polu Texni
- Legend (poem) in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly
- Queen of Heaven an Earth (poem) in Eternal Haunted Summer
- The Brown Woman (fiction) in Over the Brink from Third Flatiron Publishing
- Red is the Color of My True Love’s Blood (fiction) in Deep Cuts
- The Highest Price (fiction) in Heathen Oracle: Artifacts and Relics
- P is for Phartouche: The Blade (fiction) in Demonologica Biblica (Britain)
- The Book With No End (fiction) in Bibliotheca Fantastica
- Gingerbread People (fiction) in Chilling Tales 2
- Lady of the Bleeding Heart (fiction) in Fantastic Frontiers 2
- Tower of Strength (fiction) in Irony of Survival, Zharmae Publishing
- Visitation (poem) in Bull Spec (I hope next year…it’s been 2 years now)
My goal was to get at least 12 items accepted and while Visitation was accepted previously, as was Gingerbread People I believe, I think I ha a pretty good year of near acceptances. While it’s disappointing on one side it means my writing is getting closer. I’ve also identified one of my issues. I put in too much backstory up front and now that I know this, I can try to chop frugally.
Carolyn Clink and I edited and chose some fine poems for Chizine. I also drove out to Calgary and attended theconvention When Words Collide, where I read a bit of fiction an poetry, and was asked by Brian Hades to co-edit Tesseracts 17 with Steve Vernon. We’re working our way through many stories right now.
I also flew to Toronto and did a poetry reading at the Art Bar Poetry Reading Series and thank them for inviting me. I attended the Specfic Colloquium and World Fantasy Con. I met some new writers and had a blast visiting old friends Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory of Chizine Publications an getting to know some new people. Another project started to germinate there but I can’t mention it yet until we have more details to make sure it’s happening.
I almost forgot but I also self-published a collection of my reprint stories, Embers Amongst the Fallen. It is available through smashwords and Amazon.com. I also put up two erotic stories under T.C. Calligari. I plan to put up the rest of them in the new year and get a bit more speculative fiction up. Should you have read a copy, please leave a review on those sites as well as Goodreads.
As well, I hosted a specfic cocktail party for writers an it was a success. I’m trying to build community here in
Vancouver and I’ll be hosting another one at the end of January or early February. I’m also looking for the right venue to see if we can spring the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, which happens monthly in Toronto. We’re hoping to launch it in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver in April so I’m looking for the right type of bar for a Wednesday evening.
I and continued to write and read. For my holidays (ending tomorrow, alas) I decided to catch up on Tesseracts reading, but also get working on that novel I’ve been working on for ten years. Yes, ten years! I watched all of Game of Thrones seasons one and two to inspire me and then hunkered down. By tomorrow I will have completed the story arc for one of three viewpoint characters, and I’ll have half of my chapters written. This is good considering how slow it’s been up until now. I have a deadline of April to finish the first draft and hopefully the rewrite. Then it’s off to the agent and editor who expressed interest nearly two years ago. Yes, I’m stupid.
Doing this review helps when I begin to think of all those rejections I’ve received, and that the stories that were shortlisted or received honorable mentions won’t sell anywhere, or that what I consider are my best three-four stories also won’t sell. But then, some of my stories, that I thought were good have taken ten years to sell. There is hope and maybe I’ll look at those four again and see if there is too much up front for all of them.
The main thing is to persevere and not get depressed. I’ve wanted to edit an anthology for a long time and now I’m doing it. I’m hitting some of my goals and therefore are setting new ones. To all of you who write, edit or read, continue doing so. Support writers and buy books and magazines. Give your input, give your reviews. We all need each other. So have a great new year. May it be productive and fulfilling and may all your endeavors bring you success.