I was pleasantly surprised this week to…recall that I have this blog? Well yeah, that, too. No, I received my contributor’s copies of the long-awaited Coal City Review #30, which is chock-full of goodness and looks great to boot, especially now that the temperature has dropped 35+ degrees and it no longer hurts to look at the cool (actually quite hot, but you know what I mean) wildfire on the cover. Anyway, my flash “Q & A or B” takes up exactly one page of this issue, but it happens to be the first page of the issue. Yes, alphabetical order strikes again.
(Unfortunately, http://coalcityreview.com/ hasn’t been updated for quite a while, so I really don’t know what to tell people who are interested in acquiring a copy of this issue. Actually, I do have one copy to spare for someone who expresses an interest, either in real life or otherwise.)
On the subject of Q & A, I should probably have mentioned before that Prime Number Magazine is awesome enough to include one with every story they publish, so there’s a Q & A accompanying my “License to Rock” from Issue 13. I like the fact that the same questions are asked of each contributor to a PNM issue, so you can see the different ways people responded to the same questions.
My story “License to Rock” appears in the new Issue 13 of Prime Number Magazine, and I couldn’t be happier about that. OK, that’s a lie. I’d be happier if it was Issue 11, because in that case I could’ve titled this post: “My story goes up to 11.” Huh. That seemed so much better when it was still in my head. So I guess I lied about lying. Apparently I really can’t be happier.
“The Substance in My System” is part of the LIT in the summer issue of LITnIMAGE. I guess I’d have to describe this particular piece of fiction as stream of consciousness…
I’m feeling creative and optimistic, writing-wise. And I’m not sure why that is, since I’m also feeling really antsy about writing. I’ve been jumping between stories, and I feel like I should come up with some kind of fun! summer! project to…well, you name it. More than anything, though, I’d like to take my work in progress and actually make progress (without seeming to put undue emphasis on the work). Because, you know, writing is just such a fun! thing to do in the summer!
Of course it’s not summer! for a few weeks, so it’s okay that I haven’t come up with a project.
And of course another project is the last thing I need. I already have lots of projects. I just need to keep working on them. I just need to finish one of them. And that’s the time to ask myself: Am I having fun! yet?
Write. Yes! Repeat.
May is Short Story Month. (Because the Internet says so, that’s why.) I know, I know, that sounds like an excuse to avoid my novel-in-progress. Happy Short Story Month, everyone! My novel? Oh, well, you know, it’s a LONG story.
But a month (or a season, or a lifetime) of writing short stories could just as easily be exactly what my novel writing needs.
Complement rather than competition
Check it out, I’m so serious about this I just used a header. And look: bullet points!
- I’ll be working on this novel for a very long time. Showing I can finish any story, whether from scratch or from the in-progress file, can only be good for my novel’s morale.
- I’ll be working on this novel for a very long time. Having some stories to submit for publication in the meantime is also good for morale.
- My novel sucks. But this story is pretty good. I especially like my way with plot/character development/setting/dialogue/whatever. Which gives me a great idea for the next chapter of the novel…
- This story sucks. Especially the plot/character development/setting/dialogue/whatever. I’m just going to set this aside for a while and get back to the novel, where at least I kind of seem to know what I’m doing.
- I don’t feel like writing. Well, maybe just that one great/weird/fun story that doesn’t feel like work. Hmm, why isn’t my novel great and fun? (The weird goes without saying.) It could be. It should be. What if I…
- I don’t feel like writing. Well, maybe just that one great/weird/fun story that doesn’t feel like work. Yeah? Tough. Write x number of words on the novel. And when you’ve done your chore—and only then—you can go play with your little story.
Competition rather than complement
Interestingly (or not), the one area of my writing routine that has suffered during the first half of Short Story Month is my Twitter-length fiction. Lately when it comes to fiction no longer than 140 characters, I got nothing.
I guess that makes sense. After all, this month my motto is Short stories: expect big things.
Hmm, maybe I should’ve also resolved to update my blog in 2011. My plan to work on my novel-in-progress every single day in 2011 has been a success… though at my current slow and steady “successful” rate it’s going to take more than the 300 days that remain of 2011 to finish the thing.
No, really, I mean it this time. In 2011 I’m putting the progress in the novel-in-progress. My resolution is twofold but very simple:
- I will work on the novel every day (until the novel stops needing work).
- I can work on any part of the novel in any way on any day, but (until I have a complete manuscript draft) I must (also) continue from the point I left off the day before.
You wouldn’t know it by my intermittent updates, but this is actually a very enjoyable project. The thing is, it’s much easier to remember that if it stays fresh in my mind. Today makes day two: so far so fun.