Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Technology Gone Mental

I couldn't sleep last night. There's a muggy heat over the Port and it made me feel warm and sticky, so much so that I just could not get off to the land of nod as quickly as I usually do; this after writing and working through to 2am as well. I can't wait for the summer to end!

If I stretch my left arm out I can just reach the curtains from my bed, so I pulled them apart to see the clear sky. I could make out several stars blinking at me from the darkness above and I thought how lucky those Discovery astronauts were to have been up there and actually look back down on the Planet Earth. It must all look so calm and humbling; not a sign of terrorism or grief anywhere.

Then it occurred to me, that despite me doing well with my GDR this year (as far as creativity and output goes) I've not actually had anything published for the last few months. I did have a short story accepted by Wild Child that I pulled and three poems in January at Ultimate Hallucination. Other than that, nothing - not a diddly-squat.

So I tried to think why that might be. I'm always good to make sure that all my stories are out on submission, and if rejected I turn them around quick to keep them out until a publisher is found. I live by my work so I'm happy for them to stay out there until that happens.

Some publications take longer to come back than others though. Anything between 3 and 6 months is the norm it would seem. Should I be submitting to several publications at once? The inevitable question haunts my mind though; what happens if more than one publication accepts? It's a small chance but has happened to other writers I know. Maybe I should widen the field. Or maybe I should target less prestigious publications and stick to free markets. I'll think more on it - but I don't think it is because my work is that bad - at least I hope not. I just think it's a case of horses for courses and I haven't found the right courses for my horses yet. My horses are my stories by the way. :-)

Just to get a picture, here's a rundown of my current submission list:

Heart of a Child - on sub to Big Ugly Review and Greenshoots
The Blind Man of Cathkin Street - on sub to The Edge Magazine
A Bond of Faith - on sub to Portable Muse
Daffodils - on sub to Glimmer Train
Loaded - on sub to Writing Magazine
The Oasis - on sub to One Story
On a Monday Morning - on sub to Writing Magazine
Whisky Snatching - on sub to Writing Magazine

No poems on submission because I'm working on themed work.

Create Your Own E-book - on sub to Writer-On-Line
Robert Louis Stevenson In Edinburgh - Query with publication

In other news, today we were given desk relocation in the office. It is so pathetic that they think this will increase our output. Due to the inability of The Company to perform even the slightest task without making it into a major issue, my desk move - which has taken me all of 4 walking steps from my old one - means I have to have a new phone number. When we moved buildings (twice) over the last 8 years we kept them, but with the current state of mis-managment today, it seems it is too costly for them to provide me with the same number.

The words "twats" and "beaurocratic" have never been more relevant.

And there's more. I'm now located in a smaller space where claustrophobics dare not tread. The window I faced is closer but the view is of another building; now derelict. The man who talks loud and constantly about everything under the sun, now sits nearer to me but behind, so although I'm outwith the direct funnel of sound that eminates from his oral orifice, I can still hear him - constantly.


What next, one wonders?

I just realised that last Thursday, August 4th was my 1-year anniversary of blogging. What a major achievement. I have made myself a Golden Globe for services to humanity out of tin foil and chocolate Gold Bar wrappers. Unfortunately, I missed the congratulatory phone call from The Queen, but I made a mental note to call her back.

I looked back to August 10th 2004 on my blog to see what the main things I was talking about were. It made for interesting reading:

* "Frustrating Facilitators" - a poem about travelling on Lothian Buses had just been drafted. Sounds similar.
* "Work was dire" - starts the second paragraph. No change there then.
* "Started a detox diet" - could probably do with a lot more of that.
* "Drafted the short story A Bond of Faith” - still not published.
* "Submitted a couple of poems to Pudding House" - both rejected but later accepted elsewhere.
* "Working on A Friend to Die For" - stopped soon after when Hunting Jack commenced. I'm about to restart it though.

In summary, I've definitely come far, but it's amazing how some things never change.
Colin 1:24 pm


Basically, I think you've hit a plateau in your work and now it's time to make a leap.

Go for the paying markets. Leave the free markets behind for when you want to stretch yourself and experiment.

You're good enough -- with craft, style and imagination -- to go after the paying markets. It'll be hard at first, with rejection, until you find just the right ones. But it's time for you to make that leap.

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