Fire All Sides Cap’n

This post was written on very little sleep after playing a very silly game. It is not poetry, nor is it particularly informative.

As is my custom, here is my tl;dr summary:

I am submitting stories for potential publication, helped a friend do the same, and took steps toward treating this job like the job that it is.

And now… the tide of words comes in, with a bunch of garbage kind of just floating here and there.

So here is what is happening with me lately.

I am readjusting my conceptual plan for how to handle the only novel I currently have that is more or less about ready to feel its way out in the world. Okay, so that sounds a bit unsure, mostly because I am not done editing it. Progress has resumed, so there is that,

I will not actually send the novel anywhere until I finish this major edit, but in the meantime, Heidi and I will assemble a list of relevant targets. (That sounds kind of weird, saying it that way. I think that it might be a good mentality, to a point: these are potential destinations for my stories. This does not apply to the people involved. I think I should just leave this point alone now.)

I think I will not try and hide my most recent submission drama, since the stakes seem a bit lower with short fiction. If it turns out that I am wrong, and that talking about one’s submissions is a major faux pas, then I suppose I will learn that lesson in the near future (or in twenty years when this post floats to the surface to haunt me).

The current battery of submissions (really, my first ‘real’ submission) is about to launch. I am submitting to Fireside Fiction Company’s open submission. I recently subscribed to the magazine myself, in the process of backing the recent Kickstarter, and showing up in the publication would be great.

I don’t know how much hope I hold for this, but it does not really matter. I mean, yeah, I would be overjoyed to sell a story, sure, but this is more important than the sale. This is the start of my Real Career Events.

Organizing the stories I have written showed me that I have written 12 short stories / flash fiction pieces that I was willing to admit to in public since the start of 2014. That surprised me, since of course I am obligated to think I am accomplishing nothing. Depression tendencies aside, this means I have somewhere to start when assembling a number of potential submissions to various markets.

This is nice because it means that there could be an additional benefit for having written those stories aside from Honing the Writing Craft. (Look, I know I’m a using the Capitalize Important Phrases thing in this post, but I’m super tired and feel I should be given a pass. This time.) If these stories turn out to be modifiable into some semblance of cash and credibility (the priority between those shifts from moment to moment), then so much the better.

Editing these stories will also hopefully help me build up seem confidence in the editing process, and my editing skills in general. Writing, I have been doing for a couple years now. Editing, I am only really just now taking a serious look at it. As with anything, trying to jump in face first is always an ordeal, whether or not it is successful, and rarely pleasant.

One way that I got to have an easier time of it this week was working with a friend on his story for submission to the same magazine. (Wait, is this, like, cutting my own throat here? His story is the enemy and I should make it as bad as possible!) I can tell you now, editing someone else’s work is WAY easier than self-editing. It is easy to tell the flaws and inconsistencies in a work with which you are less familiar.

Plus, I had fun doing it because I found a new feature in Google docs that expedited the process fivefold (just to fold a number out of thin air). In Google docs (if you have editing permissions on the document) you can switch from editing mode to suggesting mode, wherein any changes you make will be put alongside a struck through previous version (if deleting or replacing text). Then each change is stacked up along the side of the document along with a place to add comments to each individual change. Using that, I explained why I suggested each change. (The ingrate had the audacity to reject some of my changes. Just whose story is this, anyway?) Long story short, I think that this feature, in combination with the third party Track Changes applet I added might expedite my own editing process.

The other thing that was great about this week is that, because a fair amount of time was spent editing my friend’ story, we had to stay in pretty close contact. It almost felt like I was not working alone.

Writing is a pretty solitary activity. Any way you can make it seem less solitary can be good for the ol’ psyche. (Except for when it gets distracting, in which case you need to shut the Online Office Door for an hour or two and knuckle down.)

So, big developments in the editing gig. Minor developments on treating this more like my day job. Infinitesimal developments on coming up with new developments.

I look forward to hearing back about my stories, whether rejected or accepted. I feel perfectly justified, however, crossing my virtual fingers for an acceptance.

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