Tag: submissions

Fall 2014 goal review

Every year, I set goals for myself, and every three months, I review my progress. After the hectic summer I had (working 50 hours/week, 20 hour/week internship, two classes, and researching for my thesis), I don’t know why I’m even bothering because I didn’t accomplish anything this summer, but here goes anyways.

1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.

This not only didn’t happen, but On The Other Side has been pushed out of line by outlines for two other novels that I might write first. One is about five characters very loosely based on people I met while interning at a homeless shelter, and the other is a sequel to The Lone Wolf.

2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.

I’ve had two submissions in 2014: one for a publication that went defunct, and one rejection. I haven’t finished any new stories recently, but I’ve been heavily mulling over plot points; all I really need is to make myself sit down and write them. And then submit them.

I’ve recently joined a local writing group that starts each bimonthly meeting with a short story prompt. I’m hoping to finish each story I write and get them submitted.

3.Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this fall from Evolved – hopefully).

I have three stories with similar themes and tones, plus a couple more half-finished stories that would fit with them. If I can get six done, I’ll publish them like I did with Us, Together.

4. Self-publish at least two long short stories.

I’m currently working on three that should come out to be about 10-20k words. Depending on when/if I get them done, I’ll probably go through my publisher, Evolved Publishing, rather than self-publish, like I did for “Not My Thing.” The results have been awesome for that – it hit #1 in July on Amazon’s free literary short stories list.

5. Read 100 books.

I’m at 43 – 24 books behind schedule.

6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

I plan to really hit this goal this fall. I’m taking a class on campus once a week, so I’m hoping to get some language CDs to listen to on the hour-long drive. It’s nice to decompress to whatever’s on my iPod, but I feel kinda guilt for not being productive during that time, considering how much stuff I always have to do.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

 

 

Summer 2014 goal review

Every year, I set goals for myself, and every quarter, I review my progress. This review will be very sad, because I currently work full-time, have a part-time internship, and take a couple classes in addition to writing and sleeping and eating when I get a chance.

1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.

Same as in April: this hasn’t happened, and is nowhere close to happening any time soon. And actually, polishing my next novel, A Handful of Wishes, is taking longer than expected, so its release date has been pushed back to next April.

2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.

I’m currently 2/6 for submissions. And one of those publications closed since I submitted. But on the plus side, I have a huge long list of story ideas that I’m slowly plodding through.

3.Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this fall from Evolved – hopefully).

I have an idea for a themed anthology, kind of in the vein of Not My Thing, and I’m slowly working on some of them. Again, no time to write.

4. Self-publish at least two long short stories through my publisher.

My publisher, Evolved, released “Not My Thing” in April. It’s free everywhere, and currently #3 on Amazon’s list of literary short stories.

5. Read 100 books.

I haven’t read anything for about a month. According to Goodreads, I’m currently at 33 books – 16 behind.

6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

Slowly but surely, I’m conquering Spanish. I’m able to read the Spanish billboards around town (although I think that’s more from knowing French than any Spanish I’ve learned). But I’ll get there!

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

Spring 2014 goal review

Every year, I set goals for myself, and every quarter, I review my progress. So, here goes.

1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.

This hasn’t happened, and is nowhere close to happening any time soon.

2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.

I wrote about twenty stories when I was in India in January, and I’m slowly working through edits. But so far, I’ve submitted two stories (one in January, one in February). I have one forthcoming from my publisher, but I’m not counting that one because it didn’t technically go through a submission process.

3.Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this summer from Evolved – hopefully).

I don’t have nearly enough short stories right now for a collection.

4. Self-publish at least two long short stories.

I may revise this, because if my publisher is willing to release them, it’ll be better publicity. I guess it all depends on when I get something finished, and how long it is. I have a series of novellas in the planning stages that may fit here.

5. Read 100 books.

I’m at 19, which Goodreads tells me is 6 behind where I should be. I’m actually pretty impressed with this though; I’m working fulltime and taking a full courseload this semester, so I don’t have much time for anything.

6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

I found a great podcast, Coffee Break Spanish, that I listen to at work. So far my Spanish skills aren’t great beyond the whole “Hi, how are you?” thing, but I’m slowly making progress.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

Resolutions: 2013 review and 2014 goals

2013

Last year, I set some goals for myself.

  1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.
    Yes! It was just released by Evolved Publishing in December. As of right now, it has a 4.6 star rating on Amazon, from 5 reviews. And a reader told me it made her cry. So, score.
  2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.
    No. I had one acceptance this year, probably because I crapped out on submissions after about March.
  3. Put out a short story collection.
    Yes! I released Us, Together: A Short Story Collection in June. It’s 6 stories about the problems teenagers face, from relationships and unplanned pregnancy, to absent parents and poverty, loosely based on stories and students I encountered while teaching at-risk kids.
  4. Get another novel ready to query.
    Kind of. Evolved is scheduled to publish A Handful of Wishes in December 2014, which means I should probably get it all shined up soon.
  5. Read 100 books this year.
    No. I read 72, which isn’t bad considering I was also working and going to grad school and writing and wasting a ton of time on the internet.
  6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.
    No. The closest I came was looking at kayaks at Scheels.

2014

  1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.
  2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.
  3. Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this summer from Evolved). Maybe the stories about India I wrote on my trip?
  4. Self-publish at least two long short stories. I have half a dozen in the works; it’s just a matter of finishing them.
  5. Read 100 books.
  6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

Ideally, I’ll have something new coming out every 3-4 months, in addition to more published short stories which will later be compiled into a collection. I think this is doable, but it’ll require massively-focused time management skills that I seem to be lacking.

What are your goals for 2013?

Midyear writing goal review

Every three months or so, I like to post how I’m progressing on the goals I set for myself in January.

  1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.  I can cross this off because it’ll be out December 2nd, 2013, from Evolved Publishing. Yay me!
  2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.  This has not been going so well. I’ve only had one acceptance so far this year (to a token market), “Us, Together” in Fiction365. Okay, two maybe if you count “The Business Trip” reprinted in Free Flash Fiction‘s anthology, The Flashing Type. However, I haven’t really been sending any shorts out. I wrote a bunch for May’s Story-A-Day, so maybe I can get some of those out soon.
  3. Put out a short story collection.  Yes, did this too! I released Us, Together: A Short Story Collection about a week ago. And I’m currently working through edits on another one, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which should be out – let’s just say soon.
  4. Get another novel ready to query – either 2012’s NaNoWriMo novel, or the one I’ve been working on for a couple years, A Handful of Wishes. I haven’t had a chance to work on this, but I’ll be getting my butt in gear soon because I promised my editor I’d have A Handful of Wishes to him by April 2014 so it can be published December 2014.
  5. Read 100 books this year. I’m currently at 43. I should be at 49 by now, but considering how busy I’ve been with school and work and writing and my kid, I’m not doing too bad.
  6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.  Still no job, so still no kayak to do this. And no time to do it either. Maybe I can do small pieces as part of some weekend adventures later this summer?

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

G is for Goals Review #atozchallenge

Day G of the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April challenge. Today’s topic: goals review.

Each year I set goals for myself, and every three months I review my progress.

2013 goals:

  1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.
  2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.
  3. Put out a short story collection.
  4. Get another novel ready to query.
  5. Read 100 books this year
  6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.

So far this year, I’m off to a pretty good start.

  1. A full manuscript of The Lone Wolf was requested by a publisher after I queried them, and it’s currently in review.
  2. I’ve only had one acceptance so far this year, “Us, Together” which was published in Fiction365, on Mar 27, but it was a paying market. I pulled a bunch of my stories from the submission queue in order to include them in my upcoming collection, so I’m down to just seven to send out. I have several dozen started and ideas for a dozen more, so maybe I can get some finished during next month’s Story-A-Day Challenge. Because forcing myself to write under a deadline has worked so well for me in the past.
  3. I have a short story collection, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, set for release on Memorial Day; I just need to finish one story and edit another. And I have the stories all lined up for another collection I’d like to release for Christmas; 3 are finished which leaves just 14 to go.
  4. I’ve been focusing on short stories so I haven’t been working on novels much. Last year’s NaNo needs an overhaul; maybe once this short story collection’s done I’ll spend the summer working on polishing a novel.
  5. So far I’m at 26, which according to Goodread’s tracker is where I should be. I have a bunch of books on my Kindle app, and I’ve been trying to read some of those when there’s a lull at work.

    2013 Reading Challenge

    2013 Reading Challenge
    E.D. has
    read 26 books toward her goal of 100 books.
    hide

  6. Spring is just now making an appearance; I’m not hardcore enough to kayak in cold, crappy weather. 

If you’re a writer, what are your goals for the rest of the year?  If you set goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, how are you doing with them? 

    Resolutions: 2012 review and 2013 goals

    2012

    Last year, I set some goals for myself.

    1. Get an agent (which means stop picking at my novel and just send it out already).
    2. Finish my already-started novel, A Handful of Wishes.
    3. Have at least fifteen stories out on submission at any given time – currently I’m at nine.
    4. Get in shape, and then stay in shape.
    5. Learn how to neatly and nicely-looking lattice a pie.
    6. Date a rockstar (doesn’t matter who).

    I’ve revisited them throughout the year, and now I’ll do the final wrap-up.

    1. I haven’t gotten an agent yet, but I did send out a bunch of queries.
    2. I didn’t finish A Handful of Wishes, but I did finish a novel for NaNoWriMo (although it’s only about 50,000 words right now and needs a ton of work).
    3. I never made the fifteen-story mark for submissions; I think the most I ever had out was twelve.  However, I had eleven acceptances this year, which really depleted my stock (not a bad thing!).
    4. I got a gym membership over the summer, but I haven’t been using it as much as I’d like.  Working a temp job really through me off; I refuse to work out if there are more than about seven people at the gym, which means going after work wasn’t an option (I prefer about 10 am).
    5. Most of my kitchen stuff, like most of the rest of my stuff, is currently in storage, so I didn’t make any pies this year, let along lattice them.
    6. The closest I came was seeing a guy from the local band Three Years Hollow at the gas station.  This band is awesome, by the way, if you like heavy alt rock bands like Breaking Benjamin or Chevelle.

    2013
    Before making my resolutions for the new year, I read a post over at Write It Sideways about how to effectively set goals.  The author suggests using SMART goals – goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (at least that’s how we defined them at the school where I last taught).  So, for example, rather than saying I want to read more, I should make my goal to read 100 books this year – it’s specific, measurable, attainable, and within a certain time frame.

    With that in mind – and possibly overlooking the relevancy component – here are my goals for 2013.

    1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.  I’m going to try the small press route, and I’ve already identified several potential publishers to query.
    2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.  I’m really proud of my acceptance rate, but I’ve reached the point that I’d like to be compensated for my stories.  While pro markets would be ideal, token would meet this goal as well.
    3. Put out a short story collection.  I have three in the works, with about half the stories written for two of them.
    4. Get another novel ready to query – either 2012’s NaNoWriMo novel, or the one I’ve been working on for a couple years, A Handful of Wishes.
    5. Read 100 books this year.  That’s the goal I set for myself last year, and while I was making great progress for the first half of the year, I fell off at the end and only read 79.  I only include books I finish in this list.  I’ll hopefully be in grad school part time starting this summer, and hopefully working full time, so this will be a challenge, but I think I can do it.
    6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.  It’s about 100 miles, I think, and requires quite a bit of portage, but it’s definitely doable.  Assuming I get a job so I can buy a kayak, that is.
    Mouth of the Hennepin Canal, taken October 2012

    What are your goals for 2013?

    PG or R language?

    I don’t generally use a lot of profanity in my stories, unless it needs to be there.  Sometimes there’s none; sometimes there’s a little sprinkled in, and sometimes it’s all over the place.  And usually it’s not an issue.

    I recently submitted a story to Spark: A Creative Anthology.  On the subject of profanity, its guidelines said,

    “Because we’d like to reach the widest audience possible, we actually recommend that you avoid it entirely.”  

    So for that particular story, just to be safe I changed “shit” to “crap” or “damn.”

    Now, contrast that with “Small Town Life,” the story that’ll be out in a couple weeks in Shadow Road Quarterly.  It’s told through the POV of a seventeen-year-old boy.  I’ve spent three years teaching high school, and wow.  Those kids (especially ones similar to the MC) will say anything and everything.  And usually it’s not intentional; they just don’t pay attention and drop f-bombs all over the place in the course of normal conversation.  So that’s what my MC and his friends also do.

    However, I wasn’t sure if that would fly with the editors, so I asked before submitting.

    Dear editors,
    I have a story that I’d like to submit to your magazine, but it contains quite a few f-bombs. Would you prefer I edit the language before submitting, or should I send it in as-is? Thanks!

    Their response:

    F-bomb away! Fuckin’ A.

    –SRQ
    (That means sure.)

    I submitted it, adding to the cover letter,

    If its adult language is an issue, I’m more than willing to tone it down.

    When I received my acceptance notice, it included feedback from the editors. One of them said this:

    I did think that ‘fuck’ was way overused and more creative cursing could’ve made the story more enjoyable. 

    Yes, I could’ve changed it, but I think as it stands, it’s more realistic.  It’s also probably the most profanity-laden chapter in the novel, because as the MC grows up, he, like most of us (hopefully), realizes that words are powerful, and the less you use profanity, the more power it gains when you do use it.

    What’s your stance on bad words?  Do you try to use them, always avoid them, or let the story’s characters and potential audience dictate your word choice?

    How to publish short stories

    I belong to an online writing site, and every so often someone asks how to publish short stories.  Today I received my tenth acceptance for short stories, so in honor of being an “expert” I’d like to share what I posted to the writing site.

    If it’s short stories, poems, or flash you’re interested in publishing:

    1. Go to Duotrope.com and make an account. 
    2. Search for publications – flash, electronic submission, whatever the genre is. 
    3. Look at the listings for those. Major things to check: 
      1. Do they take more than 2-3 months to get back to you? 
      2. Do they get back to at least 95% of the submissions (don’t hold withdrawals against them, just nonresponses)? 
      3.  Do they pay (doesn’t matter to me but matters to some)? 
      4. What’s the acceptance rate (might not be worth it to submit to one that only takes 5%, at least not at first)? 
      5. Do they accept simultaneous submissions (send to multiple publications at the same time)? 
    4. If you like what you see, go to the publication’s website. Does it look professional (and does that even matter to you)? 
    5. Read some of their published stuff, if available. How does your story compare? Is it a good fit subject- and prose-wise? 
    6. Now, finally, click on a link somewhere on the site that says “Submissions” and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY. 
    7. Go back to Duotrope and report your submission. 
    8. When you get a response, report that too. The more reports Duoptrope gets, the more accurate and helpful it becomes.

    Assuming your stories aren’t crap, and you pick publications that are a good match, you could soon be a published author.  Good luck!

    Yahoo vs. Gmail

    I love Google, and use it as much as possible: Gmail, Google+ (although I seem to be one of the only ones), Docs, Maps, Picassa, etc.  And except for my non-upgraded-slowly-dying computer at work that isn’t modern enough to support any Google features, I’ve never had any problems with any of their products.

    Except one tiny, easily overlookable, glaring problem – I can’t send emails to Yahoo accounts.  I noticed this a couple years ago – I sent a few emails and the recipients never responded to them.  A month later I asked them about it, and they said they never got them.  So I switched to other forms of contact – mainly Facebook – and didn’t worry about it.

    Until last week, when I was checking my submissions on Duotrope and noticed that a story that should’ve gotten a response within a month had been sitting for almost five.  I went to send a query and noticed that the publisher’s email had changed, from a Yahoo account to one on their own server.

    Sure enough, the editor’s response was that they’d never received my initial submission.

    Turns out I’m not the only one with this problem; according to a quick Google search, Yahoo and Gmail routinely block each others’ emails.

    So, morals of the story:

    1. Yahoo sucks.  Don’t use it; switch to Gmail instead.
    2. If you don’t hear back about a submission, don’t necessarily assume the editors are ignoring you; it’s possible they never even got it in the first place.
    3. I guess if possible, submit to publications that use the same email server as you, or Submishmash.  Because you never know when the internet gods will strike.

    Have you ever had this happen to you?

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