Thursday, May 29, 2003

When I was sixteen I bowled a 200 game once, though my average was 110 or so. It was as part of my physical activity credit (pathetic I know. You don't want to see me play basketball) and I was bowling two games at once.

For a stretch of six or seven frames I would get a strike on my good game and a three or a six on the other game. I write this boring anecdote-I wasn't all that excited by the high bowling score even at the time-by way of making a strained analogy to something I just realized: it seems to help me to write two stories at the same time. Well, it helps me write one story that approaches my current capacities. I can throw all my splits and gutterballs onto the other one.

In some sort of perfect world, that's the function this journal would play, draining off my most putrid prose so my stories would shine in their spare perfection, like beacons of insight to all who read them. (Delusions of grandeur? Nah.) Unfortunately, the karmic energy's all different. I must write deeply flawed stories in order to insulate the less flawed ones I'm working on.

A flawed journal is its own reward.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Status Quo Ante:
Going into Clarion 2003:

Sales (no filthy lucre)
to Bewildering Stories - Erasure, The Wheel, Reinvented
to SciFantastic - Bathwater

Sales (just a little dab'll do ya)
to Bloodsample - Run to Your Loved Ones
to SciFantastic - Bathwater (best of... Anthology)

too many to count, to "pro", "semi-pro", and nonpaying markets. I'm waiting on one promising maybe from a market I consider semi-pro. The stories I've sent to the big five are all tales that I like, but I'm not holding my breath.

So, my dream is that I'll come away from Clarion selling SF short stories to the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly (and, of course, sell the movie rights for nine figures). My less unrealistic aspiration is to come out with the capacity to actually sell to the semi-pro markets.

I know, the normal incubation period from the Clarion experience to professional fruition is 3-5 years, minimum. So sayeth the sages of our small mountain kingdom. I have been writing for years in this latest incarnation with a novel and most of a second under my belt, as well as dozens of short stories. I'm slogging through that first million words that must be written prior to becoming a real writer(tm).

Do words written on this blog count?

GLOSSARY: Status Quo Ante: The protagonist must ante up his status in order to be made the main character of any story (it's a sort of quid pro quo with the author).

Monday, May 26, 2003

So, now that the blog's up, and we've established that even I can run it, we get down to the nitty-gritty: Wasn't it just a touch arrogant for me to call myself "An Emerging SF Writer?"

Yeah, maybe.

I prefer to think of it as "hopeful." I've had the joy of sending off stories by the dozen in order to get back baker's dozens of rejections. You know you're in good when markets that you didn't even submit to send you rejections--Like Bush, many SF venues now believe in a doctrine of preemption. In today's marketplace if you can't fake a bit of strong self-confidence now and again, you're in deeper than the paddle reaches.

That's all for now.

GLOSSARY: Baker's Dozen = 13. I guess because Bakers are really generous people.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Two weeks to Clarion...
What more need be said? For those who've been there, that phrase will encapsulate the tingling feeling of anticipation better than any long wordy prose I can whip up (yet-check back in two months).
For everybody else, you may well wonder why I'm writing this two weeks before anything's happening anyway.
Fair enough.

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