First, a few numbers!
Short Story submission statistics:
Acceptances: 2 (both coming in January)
Personal Rejections: 6
Form Rejections: 27
Publications: 1 + 1 Honorable Mention
Novel query statistics:
Form Rejections: 3
I’m ridiculously pleased with my writing progress in 2014. I submitted things! I published things! I experienced the horror that is rejection! All in all it was a great year for me and the first where I actually felt like a real writer. I learned so much about writing from my peers and instructors, and I wrote some pretty great stories.
I can’t wait for you all to read “The Sorceress Who Had No Heart” in Vitality Magazine in January. For me, it’s the perfect example of how much I’ve grown as a writer and how much I’ve learned this year.
I don’t really do the resolution thing, but I will renew my dedication to writing diverse characters in powerful stories. I even made the–perhaps a bit reckless–solemn vow to never write another straight white dude protagonist during 2014 and I intend to stick with it. Here’s what I’ve got in the works as of today: a novella(?) about a swordswoman who has sworn her life to protecting a down-on-his-luck gambler and magician, a heart-rending (no, really, it’s made me cry twice already) short story about a widow and the veteran she tries to save, and a lesbian jaguar shapeshifter novel.
I wish you joy and health in the coming year and I look forward to experiencing it with you!
Hearts and puppies,
Two days before Christmas I got one of my short stories back from the eighth market I had sent it to. It wasn’t a surprise. The story is a little weird, and funny only on the darkest way, and to add more difficulty it was a holiday-themed fantasy story. Since holiday stories have such a short shelf life (I mean who really wants to read a Santa story in January?) I started to wonder if I should just table the story for a few months before sending it around again. In the end, the story is just too quirky and strange to easily find a home so I decided to make it a Christmas present for those who read my blog because I don’t update enough. So, if you were looking forward to a dark fantasy not-quite-Christmas story about an elf revolution and meat-eating were-reindeer, you came to the right place!
I love this story for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it taught me that I could write a successful short story in a small space. I’d struggled through a few short stories before this one, but none of them really worked and I didn’t know why. I wrote this one mostly during Mary Robinette Kowel’s short story intensive workshop last year. I enthusiastically recommend the class to anyone looking to improve their short fiction. I owe all of my sales this year to her and the lovely writing group that spawned from her workshop (many thanks to my Violet Revolution cohorts–I’ll be back soon and I miss you guys and gals!).
Without further rambling I present to you: It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Will Be Canceled
Merry Christmas if you celebrate, and if not please accept my warmest wishes for the coming New Year.
I have some very exciting news to share with everyone! In the last week I’ve found out about two stories I’ve sold that I’m clear to announce.
First, I sold a short story titled “The Sorceress Who Had No Heart” to Vitality Magazine. Vitality is a brand-spanking new magazine that just successfully completed their Kickstarter campaign. Sorceress will be in their very first issue and will also be illustrated! I can’t share the sneak-peek I’ve gotten at the preliminary sketches, but I think the artwork will be amazing. I’m so very excited to be a part of Vitality as their message is one that I stand behind, everyone deserves awesome stories. The first issue is slated for release in January of 2015. I will post the links whenever I get them.
Second, my novella “Inspiration: For Hire” will be published by Evernight Publishing (warning their website is absolutely not safe for work) in a multi-author series called Purgatory, Inc, also coming out in January 2015. I’ll share the cover and blurb as soon as I get them in my grabby little hands. Also coming up here in the next couple of months I’m going to try to get the other authors from the series to stop by and say hello.
Looks like the start of next year will be a busy one for me!
Hearts and puppies and elation,
<Warnings for Very Sad Things>
Early in 2001 I was moving to a new condo–my first time living alone–and I was afraid of being lonely. I needed a friend, so I decided to adopt one.
There were many sad cats at the Connecticut Humane Society the day I went to look for my new friend, but one in particular won my heart. She was a tuxedo cat who had been burdened with the unfortunate name “Mittens”. Put up for adoption because her previous owner couldn’t take care of her anymore, she was nine months old and utterly adorable. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would give her up, as she was beautiful and very sweet, but I took her home that same day and gave her the name Rosie.
That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Rosie was the most companionable cat I have ever known. She loved to watch television with me, and later with my husband. She would often walk up to see what I was doing, only to decide that it was less important than petting her. She was never aloof except with her canine sister, who she tolerated as any big sister should, with the most precise courtesy and only the occasional swat of the paw.
She had an inexplicable penchant for meat sauce. If we ever forgot to put away a pan after making pasta she would trot out of the kitchen sometime later with a red chin.
She never cared for catnip, or most things other cats love. Her favorite toys were fabric roses from the craft store. I can’t remember now how she first found one, but it was love at first sight. She would fetch them endlessly.
She was impeccably clean, and couldn’t abide things being left on the floor or furniture being moved.
Above all, she was, at a very lonely time in my life, my best friend.
In March Rosie stopped eating, and ended up in liver failure. Her skin was yellow and she was frightfully thin. I was pretty sure my time with her was over, but she bounced back. The vet was warily optimistic when she recovered well, but without knowing the underlying cause of her hunger strike, it was difficult to say for sure what her long term prognosis was. I’m grateful for all the days since then that we enjoyed: for every warm nap in the sun and cuddle on the couch.
We had a good number of wonderful days, and a very few bad ones. Sometime after her recovery her belly swelled up. She seemed fine otherwise, if a little unwieldy. I tried not to worry and hoped that it was just spare weight she couldn’t lose from when she’d eaten everything in sight for a month, though I think I knew it wasn’t. Last week she started having trouble walking and breathing, but she was still active and alert.
I took her to the vet this morning because she had become lethargic over the weekend. The fluid filling her belly was clear, and after a quick test the vet said she most likely had feline infectious peritonitis. There is no treatment, and the prognosis is a few months at most. They could drain the fluid from her belly but it would most likely return. They could treat her worsening symptoms, but she would never, ever get better. The vet left me alone with her to consider my options.
She stared out the window for a few minutes, and then laid down where I could pet her. The Rosie I knew wouldn’t do that in a strange room where there was exploring to do. She was tired and uncomfortable. In the end, I didn’t want that for my friend.
She will be very sorely missed. I’m not sure I’ll ever get another cat, but I know for certain I’ll never have another as good as her.
Give your furry friends an extra hug tonight from me.
Goodbye Rosie. You were a good girl.
…you gotta go to the NaNoWriMo website.
Okay, that really didn’t work, but whatever!
November is almost upon us and do you know what that means? That’s right! It’s time to fail hopelessly at NaNoWriMo (again)! If you would like to be my buddy and watch me fail heroically (or perhaps not so heroically) you can find me here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/coralm