Persistence pays off. After two years of submitting to DailySF, I have had a story accepted!
My story, currently titled ‘Cherry Ripe’, made the grade. I did have one other story make it to the second level of reading, but it didn’t get accepted. For DailySF, appears I get better results with humour than with any other writing style.
I have had some interesting news about my health. I have cysts in my liver. Sorry to be a bit vague, but that’s all I really know until I see the specialist in January. I’ve decided I’m not going to get too concerned until I’ve seen the specialist. This comes right on the heels of discovering a cyst in my breast that was completely harmless, so I’m not burying my head in the sand. Apparently I just like growing things like cysts and polyps.
On the other hand, for the first time since June, I’ve made my goal of ten submissions in a month! My muse is working overtime and I keep getting solid ideas for short stories and for added scenes for my Regency-era Steampunk novel. I think there has been so much going on in my life, I’ve just become numb to the drama.
In unrelated gardening news about growing things … I discovered these eggs before they hatched and started gobbling up my leafy greens in the vegetable garden. They have been quarantined.
Why do I mainly write in the genres of Steampunk and Fairy Tales? One is a Science Fiction subgenre, the other is a genre all of its own. I have both a rational and emotive nature, and these two genres manage to hit all the buttons for me.
Steampunk has it roots in alternative history, but without its strong links to scientific advancements and innovations, it wouldn’t exist. I love Science for its own sake; I blame Isaac Asimov and his robot stories I read when I was eight. Science fiction has so much potential.
Fairy Tales tap into the archetypes that underlie all storytelling. They are metaphors, told with beautiful prose. They are a completely different style from Steampunk. Richer in symbology.
I wouldn’t be happy if I couldn’t write both.
Over the past few days, I’ve been hit with the cleaning and gardening bug. I guess spring cleaning is a thing? I’ve put in a new garden, for more vegetables and herbs. I may remove the lavenders from the other vegetable garden as they are taking over. But they are doing so well…
On Monday, it seemed to me that everwhere I looked, my house was grubby. Not filthy, but just not clean enough, particularly my kitchen. Now the kitchen is much cleaner, the baby seedlings that have sprouted are planted out and we have to hope the cat doesn’t sit or pee on them. I’ve dusted. Tomorrow I plan on vacuuming and washing the floors.
Now … what does this have to do with writing? My extra energy levels have also flowed into my muse. I’m feeling the process flowing more smoothly, whereas I was having a hard time writing anything at all last week. Maybe seeing everything growing and blossoming has inspired me. We’ve had the first crop of the beans and the leafy greens from the garden, and I can see all the baby tomatoes (I’m salivating all ready), and the eggplants are flowering.
And, even though my lungs are still a little congested, they are better than they were, even with the pollen count to infinity. Now, all we need is rain … for my plants. My muse needs some refreshment too, but the gardening is certainly helping there. I find growing things a creative process.
I’ve just sent off my first submission for October. As regular readers of this blog will know, I aim to send off ten to twelve stories and articles a month. My goal is 100 rejection a year, from July to July. Since the death of my mother in June, I’ve been averaging four submissions a month.
Do I try to make up for lost time?
I know the answer to that. Pushing myself too hard backfires, making me sleep poorly.
I’m kind of disappointed in myself, for being so physically weak. I’m fat. I’m middle-aged and heading towards old age. I have asthma and diabetes. Some of those limitations are only going to get worse.
However, I can make the effort to get 10 stories submitted this month. But I will not beat myself up if I don’t make that goal. I’ve got to work smarter, not harder. Work to my strengths. Keep my enthusiam high by remembering my achievements and not dwelling on the failures.
Time to shake off these negative thoughts and feelings and get my head back in the game.
I tend to write with my eyes. What this means is that – when I started out – I tended to see my characters and see the action. I didn’t hear their voices, or smell the air and feel the textures. It took years of training to learn to ‘hear’ and ‘touch’, smell and ‘taste’. Other beginner writers have problems visualizing a scene, but can write dynamite dialogue.
This sensuous writing might seem like a basic tool in the writing kit, but it is surprising how many people forget that writing – like all skills – is a mixture of training, talent, and practice. Lots and lots of practice. Teaching yourself to notice details. Trying to think of unique ways to describe an experience. Getting out and having experiences so you can describe them!
So, next time your a reading a descriptive passage, don’t dismiss as ‘purple prose’. Some hard-working person has put some thought and effort into that paragraph!