January Progress and a Disclaimer

Authorial Essentials

So here we are at the end of January. I set a pretty ambitious schedule for myself this year, so let’s take a look at the scoreboard.

Edits on Ink Calls to Ink are officially at the halfway point, which was my goal. I hope to finish edits in February.

Part of the push to get edits done was to get a submission in to Clarion West. That was completed mid-month, including a synopsis of the novel (which was less painful than I anticipated).

I’m doing the Write One/Sub One challenge, but only on the monthly level. I’m going to count this one as a victory also. I rewrote an older story and cut it down from over 6,500 words to a lean submission-quality 5,000 words and got that sent out over the weekend. I also did a decent first draft of a new story last night and I hope to get an edit/rewrite on that before going to bed. I could sub it out tonight also, but I’d really rather take a little time with it to polish it up. Hopefully that will hit the mail next week.

I got one rejection and one sale this month off two different stories. The one that got rejected is going to get a slight rewrite and another polish before sending out in the next two weeks. The sale was to a newer publication called Bette Noire. “The Last Horse Out” will appear in their October issue.

All of this was done without making myself too sick, though the weather helped balance that out with a few work-from-home days to counter the days I was too sick to write.

Goals met.
Final Grade: B- (The story that got rejected could have benefited from an extra scene to make it less straight-forward. I rushed it, and the result was a rejection. Lesson learned.)

Now, to the disclaimer mentioned in the subject line.

I am going to let you down. No, really. I’m going to disappoint you. Probably not many of you, but enough merit a warning. I’m not proud of it–far from it. But the fact remains that the closer you get to my gooey marshmallow center, the better the chances are that I’m going to fail you somewhere down the road. If your interaction with me is on a fairly superficial level, you should get out unscathed.

I’ve had two voices arguing in my head about this for a while recently, both about what to say and about whether I should address it at all. See, the thing is that I gave my writing and related writerly things priority over, well, damn near everything else in my life last year. When my head started poking out of the shell this last few weeks, I realized that some pretty important relationships had paid the price. The going got tough, and I disengaged.

The cynic in me says that things change, people change, and situations change. It doesn’t look too closely at my fairly dismal track record at maintaining deep personal relationships for longer than five years. The cynic points out that the relationships that grew in the past year are a better fit for where I am in my life right now. And yes, I suppose there’s truth to that. But the sentimentalist in me is still sad for the changes and things lost. And I feel regret that there were times when I should have been there for people who I cared about, and I just wasn’t. I let them down and it’s as simple as that.

So in another few hours, I soldier on into February. Hopefully my eyes will be a little more open. I’m still a writer. I’m still planning on being productive. I don’t know how to change that, or even if I want to. Maybe I could stand to be a little less obsessive.

And I’ll try not to disappoint you.

7 thoughts on “January Progress and a Disclaimer

  1. I think it’s impossible not to disappoint some of one’s friends over the course of a long period like five years. I for one don’t expect my friends to not disappoint me, because they have their own lives to live and sometimes wishes or wants don’t align perfectly.

    What I hope is that friends won’t disappoint me on purpose, but that’s another matter. Everyone does the best they can under the circumstances.

    Congratulations on the acceptance of Last Horse Out! Will be nice to see it published.

    Best of luck with the application and sub to Clarion!

    I find that holding the stories back at least a week, sometimes a month or longer, really makes it easier to spot weaknesses or where they need a tweak. Then all the poor bits I didn’t see earlier suddenly reveal themselves.

    1. Yeah, I’m avoiding rushing the newest story. I think you’ll like it. It has ghosts, digital devices, and birds plummeting from the sky. It’s charming.

      And yes…fingers crossed for Clarion. And then crossed again that I can pay for it if I get in. 🙂

  2. You’ve become a better friend – and better at friending – all this time I’ve known you. You get better because you work on it, and I applaud you.

  3. Congratulations on meeting your W1S1 goal! Sounds like you have a lot to be proud of in the way of productivity. I don’t know what’s inspired the disappointment disclaimer, but I hope you’re able to achieve a balance that makes you happy.

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