I drove to Surrey Arts Centre today for the Festival du Ballet. My dance kid was competing. It was a good drive and a nice change from the weekend’s obsession, which was removing all of my many plants from my balcony. The building is getting power washed and painted. Admittedly, for the rent I pay, I should have a fabulous apartment, but this is Vancouver and we have crazy Silicon Valley type rents.
I love my place though, especially because it has a fifteen by five foot balcony which overlooks trees and a sunset view. I am a gardener as well as a writer. So the process of moving, sorting, deciding and cleaning was difficult. But I think the space will be better for it.
It reminds me that gardens are like a lot of art, we try, sometimes we don’t succeed and then suddenly there is a fantabulous bloom and everything feels worth it!
April’s NanoWriMo Camp month was good. I got about half my goal done. This is fine in my mind because I am crazy busy as usual: after day job, dance mum work and so forth, there is very little thinking time left. I’m famous at home for falling asleep on the laundry I’m folding. We had a big competition that required most of a week’s extra time and I can’t write while listening to dances in the Michael J. Fox theatre in Burnaby. Although I did keep my index cards with me and have thought of a few new plots.
My garden’s been planted now, too. That doesn’t take much effort, and I love my plots at the community garden at 39th and Alma. Sadly, it’s got a large sign up advertising the condos they’re building there. I hope we get a couple more years out of it.
Submission Portals for Short Story Writers
Just submitted some stories that had been returned. It feels good to find new market sources. I just got an account on a submission portal called:
Hey Publisher . Hey Publisher is used by only a few SFF magazines but it has some interesting entries.
I always use the terrific site The Submission Grinder created by Diabolical Plots. Initially, it took a little getting used to, and if he had more $$ it could be far sleeker, but it does the job the very best of all of them.
I love the fact that it offers me searchable SFF markets with valuable data that I like to know. For example, is a market dead? they tend to know at The Grinder. They invite updates and are open to changes. Also, the statistics are comforting. How long have they held your story? Is it typically-long for them? Or not? Lots of great data there.
Then there are the electronic submissions portals such as: Moksha and Submittable. I use these to submit when a magazine requests this. I don’t use any other services on these am not certain if they have any.
I recall receiving a survey earlier this Spring wherein they were trying to figure out if writers would pay to submit. The answer is “No”. I was not impressed. We’re mostly submitting to markets that hardly pay (at least in television $$ terms), and it’s ridiculous to also be charged to do so.
The quote in Science fiction circles is:
“The money must always flow to the writer.”
I’m sorry I can’t recall who originated that one, but it was one of the greats.
I’ve decided to do Camp NaNo this month- to get some distance on my short story projects.
My top goal is 20,000 words, not fifty thousand because, with my schedule, it is very hard to get to 50k. I have about 4 stories to work on. One of them is very English – with a manor Dragon and a little girl. One is all space opera and cats. Another is based on a fairy tale, which I used, then, just lately realized that the original tale changes lead characters halfway through… so that will have to be fixed.
UPDATE: I’m on April 9th and now about 5 thousand words in. Part of this is my really extended Dragon story. I’m just letting this story unwind as it goes. I’m enjoying it which is terrific. It’s too long already to be sent to most short story markets though, so it will have to go to a novella market or be personally published. I could do a D2D publication again, but promote this one more? I don’t know. I’d like to get some beta readers before I go too far with publication on my own. I’ve read some very bad self-published books by other Canadian authors in SF.
The photos below are from close to my daughter’s high school. It was an astounding day and I got some lovely shots. I met the very elderly woman who planted that thirty foot magnolia when it was just a little twig.
Below, I’m using a new photo from Unsplash, which is a great free photo resource.
I’ve been working on submissions this month. Day job has been busy, too. I find March School Break a nice change because we don’t go out to Dance daily.
This is both good and bad. Like a lot of writer mums, I’m using Blenz as my work-product time for creative writing. So I didn’t get a lot done last week.
However, this week, I finished work one day and just switched computers to the ‘home’ one and worked five hours straight on a story. It was great and I could do it because my kid was busy with friends.
Also, this week we cat-sit for our friend Krista. The stately tuxedo cat, Jack was with us for a few days. I always enjoy that.
Publications have been good this month. Polar Borealis has a poem of mine in it (Issue 9 available on http://www.polarborealis.ca ) and they’ve accepted a reprint of “The Pleiades Cat” originally published in the 90s in On Spec.