Clarionniversary, Late November Edition

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 16.884% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

One of the things I haven’t done since I moved my “main” blog to WordPress is to keep up my Clarionniversary posts – the ones where I tell you what I’ve worked on this month writingwise, how many rejections I’ve gotten, and what I’ve had published.
These never get many comments, but I think they’re important.  Because talent is something that’s nice to have, but some kind of work ethic is critical if you’re going to make it as a writer.
Look.  I used to be terrible about writing, and even worse about submitting.  I wanted to write, but I only wrote when the mood struck, or I’d had a good day, or I wasn’t too tired.  And that hurt me.  It’s taken me years of falling off the horse to turn these sporadic writing sessions into something I do with the same frequency that I brush my teeth or shower – which is to say, a daily activity regardless of what else I have planned.
As it turns out, when I look back at what I’ve written, it’s not notably better when I’m inspired or in a good mood.  So that’s the plan.  And I think it’s the plan for those 99% who aren’t just naturally good enough to churn out salable stories.
So I’m going back to posting these, showing where my effort’s been, and all the rejections go.  At this point I’m nowhere near a name writer, but I’ve got a pretty good publishing history for a guy with just over three years under his belt.  And I think anyone who’s curious should see what it takes for a man of my raw talent to turn into – well, not gold, but something resembling palatable currency.
Stories Sold This Month:
I sold the audio rights to “A Window, Clear As A Mirror” to PodCastle.  I love PodCastle, and I love this story – it’s the one with the money-back guarantee – so yay!
Stories Worked On This Month:

  • {$NAMELESS_NOVEL}” I finished the fourth draft of my novel, and sent it out to beta-readers.  Those who read it in my summer Clarion_echo blog-a-thon will note that the opening chapters have been considerably flensed of info-dumps to concentrate on character motivation.  Early feedback says it’s good.  After this, there’s one more draft and then it’s agent time.
  • The Afternoon War” (second draft).  I went to see a Civil War reenactment, then wondered what reenactments of future wars would look like – especially reenactments in big hulking mecha-suits.  A small, strange tale arose, which I finished and sent out to work.
  • In The Unlikely Event” (first, second draft).  This flashfic humor piece was inspired by the flight attendant reading off dire warnings; I wanted to know what the warnings for space travel would look like.  Funny, disturbing, probably unsalable like all of my humorous flashfic, but it’s out in submission now.
  • The Girl Who Fell In Love With The Sea” (partial first draft).  Still working on this one, which is a rather tragic tale of a girl who takes the ocean for her lover.  Probably a post on this one later in the week.

October Rejections: Four.  Two from Asimov’s, both very encouraging, but Sheila Williams determined that the tales in question were too horror-flavored for Asimov’s.  One rejection from Stupefying Stories, saying “an interesting and challenging – and for me, personally, rather uncomfortable – piece.”  One generic each from Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Travelling Medicine Show and Daily Science Fiction.
In addition, “Shoebox Heaven,” which had been purchased, is now back in circulation after the anthology that purchased it went under.  This is why I never announce sales before the contract is signed.
Currently In Circulation: “Riding Atlas,” “Unreal Estate,” “Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex,” “Devour,” “Season to Taste,” “All Things Head Towards The Sea,” “Shadow Transit,” “The Afternoon War,” “In The Unlikely Event,” “Shoebox Heaven.”
A good month.  I’m stretching muscles.  The Novel of Doom is approaching completeness. Now I just have to get back to doing these summaries.


  1. Debs
    Nov 15, 2011

    I love these posts. Keep them up, kind sir.

    • Eliot
      Nov 17, 2011

      seconded! not much to comment, but I do read and get excited about the continuing effort you put into publishing!
      keep posting them, even if I dont comment reply.


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