Personal News: August was a rough month for family relationships. My elderly father came to visit for a weekend, which was nice. Shortly after we dropped him back off at his house, he had a small stroke which kicked his dementia into a new gear and put him in the hospital for almost two weeks. I’ve spent many days driving the two hours to Pittsfield and back to visit with him.
There’s a lot more wrapped up in this story. People who we trusted as his caregivers made bad choices over the past five years, seemed to ignore his greatest medical issue in favor of lesser ones, and allowed his home (which they were also supposed to care for) to become unhealthy and nearly uninhabitable with their lack of cleanliness (some parts of the home are in truly disgusting shape). My older brother and I were left trying to pull together the pieces of our father’s life and put him into a better place where he could get the care and attention he needed, in a safe and healthy environment. He’s there now, and safe, and we’ll deal with all the rest in time.
Time to talk about my writing month…
Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes/Professional Activities:
In response to Fantasy magazine announcing they would have to shut down due to loss of subscriptions because Amazon has quit the magazine business (despite it being profitable; just not profitable enough apparently), I created the Speculative Fiction Magazine Subscription page to help consumers find and support magazines they love. It’s been well received by the community and I’ll do my best over the next few years to keep it up to date and expand the titles listed.
In conjunction with this, I’ve created a Bluesky account, which I plan to use to regularly post profiles and descriptions of individual magazines every few days. As new titles are added, the account will cover those, and I may expand into doing simple interviews with editors of various markets.
Note: this is not a general list of SFF “publishers,” but very specific to magazines/webzines/podcasts that put out issues on a regular publishing schedule, most of which seek support in the form of subscriptions or donations, and who pay their story authors at least a nominal fee up front. You generally won’t see a Tor.com here, but you will find the Asimov’s and Weird Tales and Escape Pods, among others.
I finished the first draft of Fox and Troll Bake a Cake, my follow up story to the GigaNotoSaurus published and Cóyotl award nominated novelette, Fox and Troll Steal Math. I also pulled together a rough ending for my Patch Notes story of a company’s computer simulation game told through their update/hot fix documents.
I finished edits for The Jackdaw Sings Within Ivanoe, a little fantasy piece of environmentalism I loved writing and have begun submitting that around. I also completed edits on Any Step Forward, a longer fantasy piece playing around with concepts of religion and hats. Yes, hats. Remember that old Hats for Bats post I did? Yeah, it was started way back then in response to that.
The novel reached over 70k, but I fell far short of the 80k I wanted due to the focus being on my father and helping him get better. No regrets either, that’s what was needed. But it does mean I’m not going to be ready for sending it off to critique next month. It’s likely not going to be finished until early 2024 now. It’s just going too slowly.
Currently there are ten stories on submission, and I’m waiting for a venue that opens today to activate their electronic portal so I can make it 11. The oldest is at 53 days.
11 submissions made in July.
10 rejections received.
No publication credits in August.
Goals for September:
Continue slogging away at the novel. Shoot for 80k by months end. That should line me up for 90k by end of October, and then hopefully enough energy for a sprint to a conclusion during this year’s NaNoWriMo (20 to 30k more, a more sustainable Nano pace than 50k).
Finish one new short story. Re-write or edit one old short story.