So remember how I submitted my short story Songs of Humanity to a magazine awhile back? I got a response a few days ago—a rejection. A very nice form rejection. It wasn’t surprising (I did submit to one of the biggest SF mags out there), but it was disappointing. Is rejection ever anything but?
It’s my first rejection in a while, because it was my first submission in a while. I swallowed hard, sighed, then filed the rejection with my others. I allowed myself to mourn for fifteen minutes or so, then sat down at my laptop and made a few revisions.
And I thought, you know, rejection is an opportunity. Now that I know this magazine doesn’t want my story, I’ve got a whole list of others that might! It was that easy to get all excited about submitting the story again.
SOH is now in the hopeful pile (sounds so much better than slush pile, doesn't it?) again with another magazine. And if it gets rejected, that’s just one more opportunity to get it to the right place.
POEL is currently on hiatus as my brain busily works away at how to de-suckify certain portions. I've got another dystopian project in the works, though. More to come...
Now, in honor of Jessica Watson‘s youngest ever solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation that will come to a triumphant end tomorrow, let’s talk about sailing. What does sailing have to do with science fiction? Solar sailing, of course! A maiden voyage of a solar sailing ship will take place next week. Now, the idea of sailing on solar winds is nothing new, but there’s nothing wrong with a sci fi classic.
So what can we do with this one? Well, there could always be the journey of a young solar sailor out to accomplish a great feat on a solo, non-stop…oh, wait, that’s Jessica’s story! Adventure on the high seas (er, spaces?), mutiny’s, sailing races…any of them could make a good basis for a story. Okay, what about an alien society who does all their traveling in solar sailing? Why would they, and how would humans who interact with them– possibly with more powerful technology– interact?
That’s just one idea. Got any others?
|What do you think?|
This week, I finished my outline for the travel memoir I'm working on, and I’m telling you, ladies and gents, that whole Freemind tool is one of the coolest outlining helps ever. Added to this busy-ness was my first Mother’s Day (yay for moms! and for me I guess…), a teething baby, a change in my work schedule, and the discovery that five of the oldest kids at New Life International Children’s Home in Ghana are going to high school. This includes Michael, an amazing kid I’m very close to. In Ghana going to high school isn’t a given, it’s a rare privilege you have to work hard for, and it’s expensive.
And most of all this week, I’ve had a dilemma of the writing sort.
I’ve always written. Literally, always. I was composing pages of careful circles by the time I was just under a year old, and been writing actual stories since elementary school. And I’ve always assumed that someday, I would be published and be a real author. When I took a writing class this previous winter, I began to learn about the publishing industry, and realized there’s more to it than just mailing my book to a publisher. Over the months, I gave myself a crash course on the entire industry and what I need to do. Reading, networking, querying, marketing, conferencing, blogging, Twittering…oh, and writing.
I’m a little on the obsessive side, and I began to do all of this in earnest. So much in earnest, that it began to eat into my personal life and my writing joy. Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy all of this stuff too, and it has its place. But I was focusing on it too much, and I had to remind myself yet again that I don’t have to do it all at once. I can take it slow. So I took several days off– minimal tweeting, blogging, blog-reading, not even writing a single word. I focused more on the rest of my life– my husband, my baby, my work, the impossibly messy house, and my other neglected hobbies.
And you know what? It was awesome.
I’m ready to go back to writing. And blogging, and twittering, and all that other junk. Just slower this time. I don’t have to read every single agent blog out there every day, or make sure to connect with all of my Twitter peeps every few hours. Because I don’t have to be published tomorrow. Or even next year.
Will it mean any less if my first book is published when I’m 36 than when I’m 26? I doubt it. In fact, it’ll probably be a much better book, and I’ll probably have decidedly fewer gray hairs. I think that’s something we can all get behind.
The time has come.
The time to outline. The time to plot.
Now, part of the reason I like the pantsing-with-a-bit-of-plotting method is that I love the freedom and creativity of it. So what’s a pantser to do when she has to plot (REALLY plot)? How about using this amazing method? The author of the Hal Spacejock series and creator of Ywriter shows a great, visually organized method for plotting using a tool called Freemind.
I gotta tell you, people, I am in love. It’s easy to use, it’s visual, it’s organized, and it’s FREE. Never did this pantser think that plotting could be done so creatively. And yet, I’m plotting like I was born to do it. It doesn’t even feel stifling. In fact, in some ways, it’s a bit freeing.
Even Tennyson approves. And when the Muse-fish speaks, I listen.
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