This past Wednesday I had the great pleasure of speaking at Prof. Juárez’s creative writing class here in New Mexico. While the length of my publication history is pretty minimal, I have been around long enough, on both sides of publication, to know a fair amount of the process. We talked about a lot of the fundamentals – read a great deal, write regularly, don’t let yourself be crippled by doubt, how to format your work, etc., as well as some warnings about vanity presses and the friendly nature of the short story market – as well as some of the more modern aspects of writing, like utilizing a good online resource such as Duotrope or Grinder to find places to submit to and track your submissions. The world online has so dramatically changed publishing, it’s fascinating how now we’re talking about building your online presence to attract fans and impress an agent, if you’re heading in that direction, and the importance of your online reputation. And entirely aside from that, there are so many wonderful blogs to read!
The class was delightful and I was faced with a lot of interesting questions, as well as a chance to talk about how the Superstars Writing Conference had been such a help to me, but probably the one that caught my attention most was, “How can I avoid writing clichés?” Besides mentioning Strange Horizon’s delightful list of stories to avoid in my follow-up notes to the class, I could only offer the usual sage advice: know your enemy, so read, read, read, and if you can, offer to slush somewhere (become a pre-reader at a magazine, handling the first round of submissions). It’s such a fundamental question we face every day as writers – is this old? has someone done this? is this creative enough?! – that for a moment, I just wanted the hug the young woman and say, prayer and good luck!
Oh, my. After more plagues than I care to count, I pray we’re coming out of the Long Sick at the end of this (still) lovely vacation with family. Besides, I’ll be speaking to a class this coming Wednesday about publishing avenues and writing in today’s world, and I don’t want to show up dripping snot! A more exciting report to come…
Confession: I’ve never actually been in print before (okay, excluding high school newspaper; that doesn’t count, right?). Previous to my Purple Unicorn acceptance, I’d had a digital publication with the fabulous Electric Spec, sure, but as much as love e-readers and online magazines, there’s something special about paper.
So let me tell you: when I received my author’s copies of One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology yesterday, there was great excitement.
I’ve been asked several times, occasionally with raised eyebrows, about the Purple Unicorn anthology I’m in. After all, it kind of sounds like a bad joke.
Oddly enough, it kind of is.
For a pretty amusing history of how this anthology (and Superstars writing conference fundraiser) came to be, head on over to this behind-the-scenes Fictorians post.
I’ve had another stroke of luck in a string of exciting successes: an acceptance from ! This is my second podcast acceptance (Pseudopod being the first), which is exciting not only because it’s an acceptance (hooray!) but because I was tremendously curious if others saw the same potential I did for performance in these pieces. More than any other pieces I’ve written, I felt these were the kinds of stories that should be read aloud, so it’s doubly exciting to see that others think the same!
As always, it’ll be a while before the story actually comes to light, but when it does I’ll be sure to share.
Please feel free to meander around and enjoy interesting pictures, snippets of stories, life, and other exciting tidbits!