Friday, August 24, 2012

A Super Long Shot

I am behind.

I suppose as a writer whose full time job is not being a writer, that happens sometimes. The reason I'm worried about it is because I'm behind on an assignment for the Confabulator Cafe. Other people are counting on me there, so it's not my own success that's on the line.

But I have no plans tonight, so I will buckle down and get it finished.

It's a story for flash fiction week next week, and the reason it's late, aside from the fact that I just haven't worked on it, is because I really like it. It's like, one of my favorite things I've started writing all year, and it has so much potential to be awesome, that I'm thinking about it too much. I need to just drink a glass of wine, let go, and finish writing it. There are major changes I'd like to make some day, but I can clean it up and edit it for submission later on down the line.

I need to finish what I started first.

In other news, I took a huge gamble today. Well, truly it wasn't a gamble at all, because I don't have anything to lose, really. I submitted a story that I wrote almost ten years ago and have spent at least once a year every year in that amount of time polishing it. It has been sitting there on my hard-drive all that time, wanting to be told, and I had resigned it to something I might someday self publish.

Instead, I decided to clean it up one more time - polish it within an inch of its life - and submit it to Tor.com.

See? Insane crazy long shot. They receive hundreds upon hundreds (maybe even thousands) of submissions a year, and I'm not confident this story is good enough to be part of the Tor catalog, even if it's only an online short story version of Tor. It's still freaking Tor.

Tor. One of the big names in sci-fi and fantasy.

I decided, though, that it was better in their hands than doing nothing on my computer. The only drawback is that now I have to wait around eight months or more to receive the likely rejection.

That's ok, though. I have lots of other projects to keep me occupied while I wait.

Wish me luck. Check back in about a year to see whatever came of it!

http://www.tor.com/

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Promo Day - My Wine Education and Page-Turning Tips




It's Tuesday, which means it's Promo Day! This is where I plug the two other blogs I hang out on every week.

At the Cafe this week, the Confabulators are talking about how we keep readers turning the page. It's our jobs as writers to write compelling stories so readers stay engaged, and we all have different suggestions on how to do that. My suggestion? Just Write Awesomely.

Over at Red Wine Reminiscence, I talk about the night I received my red wine education from my sister's roommate. There's a lot to learn about wine - I'm still learning - and she gave me a place to start. It's too bad that the Senda 66 wasn't a very delicious start. But at least I ended up with a pretty bottle from it.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the posts, and see you Friday!

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm All Sorts of Official Now

I've been toying with the idea of creating an author/writer page on Facebook for awhile. It seemed silly, though, since I didn't exactly have any publishing credits, and short of plugging the Confabulator Cafe and this website, I didn't have much to post about.

Now, my very first published work will be available for purchase at the end of this month (I'll share the details as soon as I have them). Also, at the rate I am submitting stories, hopefully I'll have another credit or two to add to that soon. So I thought to myself, "self, you deserve an author page, now that you've gotten a paying writing gig."

And so my official FB author page was born this week: Sara E. Lundberg.

I am up to 10 whole likes already. Woohoo!

I still need to take some time to figure out how to promote it and link it so people can find me easily, and I need to work on adding content (it's a bit naked right now), but it's a start. Oh, and eventually need to make new business cards with the FB page address. Argh! I still have over 200 from my last batch. I don't give too many out.

This whole self-promotion thing is a strange beast. It feels weird for me to do. It's against my nature, really, to brag about myself and my accomplishments. I'm not exactly modest - I'm a writer, after all, which in and of itself begs for attention - but my self confidence level isn't quite high enough to put myself out there in these ways. I have to push myself to do it, and always wonder if I'm going too far.

At any rate, that's my big news this week.

Well, actually my big big news this week was receiving payment through Paypal for my story! It was a small, token amount (I can't even buy a gallon of gas with it) but I am ridiculously excited that I got my first "paycheck" for writing. Teehee. I'm officially a paid writer.

This is really happening.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Promo Day - Wine Flashback and Life Events

This week at the Confabulator Cafe we all talked about life events that changed our writing. I've talked about how losing my mom two years ago affected my writing before, but I explored how various life events, including death, affect a writer a little more in Writers are Clay, Life is the Mold. It's been very interesting to read what life events have shaped my fellow Confabulator's writing, as well.

I haven't been drinking as much wine lately - I was on antibiotics for a week so I couldn't drink at all, and I've been trying to cut back to once a week, so I had to unearth some wine stories from a few years ago for Red Wine Reminiscence this past week. It's a good story, though, about one of my favorite wines: The Chupacabra from Merkin Vineyards.

Hopefully this Friday's post will actually go up on Friday, unlike last week where I accidentally saved it as a draft instead of publishing it. I've been having blogger interruptus lately. I apologize, friends. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Journey Continues: More Rejections, More Practice, and a Book Plug

You remember how I said my first story rejection didn't bother me much? That I just shrugged it off?

Well I've gotten a couple more since then, and each one stings a bit more than the last. For awhile, my stats on Duotrope (the awesome, free website that writers can use to find markets and track their submissions) showed my accept rate as 50%. I had one story rejected, and one story accepted.

I'm at 25% now, because I haven't had any more accepted.

I know I got really lucky (although I like to think my intensive market research paid off, too) getting the second story I ever submitted accepted, but it also spoiled me a bit. I expect better results of myself now.

Although at the same time I'm glad I did get an acceptance, otherwise it's possible I might have gotten discouraged and given up by now.

As it is, I'm still cleaning old stuff up and submitting it, trying to write new stuff, finding backup markets for stuff that's out so I can immediately turn it around when it's rejected, and actually looking into bigger markets. Semi-pro to pro markets.

I'm also getting excited about editing something longer than a short story. I've got a 20k short that I'm going to polish next. I think I'm ready for it.

And after that? Well, practice makes perfect (hah), but more importantly, practice builds confidence.

With each story, I'm getting closer to being ready to tackle my novel.

My goal is to have a novel ready to start querying by the beginning of next year. This has been my year of short stories. It was supposed to be mostly editing, but it's taken me a bit more time to figure out how the heck to do that. I don't see it as much of a setback. I see it more as me having to reassess my goals based on new knowledge.

The editing classes I'm taking starting in September should also help. Hopefully. It'll be interesting to try to write a Nanowrimo novel, where you have to suspend the internal editor, while taking an editing class.

Speaking of Nanowrimo, I was contacted by the public library, and they want to do some programming for NaNo this year! I'm thrilled to death they want to get the word out about it and host some events and write-ins for us. This year is going to be legendary.

I'm getting so excited for Nano, in fact, that I've started buying items for survival kits. Really, that is one of my favorite parts about being ML: putting together kits filled with goodies for the participants. Well, being ML in general is my favorite part, but spoiling my Wrimos is a big part of that. I really do love to share my passion and excitement for writing with everyone.

I just hope I'm able to write a novel this year. I'm still having trouble writing anything longer than a short story. I had planned on giving Camp Nanowrimo another shot this month, but that was an epic misfire. It was a week into August before I even realized it.

But I'm a writer. That's what I do. In November, I write novels. I always get nervous about it, which is usually unfounded. My mind knows what to do. I just have to make the time to do it.

Anyway. It's been a long and twisted path, this road to becoming a published writer. I've always known it would be, but I've found that the twists and turns are less scary as I'm winding through them than when I was looking at them from afar. It doesn't seem as insurmountable now. It's almost like, when I first started this journey, I kept thinking I had to jump across this huge chasm from unpolished writer to published writer. Turns out, it's more like building a bridge. I'm putting a slat down for each step I take.

Although I have to admit, the road has been much easier with R.L. Naquin forging the way ahead of me first and calling back to me along the way, warning me of pitfalls.

Well, and the excitement (and work) of success. Her first novel, Monster in my Closet, came out at the end of last month. You should go buy it if you haven't yet. It's a super fast, fun read. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with all of the characters.

Rachel truly is an inspiration to me. She's part of the reason I've come as far as I have on this journey.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Promo Day Plug - Italian Wine and Breakups

Everything seems to be back on track this week, so here I am for promo day. Check me out at my other internet homes.

At the Confabulator Cafe this week, the question was asked if we've ever quit. If you've ever been a reader of my blog, you know that I have. More than once. I always come back, but usually when I "quit" I'm convinced I'm forever broken. Prospective Writer reminds me that I'm not. I recognize my cycles now: My Break-up/Make-up Cycle, which I address at the Cafe today.

At Red Wine Reminiscence, I review a delicious bottle of Italian wine, which was kind of an impulse buy, but one that totally paid off. This has been one of my favorites so far. I might have to explore more Italian wines. They aparently have the wine reputation they do for a reason! Check it out: Villa Parini - 2010 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

Holy crap, I've had too much coffee today. I seem to be vibrating.

I'm excited because I have a writing date with the Writing Buddy tonight! I'm hoping to get a brand new short story knocked out.

I should be back for my regularly scheduled Friday post this week. Hope to see you then!

Friday, August 3, 2012

No post today

Due to illness, there will be no Friday post this week. I will try to get a wine review up on Red Wine Reminiscence on Sunday if I'm feeling better.

Thanks for stopping by.