stories, tales, and stuff issue #3: still naked and wanting
his face now contains a foam mustache
(Housekeeping: if you filter newsletters, the new address is storiestalesandstuff not lisawritesstories. I’m submitting work under a pseudonym as well as my government name and need the website and mailing list to be generically named. Sorry for any confusion or inconvenience.)
It’s late Friday night, soon to be Saturday, and I am submitting work all over the place. I am going through old stories I have written and organized in a digital binder. Some were decent, others were really good, a few needed a lot of work. I feel confident about the work I have submitted. The impatient part is that turn around can be up to three months across various publications. Some do allow simultaneous submissions which means they agree that you can submit the piece at more than one pub at the same time.
Which, thank fucking god, who has time for that shit?
I’m submitting my work to such places because somewhere, someone must want me. Pay is either nothing or token. Right now, I just want to bump up my publication website.
Submitting work is like applying for job. Your pieces must be formatted just so and you often have to include a cover letter and always a bio and maybe a picture. I have two pictures I rotate through, both several years old. Soon, I will have to take a new picture. I’m not looking forward to that until my weight stabilizes.
My bio is a cut and paste from my website.
I have four bios on my website’s landing page. They go from 13 words (shortest) to 201 words (long). Each publication has different requirements and I like to be prepared.
(Last week I talked about nom de plumes and one of them has their own bio. It’s a riff on my “real” life in that it’s all true just not the name “lisa rabey.”)
It’s annoying as fuck doing all this leg work. I just want to write, give them the piece, with my information of course, and be done with it. No, I must read, re-read, scrutinize, and check to make sure my I’s are dotted and my t’s are crossed.
Like I said, annoying. But the payoff of being accepted is oh so worth it.
In my internet wanderings, I came across a short story writer who was published numerous times a month and all over the place. I bookmarked her page and started cross-referencing where she is published to see if I could submit my own work at that publication.
Then I realised she was pulling all of the journals, mags, reviews, and etc from Duotrope. I’ve unbookmarked her page and started trolling through Duotrope myself.
I’m a newsletter slut, as you well know, and I’ve started signing up for various author’s and pubs newsletters if their work strikes me or I’m interested in their genre. Right now, I’m signed up for romance, mysteries, and intriguing flash fiction. I’m afeared of what my inbox is going to look like once these newsletters come rolling in. It’s fine. I’ll set up filters and funnel them to a special label in Gmail.
It'll be fine.
I joined a few organizations: Romance Writers of America (and a few of their sub orgs such as one on historical romance) and Sisters in Crime, dedicated to women who write all types of mysteries and thrillers. (Dudes show up on the SinC mailing lists which I want to question but I’m new and do not want to rock the boat.) Both are due paying orgs which is fine. I will note that RWA is not cheap; it’s more than my librarian yearly dues.
SinC have loads of their own subgroups such as one on short stories and cozy mysteries which are both up my alley. Between the two orgs, and their sub orgs, I’ve been signing up for classes, mailing lists, and watching videos on how to hone my craft.
(Poor Aubrey. She’s yelling at me in my head to get back to her story but I need more time to get her fattened up with her backstory. I’m also on the hot take of my short fiction tonight so that has taken precedence. Don’t worry, Aubs (I know you hate that nickname), I’ll get back to you soon.)
I haven’t even gotten a manuscript ready to rock and I’m joining all these groups and taking all these classes.This may seem a bit premature. Oh contraire! This is exactly what I need to be doing along with the writing. It’s all about networking and education. Let me tell you, dropping $25 here and $50 there to take a class is hella lot cheaper than getting an MFA.
A girl has got to eat.
But here’s the thing about a lot of lit/reviews/mags/journals: not all of the them and have mailing lists or even RSS feeds. How do you expect me to read the work you publish? Don’t you know no one goes to websites anymore? It’s all newsletter based. If you can’t share your work with the world, then why should I submit?
Also, the high falutin lit mags can go fuck themselves. One dropped a few French philosphers names along with Austrian doctors from ye olden days. Who are these people? Have you heard of this person? Probably not.
I’m very much in the land of Bukowski and Hemingway. You can say so much more with so much less in plain language.
Fuck those pretentious assholes.
When you read this, I’ve sent in pieces to nearly twenty publications. Like I said, I hope someone loves me enough to publish me. One is a contest and I have three rejections. Tuesday night I updated info on my submissions on when to contact the publishers for updates. Most were two to three months. Oi.
I’ve renamed this section to Snippets because that is what it is. Obvious, isn’t it? Friday night I started editing some of my work and I’ve included a paragraph from two short stories and my book. I have so much to share so I had to trim back how much I could share. I hope you enjoy.
From Aubrey Jones Gets a Life, chapter one:
But in my dreams, I want to give it all up and move somewhere. A place where my tether to the texting, sexting, and everything in-between is merciful low. Enough to let my family, and the occasional friend, that I’m okay. I’m alive. I’m not holed up in the mountains of Montana writing my manifesto and living off the grid.
If I’m moving somewhere there will be no snow. It’ll be 75 every day with light breezes at night. Maybe then I would get a dog. Maybe even a cat to rule the dog.
From the short story, swallowing consonants:
I, again there you are, could pull from otherworldly sources and pretend I am witch or wizard and add a lady or a flower or a bird to my new found name — still naked and wanting — or combine all two or three so I could be lady flower bird and the name will become me, my old name, now half-digested, is truly no longer me and soon, it will pass through me where it will finally be erased.
From the short story, motherly advice:
She signals the bartender for her check and fumbles for her wallet, pauses, and attempts to extract the bills a bit more gracefully. She waits for the young stud to pay but when he doesn’t move, she swallows the last of her whisky sour and puts the tumbler on top of the bills.