Monday, June 23, 2008

Crashed, Burned and a Big Rant

Four days since my last post! Sorry about that. I have no real excuses either.

I've been reading a lot. My review for Alex Bell's The Ninth Circle is here. I'm about halfway through reading Dark Animus 10/11. I hope to have that review up in the next day or so. I must say that to this point, I'm very impressed.

I worked late Friday night and again yesterday which is part of the reason I haven't blogged or done a lot in my writing, but things are in a state of flux anyway so there's not a huge amount to report on.

I received a response back from PARSEC. I didn't make the cut to the final 21 let alone manage what my friend Amy Treadwell did. I am happy to announce that Amy scooped the pool in this years contest winning the first and second prize. I'm also happy to announce that Amy is my mystery critiquer known as The Teacher. Until these results were made public, I didn't want to go rocking the boat, but as Amy has put news of her win on her website and I've officially received news, then there can't be any harm. Congratulations Amy!

So The Winged Shepherd of Innocence crashed and burned. It was a piece of dark fiction that received comments like "the story had a downward arc". They were looking for positives and yet it is a story of a downward spiral. It is dark fiction. Yes, the punctuation wasn't good and there were some typos I missed in the rush to get it out, but in the end, the organisers of the contest are looking for feel good stories with a happy ending. Not an easy thing to achieve in dark fiction. An important thing to remember for future attempts at the contest. Yes, I will be entering again next year.

Winged Shepherd was an expected casualty due to the rush in trying to get it ready. So It's already been revised (although it still doesn't have an uplifting tilt on the story). I'm doing a final polish and it shall go back out to market - a dark fiction market this time.

I downloaded yWriter4 last night. This is created by Simon Haynes, an Australian who is also behind the Hal Spacejock books. I began by looking for a word frequency counter. I couldn't find a free one and then discovered yWriter has one inbuilt. It has plenty of other benefits as well. So I've transferred Tigers Eye into it as well as Voodoo.

Now this has all the hallmarks of great procrastination. I get to play with some new software, spend copious amounts of time doing character profiles, scene descriptions, plot explanations, etc, etc.

But it is also something I need to do. I need to get back in touch with the world and characters I created in Tigers Eye. It is very foreign to me at the moment. Setting Voodoo up will be much easier as I've only written two chapters in that one.

I'm going to continue working through my back log of shorts while doing this. No great rush though. I'm going to take down the progress meter for Tigers Eye because I don't know when I'll get truly stuck into it, and seeing the continual lack of progress is simply depressing. I will work on Tigers Eye and Voodoo in the background. The diploma is the number one focus. I enjoy writing short stories so I'll continue with them. Besides EULA needs to find a home. :)

This sounds like I'm going back on decisions I've made and breaking promises I've made to myself and announced here on the blog. I sound very much like the weak willed, wishy-washy, useless, insignificant little turds, I cant stand to be around. Guilty as charged :(

This is the frame of mind I'm currently in. I've worked hard over the last six months to firstly, get back into writing at all (there was a time there where I almost gave it away), and secondly to get seven short stories (three of them new) to the point where they are ready for market or contest submission.

On top of that I've completed my first semester in academia for over 20 years and performed quite well, receiving credits in both first modules. I've also continued to provide reviews for HorrorScope and worked on articles for SA50s+.

If can gain some short fiction sales during the remainder of this year, then my writing has taken a step forward from last year. I know my writing has improved, i.e. the technical aspects of my writing has improved, but I only made three professional sales last year--and I didn't get paid for one of them (Antipodean SF), and the other two weren't short stories.

I had two erotic shorts accepted into an anthology, but that's not due out till next year. That may yet fall through so I'm not counting those.

I do ramble when I get started, don't I?

Bottom line is: I'm still writing and I'm still growing in my ability to use the craft. The business side of writing is still a long way from providing me with an income. The enjoyment is still there. The feeling of writing something good is still a rush (even if I think it's crap six months later).

I'm not going away, I'm not downgrading my dreams and goals. I am extending my deadlines though. I work for a living and will have to keep doing so for sometime to come. Writing will probably never support my family on its own.

However, I do say probably, not definitely.

I will continue to write, regardless. I will continue to submit, regardless. I will continue to work on the "great Australian novel", regardless. I will complete, and pass well, my diploma, regardless. I will continue to expand my freelance writing and find new avenues to get paid for it, regardless.

Regardless of what? Regardless of what life may throw at me, regardless of the ups and downs in self esteem, regardless of publications credits that may or may not come, regardless of perceived success or lack thereof.

I'm a writer...and writers' write.


  1. Oh, the downward slopes of the writing rollercoaster can really bite, huh? I'm reading and cheering for you - hang in there, the upward climb (and all the possibilities inherent therein) will inevitably begin again very soon - as long as you stay on the rollercoaster.

  2. Thanks for the encouraging comment Felicity. Means a lot.