Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strange Men

My signed copy (I love collecting signed copies) of Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits arrived yesterday! (Thanks Cate)

As did a number of other, unsigned, things clamouring to be read. I've taken to reading in the car as I wait for my little one to come out of school. I get there with just enough time to read one standard-length short story/day. I have just about run out of space on my 'waiting-to-be-read-shelf' which now has books piled from top to bottom and front to back - it is utterly ridiculous.

I think all of my subscriptions have now finally run out. Yes, authors who want to be published in small press markets should support them (and read the type of stories they publish), but I've built up a massive backlog, and I'm not currently seeking to be published, so my money goes elsewhere (Tyarna is loving her horse riding lessons).

When I can afford it, I may still purchase the occasional release, such as the above example, but they will have to be fewer and much further between dips into the wallet. Life is what it is. I suppose making offers to personally sign a copy could entice me...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Little Surprising Reminders

I'm not writing at the moment. I'm reading The Blackness Within anthology very slowly (and enjoying it very much - becoming more and more honoured to have been included as I read the other contributor's stories).

I still have opinions on the things I read. I still go through them with a critical eye.

A friend sent me a story to critique hoping I was still around to do so. Unfortunately, I'm not online very much at the moment so I missed the request until after the due date. I still read it and passed back my congratulations on an excellently put together piece and a couple of little comments on things I might have considered changing if they require any additional edits in the future.

I was surprised at how easy it was to slip back into that thought process. I was surprised at how quickly I picked up plot devices in the story and could whittle them back to reveal their origins in stories long gone (this one was from Greek mythology no less).

The skills in the Craft don't disappear. They may lie dormant, and they will need honing once more if ever dragged out into the light of day, but writer's aren't made - they are born. Good writer's are those who take that latent talent and nurture it into something great - continually. Nothing will improve a writer's skills more than putting words on a page. Other things will help, but nothing as much as putting your bum in the chair and actually writing.

One day I will return to the fold, but I'm pretty confident I will do it all differently when I do. I'm also confident that day is a way off. Maybe I'll wait and see if the doom-sayers are right about 2012, or maybe I'll wait until I retire, or maybe I'll win lotto, but I know what I want to do when I sit down to write again, at least I know how I want to do it, and I have some ideas for what I'll be playing with - but all that is for another time.

For now, I'm happy to sit and read, or to offer opinion on a piece for a friend if asked (and given enough notice).

Good luck with your submissions.