Slight delay . . .

FYI: Still plan to have the cozy mystery finished by the 15th. The e-book may be available by then. The print version will probably be another week or so behind.

Recent comments I’ve made on Twitter or Facebook, which is where I usually do my brief updates and one-liners:

. . . I think I’ve found my writing motivation!

A client just e-mailed to ask if I can start work on a proofreading project early.

Boy just asked me who Baba Yaga is. So I gave him an abbreviated (and possibly not completely accurate, as I said “Russian” rather than “Slavic”) version, then (being me) went to YouTube and pulled up Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Oooooh. I discovered today that AQS [American Quilter’s Society] takes fiction submissions. “Whether they are mysteries, romances, or humorous tales, books that show how much quilts mean in the lives of others speak to quilters everywhere, and AQS strives to produce the best of these.” (They’re not interested in quilts in science fiction or fantasy, however.)

So how’s your Wednesday treating you?

Time to recharge

I have workaholic tendencies. When I have a job to do and a deadline, I’m perfectly willing to work through the weekends to make sure I beat the deadline. I want to be doing something.

(This is also evidenced by the fact that when watching a movie on DVD or watching my husband or son play on the XBox, I want my hands to be busy doing something — knitting, crocheting, mending, something. That’s not as antisocial, however, as ignoring my family and staring at the computer or a stack of proofs or galleys all weekend long.)

However, I know I actually work better and am in a better mood if I’m not trying to work all the time. So when my friend Nicki arranged a get-together for local WriMos this weekend, I knew I should go, even though it always feels like work to go somewhere.

And I went. And I had a great time and laughed and talked and remembered that I enjoy spending time with people. Oh, and got a fun idea for a NaNo novel — NaNoWriMo fanfic.

Which means that this Monday, I’m grateful for friends, for time to relax, and especially for Nicki, who has done a wonderful job as Municipal Liaison.

What are you grateful for today?

Deadlines and me

In my freelance work, deadlines are a fact of life. Every project comes with one, and I know exactly how much time I have to complete the work.

For that reason, I’ve always liked themed anthologies and contests: I know how much time I have to write the story and, generally, how long it should be. NaNoWriMo also comes with a very specific, built-in deadline, and I’ve participated every year since 2003. Blogging deadlines work for me, too — my Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour post on the second of every month, and the A to Z Blog Challenge.

Do you notice something that all of these have in common? They’re externally created. When I read Alex’s post yesterday (Deadlines? Deadlines? What are deadlines?), I agreed totally. Self-imposed deadlines are a pain in the neck, and there are no consequences to letting them slip.

What I’m finding useful this year, though, is combining self-imposed deadlines with external expectations. I’ve promised to have something new up for sale every month, and because I know people are waiting (even if it is just a handful of people right now), I make sure I get something done. Note the generic “something” here — that’s key. I’m not committing myself to any particular story or novel getting done and posted in a given month. Eventually, I’ll probably have to do that as I build an audience and they expect reliability. Right now, it’s just focus on getting things done and building that audience.

What do you find helpful to meet your goals, writing or otherwise?

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “Deadlines: Love’em or hate’em?”– May’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The next post in the tour will be on the 4th, by D. M. Bonanno. Be sure to check it out.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!

S is for submission opportunities

Speaking of opportunities, here are some currently open anthologies (paying pro rates) to look at:

Bloody Fabulous, edited by Ekaterina Sedia. Prime Books. Urban fantasy, focused on fashion. 1,000-7,500 words preferred; December 1st deadline. Pay is 5 cents per word. For more on what she doesn’t want, see this.

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, edited by Warren Lapine. Wilder Publications. No word length restrictions, but he does discourage shorter stories. No theme, no specific requests for genre, other than it be genre — “the entire science fiction, fantasy, and horror spectrum.” Closed when filled. Pay is 10 cents per word to a max of $250.

Sword & Sorceress 26, edited by Elisabeth Waters. Norilana Books. Fantasy with strong female characters. Just opened to submissions last Saturday. Up to 9,000 words; May 13 deadline. Pay is 5 cents per word as advance against royalties. Pay attention to the formatting requirements.

Not a pro-paying market, but also worth looking at:

Warrior Wisewoman 4, edited by Roby James. Norilana Books. Science fiction featuring strong women characters. Up to 10,00 words; July 31 deadline. Pay is 2 cents per word.

Good luck to anyone submitting stories, and as always, thanks for stopping by and reading!

Coming up in December

snowy treeThis week — tomorrow, in fact — my drabble “Heartbeat” will be e-mailed out by Daily Science Fiction. A week later, it’ll go up on their Website. If you haven’t subscribed to their e-mails yet, why on Earth not?

Deadlines approaching:
Bewere the Night, edited by Ekaterina Skedia, has a December 31st deadline, but she urges earlier submission if possible.

Quarterly deadline for Writers of the Future contest is also December 31st. My friend D. M. Bonanno recently became a semifinalist. Who’s next?