Writing Life Updates: March 2022

Life update: As you may know, I started making bread! Here are my baguettes from the past month. I’m proud of them all, even if none are perfect. I actually may continue studying baguettes next month instead of picking a new bread type.

Author Life News

If you haven’t read through the February issue of Fireside Magazine I guess edited, all of the stories are available for free to read over on their website. And the third and final issue I worked on with them is starting to release. It’d mean the world to me if you supported the authors, other editors, and publisher by grabbing a copy or sharing some of the stories. The first story out from the March issue is Lindsay King-Miller’s Since He Came Back —a terrifying read.

And the news just dropped that Fireside is ending their publishing run this year. They’ve been around for ten years now and have contributed so much to the canon and history of speculative fiction that it’ll be missed. I’m so glad I had a chance to work with them before they closed their doors for good. All of the stories will still be available to read online for some time after they release their last issue. So no worries about losing all that great literature just yet.

This is Futurescapes weekend. I’m actually in the keynote currently pulling double time. To prep for the workshop, I’ve been reading the excerpts from my group and gushing over my faculty members (Sarah Guan, Natania Barron, and Christian Heidicker). I’ll be working on my literary science fiction thriller that’s currently out on query. I’m hoping to get some detailed feedback from editors and published authors on ways to improve it or spot some trouble areas in my query.

With the feedback from Futurescapes and the detailed rejections I’ve gotten from other editors, I’ll make some decisions about whether or not I want to knuckle in for another line edit or submit it to more agents as is. I’m on the fence currently because a lot of the feedback I’ve gotten is that the writing and story are strong. But I’ve also seen ways I can make the prose just a little sharper and more refined and add more character and story padding to create a slower, richer, and potentially, more commercial story.

In good news about my book: I’ve gotten a partial request and a pass along to another agent who may be better aligned. For readers who don’t know what a partial request is, it is when an agent asks to see more of a manuscript since during initial queries authors only send the opening and a query letter to entice agents. Well, this agent was enticed and asked to see more. And the other agent complimented my book and writing a lot but said she had too much science fiction on her list. But the agent she passed me onto is another good one; we’ll see how it goes!

She also asked me to send her any horror books I may be writing if I don’t get an agent with this manuscript. And if you’ve been following me, you know I am currently writing a horror book. So, we’ll see how things line up with my science fiction book finding a home or an agent.

I’m teaching a free online Clarion West class and almost all of the seats are taken! It’s wild that so many people are interested in learning about intentions from me. If you’re interested in my secret weapon to success, this is the class where I talk about it.

Grab a seat while there are still a few left! There are currently only 27 spots left, as of right now.

And in other good news, I am in the final rounds of interviews for a couple of dream writing jobs at a tech and game company. It’d be awesome to land them and work with those projects. I can’t say much about them, but I’ll let y’all know next month what’s going on and if I have a new project to celebrate.

I’ve finished a scene-by-scene outline of my horror novella, too! It’ll make the drafting process A LOT easier. And since I’ll be trying to draft the book in a week, I’ll need a solid enough outline to keep me focused on where my story is meant to go. There are only a few last things I need to do before I start writing, like developing my characters and setting just a little bit more. I’m not going to lie, though, I want to jump into writing it right now, but I know I don’t have the space to do it yet.

But two weeks from now, I have the time carved out to work on it a few hours a day for a week. I shouldn’t have to write more than 4,000 words a day on it, which isn’t a lot for me at all. So, I’m psyched to slash through their horror and really let all the horror and work I’ve been doing on my craft over the past few months rage out on the page.

Along with my work on my novella, I’ve gotten to a great point with my nonfiction writing book, and I can put it aside until later in the year or next year when I’m ready to send out proposals for the book. It’s nice to have that project done for now. It’ll open me up to taking on more projects throughout the year like potentially the two projects I’m interviewing for.

Or working on my articles for The Writer, Discover Pods, Lightspeed Magazine, and Writer’s Digest—the first issue with one of my articles in it is available to purchase online or at newsstands. My rewrite for Nightmare Magazine is going well, too, but I still haven’t gotten that yes yet, but I also haven’t gotten a no, so that’s something. And my flash fiction piece for Lightspeed will be out in the May issue, which is exciting. I also sold a novelette to a dream market that I can’t say which or a release date right now, but as soon as I know, I will shout it across the void. And I still have five other stories out at magazines being considered.

All of the recent big wins and losses have instilled in me that I’m on the right track. Not just in general, but also when it comes to the smaller stuff. Like I’m studying syntax this year and have been getting a lot of great feedback on my line-by-line work. I’m a strong writer steadily getting stronger and not plateauing or resting on my strengths.

As part of my syntax study, I’ve been doing copywork of a different published story each month. It’s been great to help me see how other writers make their craft decisions and how to build clearer and stronger lines. This month, I wanted to focus my copywork exercise on an award-winning story or one with high acclaim to try and backtrace the steps to greatness, so to speak. I’ll be retyping “Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell. It’ll be my first time reading and studying the piece, so I’m psyched to dive into Wiswell’s writing.

Thanks for reading about my writing life and all the work I do to keep the lights on in my writing tower. Next week, I’m going to share a bit about what books, shows, games, and movies I’ve been consuming these past couple of weeks.

Stay up to date on where I’m publishing, what I’m working on, and more!

2 thoughts on “Writing Life Updates: March 2022

  1. I like the fact that you’re ‘studying’ breads. And just focusing on one thing is a pretty good way to learn, isn’t it? That was my experience with banana bread when I first started. I just did all possible versions of it to learn more.

    Anyway, great stuff on teaching! I would join, but our timezones don’t intersect too well. Have fun!


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