Writing Life Updates: April 2022

Life update: I continued making baguettes until I finally landed on a recipe and process that I’m proud of. Don’t they look great? For people who don’t know bread, the baguettes are the first picture on the left. April’s recipe I’m studying and learning is Japenese Milk Bread—the other three pictures.

Author Life News

All of the issues I guess edited for Fireside Fiction have come out. Each story is available to read for free online over at their website. You can also buy copies of the magazines (January 2022, February 2022, and March 2022). If you haven’t read any of the stories or poems yet, you really should. It’s some of the best editing work I’ve been a part of, and each of the stories is its own odd, touching, and dark experience.

A few of my favorites, if you have the chance to read any, in no particular order:

It was tough to whittle down that list because I loved all the stories I worked on and chose. Each one is really great.

I also had a new piece I edited for Strange Horizons drop a week or so back, What Anger Builds and Breaks by Devin Miller. It’s a great touching piece about found family, love, and grief. While it’s a challenge working as an editor with SH, it’s also wildly rewarding to find a piece like Miller’s and work on it closely with the author to become a better story. There’s nothing quite like it.

Futurescapes also happened! It was fun, and I’m glad I did it, but I won’t be going back to it. I learned a lot about my manuscript and received great feedback on my query and the excerpt I shared. Ultimately, though, what I was looking for was something a bit more in-depth and engaging, but due to Futurescapes’ set up all of my meetings felt rushed and a bit impersonal.

It did help me see that my manuscript is in good condition and that it leans more toward the literary than I realized. I’ll continue querying it out to agents without doing a major overhaul this year. There are a couple agents still with partials (half the manuscript) and are considering it, and it’s still out with a few publishers who won’t get through their slush pile for another few months. I plan on sending out another batch this month and again in June. If I get no takers from those query waves, I’ll take it off query in July and let it rest until next year. Then I’ll revisit it and assess what it needs to find a home. But based on everyone’s feedback, it might sell better as a commercial novel instead of a literary one.

The biggest highlight of last month was my sold out Intentions for Writers class with Clarion West. It went amazing. I had so much fun, and it was way less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be. The team over at Clarion West was really helpful and made me feel comfortable throughout the whole process. And I know that may sound like a paid ad, but seriously, I thought I would be nervous, but just working with them and talking through my class made me feel calm.

I’m also excited to continue meeting and getting to know the authors who attended—people are still sending me emails about the course! I have a couple more free webinars scheduled for May around my other classes, but I’ll be hosting those myself. For anyone interested in information about that, head over to my website for writers and subscribe for updates.

If you’ve been reading my past few updates, you know I’ve been interviewing for some dream jobs. Well, your girl landed one of them and is still in talks with locking down a contract with a game publisher to write one of their next titles. Due to the new job, I stepped down as associate editor for Nightlight. I also won’t be writing for Discover Pods anymore after this month. My writing focus will center on my job with 2Barrels, my own fiction projects, my editing work with Strange Horizons, and my columns for Lightspeed Magazine and Tor Nightfire. I’ll be pulling back from writing and pitching as many freelance articles. However, I’ll still probably continue pitching to Writer’s Digest and The Writer in hopes of locking down a column and working relationship with one or maybe even both of them.

I finished my horror novella! If you haven’t already read the blog post about my experience, check it out! I finished it exactly in the amount of time I had carved out. It was a great experience, and I think I have the story I wanted to tell on the page just waiting for me to fine-tune it. Which I will do this month! My plan is to have the book edited and ready for submitting or querying by July (when I take my other project off query). I, of course, have a plan of attack ready—the first step, re-read the manuscript. I’ll do that this weekend or next week before work.

Over the past few months, I had a few stories being considered by various magazines. As of today, all of those stories were rejected, even those I was working on with editors. So it goes. I still have many stories coming out in places like Lightspeed Magazine, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and a few other places. And, of course, there are the pieces I’m still editing, and the ones that were rejected are going right back out there because I know they aren’t bad, just not suitable for those markets.

*Deep sigh* April is my final month of syntax study before moving on to studying voice until September. I’ve decided to close out my month by focusing only on performing syntax exercises and tackling issues in my line work that I know I struggle with, like clarifying information and my sentence structures. I tend to go on for a while when writing sentences. A part of that study will be taking apart March’s copywork story, John Wiswell’s Open House on Haunted Hill. Last month, I studied it and typed it out, but this month, I’ll be focusing on how it does what it does on the line-by-line level.

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 will share a bit about what books, shows, games, and movies I’ve been consuming these past couple of weeks. Any questions about my writing life are welcome! Please drop a comment and say hey.

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

2 thoughts on “Writing Life Updates: April 2022

  1. Yooo look at you! Your bread-making seems to be improving by leaps and bounds. I’ve been sending out a few short stories here and there, but maybe I should take inspiration from you and send pieces to bigger magazines without waiting for a call for entry. Thanks for this post!

    Like

    1. Thank you! I definitely owe it all to my method of studying through baking, videos, recipes, and asking questions to help me grow as a bread baker. Yeah, never wait for a ‘call for entry’ because they only come after you’ve been publishing and showing your skill for YEARS at a high quality. I shot for the bigger/well-known magazines because I’ve studied them and know my work is good enough. Once I started publishing in them, I got those requests to submit, edit, or write for other magazines. Study the places you want to publish in and learn how to write in their style and recognize what types of stories they prefer to publish.

      Thanks for always being a reader!

      Like

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