As the title states, I’ve been very busy lately, what with work, and the holidays, and many overlapping writing projects. Over Christmas I was alternative between two different submissions: one for SCWC San Diego (I enjoyed the previous conference in Irvine so much that I signed up immediately), and one for FogCon, which I’d honestly never heard of until a special someone gifted me with the registration free. (What an amazing gift! On a scale of used socks to a sprawling mansion in Hawaii, I’d say a visit to a writing conference is pretty high up there.)
For SCWC I submitted the first chapter of my novel. It’s only for feedback, but honestly, what could possibly be more valuable? Especially if it’s feedback from someone in the industry. Unfortunately, last time around, I chose my reader poorly. I suppose I misunderstood her preferred genres, and she was very short with me. It wasn’t as helpful as it could have been, but it was a learning experience.
For FogCon, I finished up a piece I’d started about two years ago, about a man who lays an egg. I hesitated a long time before choosing to go with this piece, because the inciting incident is a bowel movement, which, understandably, may put people off. But then I realized I was free to begin the story with a disclaimer, and with that addition, all my apprehension melted away. Besides, not to hit my own xylophone, it’s a pretty great little piece.
Another fantastic development since SCWC Irvine is that I’m not part of a monthly writer’s group, which is so valuable! I was part of many online groups before, but unfortunately, those groups are rampant with trolls. I still browse them for general advice, and a few of them are quite helpful little communities, but there’s nothing like sharing work with people who are familiar with your style. We’ve met twice already. It’s in Walnut Creek, so not exactly next door, but it’s worth the trek, and we also have an online component where we can share resources and conduct swaps in the meantime.
Here’s yet another piece of exciting news (for me, anyway!)… I have a beta reader! I realize this may not sound like a big deal, but I’m extremely wary of sharing my work with strangers over the internet, since I have a friend who had a terrible experience with plagiarism. Call me paranoid, but it does happen! Luckily, my beta reader is not a stranger, but yet another writer I met at SCWC. She writes YA fantasy, and we’re doing a chapter-by-chapter swap. I was encouraged to reach out to her because she seemed to really enjoy my first chapter, which I shared at one of the workshops at the conference. (That chapter, by the way, is now completely unrecognizable, but it still contains the same spark.) She said my character was “100% sass,” which to me is the highest of compliments, and shall one day be engraved onto my tombstone. (Side note… I’ve just done a quick google search, and there does not appear to be a relationship between the etymology of “grave”, as in tomb, and “engrave”. Just a coincidence, apparently, but I thought it might have been worth the digression.)
Finally, I’m still waiting to hear back from the publication that accepted my piece, The Other Face, several months ago. I understand that people in the industry often take their time, but I was told the piece would be published in January, and we’re nearing the end of the month. I’m hoping to hear from them soon.
Thus concludes my list. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must continue being busy elsewhere. ❤