January 2015 Update

January is over! Time for another monthly update! Oh boy? Gather round, kids, and let me tell you about REVISING.

First off, I’m excited for my first publication coming out a month from today. Fictionvale Ep. 6 due March 1st!

But wait, what about last month? A month of editing, that’s what.

1) Another round of edits on “The Wind and the Spark” for Fictionvale. So excited! My first publication is coming out a month from today!

2) “Weights and Measures” (banker-priestess fantasy) got a disheartening rejection. My favorite piece, back from most suitable market, with personal comments criticising a totally minor issue. Bah! I touched it up and sent it out to Writers of the Future, where it will destroy all opposition.

3) “Machines in Motion” (steampunk engineer character piece) got some good feedback from fellow writers, then off to the 2015 James White Award. I am super-excited about this one. Last year I made the JWA shortlist with a different piece in the same setting, let’s see if I can do even better this time!

4) “Custom Made” (Lovecraftian humor flash fiction) off to F&SF, after one minor but critical tweak. A skill I am working on improving: signaling the story’s mood and theme. In another week or two I’ll know whether I got it right!

5) “The Coin of Leadership” (steampunk military adventure) I just relaunched to Intergalactic Medicine Show tonight. Very satisfying to reread a piece and not find any major flaws with it. This one isn’t earth-shattering, but he’s definitely solid and exciting.

6) “Shiplight” (political science fiction) got some good help from a new beta-reading friend, and now off to Crossed Genres.

Accomplishments! Productivity! Woo! Now I’m digging back into my VP submission story (conquistador dragon story, name currently in flux), looking at feedback people sent me in late December. There’s one paragraph that multiple beta-readers loved, so in my unseemly pride, I want to share it with all of you:

“A new scent spread through the palace. Still the rich earthy spice of sandalwood, but now sharp and bitter. Not wood, but smoke. When the dragons [with muskets] met a squad of guards, the smell gained the sulfurous bite of powder, and then the coppery foulness of fresh death. Human blood and dragon blood shared the same reek, but this was all human.”

Happy winter, everyone!

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