2013 in Review(s)

2013 has been an excellent year for me, writing-wise.  I’ve sold more stories this year than the last three put together.  I’ve learned how to finish stories faster, instead of letting them linger for months in the second-draft stage.  I’ve cracked some new markets—really aspirational ones, too.

I have also had at least one entire month go by without writing at all, and I’ve failed to make any progress on Draft 2 of my second novel, although I did cap off Draft 1 in an awesome two-week binge last winter.  I continue to spend too much time looking around the internet for mentions of my work, time that I should spend honing my craft and reading others’ stories instead.  I have a lot to learn about this business.  Each hill I crest shows me a wider landscape to map.

I’m pretty proud of my 2013 output though.  Here are the new stories of mine that came out this year:

“The God-Seed” (Crossed Genres, July)
Walking up Genesee Road in the country dark, I thought I was seeing the northern lights.  Rose-coloured streaks, twisting upward, half-obscured stars on the far side.  I stopped and threw my head back to look.  Then I smelled smoke and I knew.
My parents’ house was burning.

“…an odd little beasty, very understated in its magic, but its beauty lives in that understatement”–A.J. Fitzwater, Pickled Think

“Haunts” (Interzone, November)
The chirurgeon’s knife severs my little finger from my palm, just above the mount of Mercury.
“You are permitted to look away,” the chirurgeon comments.
I shrug the shoulder that isn’t locked down, and keep watching.  The knife, obsidian, joints me like I’m a bird.

“A portrait of extreme devotion to a craft, to a cause. Nice details of the duelists’ milieu.”–Lois Tilton, Locus

“Your Figure Will Assume Beautiful Outlines” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, November)
I spent every day of my first decadi in Savaurac staring at the likeness of a girl on a notice for corsets. I figured she was long dead of the clap, or maybe she only ever lived in some garret artist’s absinthe-blind eye…
“…an unusual story of strength and weakness, of the stupidity of the law, and of love.”–Terry Weyna, Fantasy Literature

More of 2013 in numbers:
New stories published: 3
Podcasts: 2
Reprints published in anthologies: 2
Submissions: 36
Rejections: 24
New sales to pro markets: 6
Reprint sales: 2

–I am now being solicited for anthologies—five requests this year already! I love this kind of writing, so far—it’s challenging and fun to find the right overlap between a “me” story and the requested theme, and it’s also very motivating to work toward a deadline.  The first of these requested stories was successfully sold, and releases early in 2014.  I hope these requests keep coming (hi, editors!).
–A couple of my stories have been illustrated.  The first of these, “Haunts”, shows a beautiful, grim, spot-on portrait of the protagonist (posted here a couple of months ago).  I haven’t seen the newest one yet (it’s for a story that hasn’t been publicly announced) and I can’t wait.

Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year, if you celebrate it, and a rich, productive, fascinating January.

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