mer: (Not Amused (Bones))
Things that are ridiculously disheartening--

From my control panel in Duotrope:

Pending responses for last 12 months: 4 (Subscribe to a RSS feed Special RSS Feed of your Pending Submissions) BETA
Submissions sent last 12 months: 14
Submissions sent this month: 3
Acceptance ratio for the past 12 months: 30.77 %
Note: Your acceptance-rejection ratio is significantly higher than the average for users who have submitted to the same markets. Please report all your rejections as well as your acceptances. Your submission reports will be discounted by the system until your submission patterns fall within normal limits.


WTF?

I've not under-reported a single rejection or submission.

I understand wanting to filter out bad data, but c'mon. I'm hardly burning up the world here with my 30% success rate, and while it is flukey, there are other legit folks who have 30% years, I'm quite certain.

I'm gonna have to write a ranty message to the Duotrope folks, I'm afraid, because I really don't need to be chastised for the truth. It's a great service. I donate to it, even.

What kind of message is that, anyway? That there's a level of success that's believable, but anything more than that, you're not a real writer? Uhm...

Look, I sold two stories last year--one new one to a great market, one reprint to a great reprint market. But this is hardly the stuff of pathological lies. For my troubles, I got 10 rejections and a dead market (and one pending response), and yes, that is a pretty fantastic rate of return, but I also made a whopping $260 on that, so come on. It's not like I'm faking acceptances from the New Yorker while secretly filing all my rejections in Peru--or insert your own strangely difficult to render politician sex scandal joke here--, and it's certainly not like I'm not reporting my rejections. There are some stories I have sold on the first time out. There are many more that I have never sold. The data backs all of that up.

What's the writing world really about if even my tiny modicum of success is considered a fabulistic outlier?
mer: (Alice in Wonderland)
Public Domain Curator at Anthology Builder

Okay, Nancy Fulda announced this yesterday, so I will share it here now, too: I'm the new (and first) Public Domain Curator for Anthology Builder.

I've loved Anthology Builder since the moment I first heard of the concept, and have been happily shuttling my stories over there in exchange for the glee of building custom anthologies (and, of course, for my share of the 10%(ish) author royalties that get split amongst each anthology's authors).

I'll be selecting public domain works to include on the site, and building anthologies, and generally having a good old time over there. And if there's an older story you've been hoping to find on the site, do let me know--I suspect Nancy will build me a suggestion form some day, but until then, I still have email and whatnot.

Have I finally found a hobby?

On a more mundane plane, I got my birthday present from my husband last night, which is a pretty sweet little photo scanner that also does negative and slide scanning. So, all my pre-digital photographic adventures will be coming to a Flickr account near you... slowly, of course. I scanned three strips o' negative last night, and only uploaded three pictures of Poitiers. I'm... pondering color correction and things like that. From a less useful angle, I'm also pondering the interesting textures from film that seem missing from digital--am I crazy? Am I sane? Who knows. And finally, I'm pondering the awesomeness that will be the uploading of all my college photography efforts. Oh, my secret artsyfartsyness, you will soon be revealed to all.

The question after THAT, of course, is... what if I did make my own dark room and develop my own negatives again? I could (theoretically) avoid the expenses of paper and enlargers by skipping that and just developing film to scan, and thus live in some crazy hybrid film/digital world. I'm not sure what the value would be, but I do keep saying that I need a hobby. This would actually be less expensive than replacing my film SLRs with digital, and I could explore that texture stuff I've been pondering. And plus... Ansel Adams wrote a whole damn book about negatives. There's something there. ;)

Novel rewrite

I'm having some very circular thoughts. There is a tiny but important piece of story logic that is missing from my novel, and my agent has offered suggestions--good ones--to nudge me into the right direction, and she's certainly right that I need to address it, but my brain is just running full-tilt around the mulberry bush and never finding the damn weasel.

If this were my dayjob, I'd send Outlook invites to a meeting and make people brainstorm with me on large pieces of paper.

Are writers allowed to do that?

Actually, I sort of think I need to ask [livejournal.com profile] iuliamentis and [livejournal.com profile] vidensadastra to read the book and then get them very drunk and see what comes out of them. Unfortunately, they're not coming to Penguicon. Hrm. I may be jaunting off to Chicago sooner than I thought... Of course, the workshop is coming fast, and maybe I can pick the workshoppers' brains hard while I'm there.

The rest of the rewrite, I can handle easily. Most of it is very minor stuff that I have figured out how to solve with a sentence dropped in here, a paragraph there. There is one largeish (10,000 words) section that needs a thorough rewrite, pretty much ground up. But not bad, overall.

Agent hunt

I'm supposed to be done with agent hunting, right? And I technically am. Except that, while my first three queries yielded me an offer of representation--they also yielded two rejections. And hey, my response to my first rejection was to send out six more queries! And I've since gotten two rejections, and two requests for partials. And one of the partial requests came in the snail, and I have to snail back my regrets letter. And who knows what the last two responses will be? Anyway. I'm not done, in other words.

When I am fully, finally done--is there anyone out there agent-hunting (or about to be) who would find it useful for me to perform a post-mortem on the hunt? Or is that just... annoying?

Being Erica

Am I the only person watching this show? I really love it. I know it's already aired in Canada, and it's being aired on the semi-obscure Soap Network in the US, but for serious, it's a good show, it passes the Bechdel test all over the place, and to me, it reads like an excellent take down of chick lit. You have a quirky heroine who actually accepts that her choices have led her to where she is, and instead of Bridget Jonesing her way through life, tries to come to terms with her past, owns and apologizes for her mistakes, and otherwise recognizes that one's 30s are actually a pretty good time to grow the hell up. (Not that I don't love Bridget Jones; I'm just very weary of all that has come after it. Bigly weary.) Plus, there's a time travel component. Which is always going to sell me.

So. Yes? Am I the only one watching?

April 2015

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