Looking Back – Another Audit

Now that 2015 is moving forward and we can already see our resolutions splitting apart at the seams, what better time to take a look back at 2014.

Last year I performed my audit of 2013 a month late and this year I’m right on time! Booyah. Small victories.

I still haven’t done the best job of keeping tabs on things, so it’s not the easiest to go back and try to summarize, but it looks as if I wrote 7 stories last year and I submitted 7 stories. Now by the data alone that doesn’t look that great. In 2013 I wrote 27 stories, although not all of them were finished and I submitted 9. I actually feel a lot better about 2014. The stories I wrote last year were longer and more fleshed out. 2013 was a year of flash stories. I also feel that the last few stories I’ve written actually have potential. And it’s pretty cool to actually see it show up in my work. I’ve spent more time revising and rewriting than I did before, probably because I can tell it’s worth trying to improve them. And they’ve all been closer to 10k words than a measly 1k.

I also received my first hold request on a submission and positive comments from the editor despite the work not being right at that time.

Sadly, I’ve not made any progress on the novel. I did run over a few chapters, taking notes and attempted to make some changes and get the story flowing again, but I had another short story pull me away. I think I’m fine with this at the moment. I feel like working on short stories is a good focus for me at the moment and as soon as I get what I’m working on currently finished up I’ll make the novel priority number one while the shorts I’ve polished get bounced around the circuit.

The October Slump hit me pretty hard again. It’s something I really need to keep tabs on and see what’s going on. I’m slowly figuring out my process, what works for me and what doesn’t. And for whatever reason it seems April, May and June are highly productive months for me while Oct-??? aren’t.

My goals this year are again, write everyday (even if it’s only 250 words), submit a story a month, and something, something, something. Pretty sure there was another one. Oh, read more, I have a lot I need to improve on, but I know I’m better than I was last year and that’s at least forward momentum even if the numbers don’t reflect it.

I really feel like 2015 is the year I could become a published writer and I’m excited to see where this year takes me. I’ve got a 10k story waiting for the red pen of my SO, and one I just finished revisions on this weekend that was submitted last night. I obsess too much over my work and my submissions and pretty much everything there is to obsess about. I’m trying to keep focused on tasks so instead of obsessing I stay busy and produce more.

So here’s hoping 2015 is a year of dream fulfillment for us all.

A Pit-Stop in Georgia

I’ve been running this blog for a year now. I’m not extremely happy with how much content I’ve put into it at this point, but just like my writing it’s something I’m figuring out as I go along. Or at least I hope I’m figuring it out.

I submitted a story to Apex Magazine’s microfiction contest Stealing The Spotlight for Halloween. The results came and went and I was not among them. I don’t do much microfiction and she’s a tough beast to slay, so I can’t say I’m particularly surprised I didn’t place. I can’t think of anything else I can possibly do with the story, other than at some point use it as the beginning or concept for another, longer piece. In celebration of a year of blogging I’m going to post it here.

A Pit-Stop in Georgia

I pull into an old country store, the kind with a rusted Coke sign, and gas pumps gone unused since the Carter Administration. Dust still hangs in the air as I step out. I check my appearance in the side mirror and adjust my tie. I ‘m driving a black Lincoln Town Car with dark, tinted windows. I see out. No one sees in.

The store has history. Aged hardwood floors that add an other-worldly atmosphere, like stepping back in time. My bones ache from the drive and I hope a quick pit-stop will give me a boost. A man weathered with age greets me as I enter. “Howdy, stranger. Anything you’re looking for?”

“Afternoon. Just stretching my legs. I admired your store so I wanted to take a look.”

He tells me the history of the place, how his wife died a few years back, and what his kids are doing down in the big city. Despite his age his eyes are youthful and innocent. Reflections of his soul. He meets the gaze of my dead, soulless eyes. I see out. No one sees in.

I brush his hand with mine. His eyes reflect unyielding pain. It’s my gift. I suck in the last breath of his soul and head to my car with energy for the rest of my trip. A pit-stop was just what I needed.

Out of the Forest and Into the Clearing

I feel like I’ve finally busted out of my slump. I finished up two stories earlier this week and feel pretty good about them. I’ve polished one up and sent it out for publication. And I’m confident the story will get published, I just need to find the right market for it.  I’m going to be working on the second story and getting it out shortly and hopefully use this momentum to push forward into more uncharted territory.

Now I just have to pull away from the short stories and get back in novel mode. *Fingers Crossed*