It's not been a bad start to the new year. Even at the tail end of last year, I got notification of a few short-listings and at least one acceptance. The acceptance is for a short that I wrote three years ago, and have been shopping ever since. Take this as a cautionary tale that publishing can move slowly. Even more so if you're particular about where exactly you want to place your work. FYI, I've not long signed the paperwork for that piece - which is actually due out later this year.
Back to the matter. Among other things, I got wind of a challenge from This Is Horror, a site and podcast dealing in horror fiction. There I was listening to the J Daniel Stone podcast. An excellent, albeit lengthy podcast - if memory serves, Part 1 and Part 2 were about an hour each. Anyhow. I sat through Part 1, thoroughly entertained, and at the end I hear an announcement for a challenge. Authors were invited to step up for a challenge to write 52 stories in a year. I thought, sure, I could be one of those authors. Happily nestle my work in there with 51 other authors. Could be fun, right?
What I didn't realise was that each author would be writing a story a week for the rest of 2017. Ah. Once this was made clear, I started to have second thoughts about it. Not because I doubt my ability - absolutely not. Ever since that NaNoWriMo in 2009, I've never had any real doubt in my ability. That's not to say that I've reached the pinnacle of my game, no. That does mean that I have faith in myself and even if I'm not at the level I want to be, I can pull it off through resilience and dedication. No, my real issue was time ... or lack of it. I've said before that at least for writing at the moment, I prefer to read and write longer fiction. Novellas and novels. As is, my first horror novella is currently under submission, my second is currently sat with a team of betas just to quality control the whole thing, and give gross feedback on how it moves them. Third novella? Already outlined, along with basic character sketches and such. I did even start to write it.
...but then the challenge came along.
At a story a week, each story may not be that long. Personally, given how much keeps me busy during the week on top of writing, it's unlikely I'll have time for much else. The actual challenge doesn't specify a word count as such, so the stories can be short. Flash fiction - micro fiction, even. Even before getting the word count down on the page, could you actually create 52 stories a year? Like with NaNoWriMo, I like the fact that the challenge gets you to keep your game up, that you're continually writing. Again, that part I don't have a problem with. What I did wonder is how long I'd run with this challenge: especially if I'm not finding time to work on the new novel/la. A month in and I've done 4 stories. So far, so good.
I toyed with the idea of stepping to Birmingham this weekend for a Birmingham Horror Con. The 'cons are always a good place to meet old friends and make new ones. Sadly, after traipsing through the city in the cold and rain yesterday, buffeted by the breath of sick people, I seem to have snagged a cold. So taking the night of heavy lifting to get a day of good feeding and R&R means that my schedule is pushed back a day. As a result, no con for me this weekend. Just as well. There's still a lot of writing to do - not just for the One Story A Week challenge, but I still need to knock out some stories. More so the longer fiction than the shorts. Plus I still have some shorts to place.
As for conventions? I'm pretty sure there'll be more of them.