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Satisfaction - For Better, For Worse.

I'm sat here thinking that I'm not often satisfied. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If I were satisfied, I might be content ...and become complacent as a result. That's one thing I don't wanna be. It's that distaste for complacency that has me hit the iron on a regular basis, and squat time and again. So I don't get complacent. The last 30 days or so has been busy enough. There's not been a whole lot of the 'meet and greet', but there's been some. Speaking Volumes held a reading and canape do at the beginning of July. This was where, for the 200 BAME authors who were promoted in the brochure last summer, a get-together was held to catch an update on the work Speaking Volumes had done since. And, of course, a chance to mingle. Good to meet the likes of Speaking Volumes' Nick Chapman at last, along with a host of other writers.

What grabbed me was the fact that more people seemed to know about me; certainly I seemed to be more of an oddity. I think I ran into mostly poets rather than authors, let alone authors of dark fiction. Mid-July saw me at Edge-Lit, which was a chance to hang with the usual suspects, as well as make new connects. I have to give the nod here to one Tim Major. Having briefly met this man at FantasyCon last year, we get to talk at length this time on writing and game. Let me be clear: when I refer to 'game', I mean how an author approaches their craft and the business of promoting and selling it. Among other things, we talk conviction and rejection. These two go hand in hand: conviction that work is of good quality, even when a particular publisher will reject it, but won't necessarily say why. This is important, because as an author, you can rack up a long list of rejections for a work which is good enough to sell. My most rejected work to date received 16 rejections before the 17th time proved the charm. Mr. Major, if memory served, cites 20. Even when I'd sold that work, I felt ...vindicated. But not necessarily satisfied. This doesn't come from a place of ungrateful. I'm always grateful that people will read my work, let alone buy it. Even better when they tell me it's given them the creeps, or it's chilling or some such. Publishers will buy it, because they see money in it - at the very least, they see a degree of business in it. So I'm grateful, even if I'm not doing the proverbial jump for joy. As is, the new novella But Worse Will Come should be due out next month, and everything is tracking well for the release. Because I'm usually writing, I've been able to cut back on the throttle to prepare for the new release - and still have an average of a story a month on release from now until the end of the year. Which is nice, which is good, but I'm still ...not satisfied. Most of all right now, my schedule is wide open until the end of the month, when I'll be back in Toronto for some R&R, among other things. This gives me what should be ample time to knock out the first draft of the new novel. Which should satisfy me. 'Should.' There's a sense of relief in having work completed, work sold. Even work rejected - in that I'm not faced with a community of yes-men, that individual tastes are varied. I'm not sure if I'll ever be satisfied. Especially when I look to keep on elevating my craft. But if you like what I write, ironically, that should satisfy you.

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