The past year has been a time of significant progress. I’ve continued to work very hard. That additional effort has helped me improve, and I’ve started to see the results of improvement, with a good series of story acceptances and publication starting with a burst this summer. After seeing my first story published in 2011, I had started to wonder around mid-year why I was having so much trouble seeing that second acceptance. I knew the stories were better, and had assumed I’d start to have an easier time finding homes for my stories. It was quite a relief to have a series of five acceptances over a couple of months this summer.
I’ll end 2012 with a total of 118 submissions during the year. This is actually fewer than in 2011, when I was a bit looser about what I considered worthy of submission (I’ve since voluntarily withdrawn a handful of stories from circulation). Also, having stories accepted means fewer remain to send out, so while I hit quite a pace in the first half of the year (13 subs in April, 14 subs in May, 12 subs in June). I haven’t maintained that level, not because I’m failing to resubmit stories promptly when they come back to me, but simply because the number of stories I have available to send out is smaller.
As of the end of 2012, I’ve had seven stories officially accepted for publication, which makes 1 acceptance/publication in 2011, and six acceptances (and three publications) in 2012:
“Montalov’s Box” in Phantasmacore. PUBLISHED OCT 2012
“The Lure of Devouring Light” accepted 8/2012 by Apex Magazine. FORTHCOMING
“Nectar of Strange Lips” accepted 8/2012 by Lovecraft eZine. FORTHCOMING
“May Dawn Redeem What Night Destroys” accepted 7/2012 by Jordan Krall for the Current 93 tribute anthology Mighty In Sorrow to be published by Copeland Valley Press. FORTHCOMING
“High Desert, Starless Sky” in the post-apocalypse themed anthology Carnage: After the End PUBLISHED NOV 2012
“The Need to Desire” in Phantasmagorium as a weekly web feature. PUBLISHED AUG 2012 (Now available to read HERE).
“Remodel With Swan Parts” in Electric Spec (free to read here). PUBLISHED MAY 2011.
I have one other tentative acceptance I can’t mention until the editor determines whether there’s room. If that one works out, it will be a big one for me, so I’ll announce it as soon as I know whether I’m in or I’m out.
I consider the past year a success overall. It’s funny how this writing endeavor works — well over a hundred rejections measured against a handful of acceptances, and that’s considered a good year. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of frustration and disappointment. At least there was some good news in the mix to let me know I’m on the right path.
For the next year, my writing goals are similar. I want to continue to finish and submit about one new story per month. Now that I’m a big surer-handed, I might be able to spend less time spinning my wheels, or working in directions that don’t pay off. I completed twelve new stories in the twelve months of 2012, so I see no reason why I couldn’t do at least that many in 2013. I’d also like to mix in a few longer works, at least a novella, possibly a novel.
As for publishing goals, of course I hope for even more acceptances and publications than this year. If that happens, I’ll be approaching the level where just about everything I write ends up finding a home. It would be a relief to spend less time wallowing in slush piles, possibly get some anthology invitations. But the degree to which I’m accepted by publishers is out of my control. I’ll work on the writing, try to improve, and keep sending out work. I’ll worry less about things I can’t control.