For people who are subscribed to my newsletter this update post will have some news that you’ve read already. Bare with me (or is it bear with me?) though, there will be some stuff you’ve not read before too 🙂
First of all, Clarion West sent me their spiffy form rejection letter last week. I was disappointed, of course, but far less than I would have guessed. Truthfully, as much as I wanted to go to Clarion West (or Clarion), the idea of being away from my life and family for six weeks was a difficult one. It would have been tough on them, Danica especially, and I wasn’t sure I was actually willing to be that selfish, or what the cost for the people I love would be. Still, yes, disappointed. Maybe next year — Dani will be more independant then. We’ll see. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I keep writing. I entered the Whittaker Prize this year in an effort to give myself deadlines and also receive completely unbiased feedback on my work (since judging is anonymous and I don’t know the judges so they can’t recognise my style). I shared the story and poem I was submitting for the first round in my newsletter. The scores are in and I did better than I expected (74/100 on the poem and 85/100 on the story — surprising, I would have never guessed I’d score higher on the story than the poem.), now I’m looking forward to receiving my written feedback. I’m also working on my submissions for round two.
One of the prompts reminded me of a story I’d long wanted to write about Michael and Margaret. It’s set a long time before Sister Margaret but when it’s done I hope that you’ll be able to see the seeds of their future in its pages. It’s also meant to stand alone. Progress is going well on it, and it will make me happy to be able to submit an Aphanasian story for unbiased scoring and feedback. As for the poem…I’ve only a vague idea. We’ll see what comes of it. It is, of course, zombie related 🙂
Speaking of zombies, I will be doing the poem-a-day challenge in April. Sorta. My plan is to follow his prompts and write a poem a day, then after revision combine those poems (all zombie, of course) with the zombie poems I wrote based on Robert Brewer’s prompts in November and see if I can’t come up with a chapbook. I don’t know that I’ll do the ‘enter-the-contest’ part though. I doubt it.
Let me leave you with a short story about the kind of book I want to write. I was talking with my daughter about a book* she was reading and loving. We were discussing the storyline and one of the mysteries within. Danica said, “Well, that’s possible, but we think *insert spoilerific theory here*”. I said, “Oh, are some of your friends reading this series too?” she said no and asked why I’d think that. I said “Well, you said we think. That implies that you’ve been discussing this with other people.” Danica laughed and explained that no, when she said ‘we’ she meant she and the other characters in the book.
Think about that for a moment.
Those are the kinds of characters I want to write, the sorts of connections I want to make with my readers. Bravo Kelley.
*The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong. Danica loves what she’s read of the series so far. I, personally, enjoyed the first book in the series, The Summoning, until I realised there wasn’t going to be any resolution at all. I don’t like book series in which none of the books can stand alone.
Lastly, that picture? I just love it, and with the snow that has decided to return and cover my world with its beautiful but decidedly cold goodness I am truly longing for warmer weather and flowers.