I have discovered that I am just one pro sale away from qualifying for SFWA membership, which requires 3 pro sales. I *am* qualified for associate membership (the gate for that is one pro sale.) I’ve read about the controversies and the do it vs. don’t bother arguments and honestly… I’d like to be part of the organization. I’d like to be one of the in crowd. I’d like to check out the blogs that are behind the firewall and participate in the inner-circle discussions. When I first started writing, SFWA membership was one of my metrics.
So why am I hesitating?
I’m not much of a joiner. I don’t even maintain membership in Broad Universe (A highly-useful and professional group) because of a philosophical difference. When I join SFWA it will be for the perks and not because I’m a blogger that everyone follows.
I’m not a firebrand/rabble rouser/debater. When people I consider friends hassle me on Facebook, I walk away. People don’t debate on blogs and facebook, as a matter of my observation. They go straight to the nuclear options of insult and negation. And I can’t stand for that.
I think that an organization like SFWA needs the firebrands and pushy people. I think that’s needed for evolution of the genre and the way our professional organization addresses issues. And I’m not up to that, really, beyond espousing someone else’s stand.
Oh, I’ll get the membership, at least partially because it’s a club that doesn’t really want me. (To paraphrase a certain comedian.)
At Clarion West 2010, I wrote a rolicking space romance rescue story, loosely based on DEADLIEST CATCH, titled “Far, Far From Land.” After two years of frustrating rewrites and advice and learning, this story has been published by wonderful editors Kelly Jennings and Shay Darrach.
Fractal fishing in asteroid belts. It’ll be the hottest thing, I guarantee it.
looky here: MENIAL: Skilled Labor In Science Fiction
Mad scientists and guinea pigs. Zombies and death. Dreams and hungers. My thoughtty zombie story, “A Three Percent Chance He’ll Every Know I Lied,” is headlining Penumbra’s February issue, Zombie Apocalypse. Try it, you’ll like it.
My writers group, Orange County Science Fiction Writers Orbit, has wanted to showcase their writing for some years now. After the success of my WFC chapbook, Travels Elsewhere, (see previous post) I volunteered to edit our first chapbook.
A month later I had accepted 9 stories, designed a cover, written an introduction, crossed my fingers, and used the room party at LosCon my daughter set up as a memorial to Jim Young to hold a release party for Quantum Visions.
A production of
Orange CountyScience Fiction Writers Orbit
Table of Contents
Writers And Friends
Jude-Marie Green, Editor
|The Enchanted Hatrack||Jamie Cassidy-Curtis||5|
|Again, The Last Step||Robin Walton||8|
|Farewell To The Master||Chrome Oxide||13|
|Colorado River Redeemed||Timothy Cassidy-Curtis||16|
|Naked Prey||David R. Moore||21|
Rube Engill’s Apiary
Reflected In Dewdrops
And it was a stunning success! Lots of happy writers and readers (plus a continuous loop showing of Nazis At The Center of The Earth, Jim’s last movie) combined for many chapbook sales.
And now I have here, exclusively for you, some few remaining hard copies of the chapbook before we publish this electronically. For a $5 payment you can own your own 44 page copy, gorgeously-designed, thick with stories.
Here’s the cover:
As part of my World Fantasy Convention project in Toronto this year, I put together a chapbook of 3 stories: Slim and Benny-Be-Damned Take It On The Lam, Compass Rose, and Hellbend For Leather.
My idea was to have something to sign at the autographing session at WFC. And people bought them! And asked me to sign them! And even paid me for them! I am very pleased. I mean, I love my stories, but that doesn’t mean anyone else would.
Slim and Benny-Be-Damned Take It On The Lam was originally published in K.C. Ball’s 10Flash Quarterly. This is a very short zombie story contemplating the differences between slow zombies and fast zombies.
Compass Rose is a previously unpublished short story about physics, pirates, and parenthood.
Hellbend For Leather is a fun longer story originally published on Defenestration. As I see it, if you can’t make fun of the devil, who can you make fun of?
So there you have it. If you’d like a copy, you can contact me and I’ll send you one for a minimal payment of $5; or you can wait until I have the energy to create an electronic version.
I have a monthly writers’ group meeting on Sunday. Once again, I don’t have a story ready.
I tried. I have half a story (admittedly it was written in May.) Clarion West taught me that I can write a story ending in the few hours I’ll have available before Sunday. There’s just one problem: we send in the stories ahead of time via email so everyone has a chance to read and edit and form intelligent comments. I like this method. I just have trouble with deadlines.
I love Duotrope. I love Duotrope’s calendar of upcoming anthology calls and themed submissions. I sometimes write up a story to order. But invariably I miss the deadline. Or actually, sometimes I don’t miss. I write up until the last minute and then paste on the last words: THE END, and in a month or so I receive a polite form rejection that doesn’t (but should) say, “Why did you waste our time with this potentially good but obviously rushed piece? Where’s the respect?”
I am glad they don’t pull out the stops on the rejections. Deadlines deserve my polished best, not my “what can I finish in this last hour?”
Many of my writer friends put down a set amount of words per day. I’ve never been able to do this. I use blocks of time for different tasks: a few hours to outline, a few hours to write. I can brainstorm and jot ideas, phrases, character bits, in short periods of time, but I haven’t successfully trained myself to write for, say, an hour and an hour only a day. Or to a set word limit.
But you say, “There’s always 30 days in an open submission call! That’s plenty of large tracts of time to write a good story!” And… yeeesssss, there would be. Except for the brain change.
I need quite a bit of time to switch from workaday brain to writer brain.
Gotta wake up the guys in the basement. Gotta make my cheeks tingle with potential. Gotta close my eyes and open my mind and grab a story from the ether.
A long time ago I learned that my muse leaves me alone if I leave her alone, but if I bother her she bombards me. I carry pen and paper at all times because (even though I seldom use the jots that spring out of the air) I want to reinforce the muse’s involvement. And I love what she says. My editors do too; I sell stories that come from who the heck knows where, but I do: my muse.
Then I sleep and then I wake and work and my muse is stunned into silence.
And I gotta wake her up all over again.
The words call me, though. Perhaps the muse dreams! I feel the stories in there, just out of reach, so I do, I reach, I put in the effort and the hours to wake up and dream.
Because I like story.