Processing Stories

I have a few days of solitude in which to work intensively this week. My plan is to start going through my list of stories and send them out. I have 32 science fiction or fantasy stories in that pile. I like 24 of them. That will be the first stack I’ll send out in the next two days.

Since I have to have a way to structure this, I’m following the advice that just about everyone gives, which is to create a list of publications to submit to and then follow that list all the way down for each piece.

Mary Robinette Kowal has advice on how to construct your list in an engaging infographic. She talks about three factors: Money, Reach, Shininess. I would add another to the list, which is how often do works in this publication win important awards. My guess is that Mary Robinette would add that to the publication’s shininess but it seems a little different to me. Since I am fascinated by the idea of being in anthologies, I’ll also check anthologies to see if any of my stories fit.

I am concerned about inundating an editor with too many of my stories so the plan is that each editor will get a two week break from the point that they reject a story before I send the next story to them. I’ll track this in Duotrope.

In addition to sorting my own work and sending it out, I’ll also be sorting the works I intend to publish in my nascent press this week. No editing for now. Just sorting.

And, of course, I have a short story to write. Tentatively titled “Frostbite,” that story is about a group of snowbound late nineteenth century explorers looking for true north in the Arctic. Steve was impressed by the details I included in the beginning of the story. He forgets that I have read his many works on the topic. Plus he gave me a link to the letters from the Greely Relief Expedition, which includes a list of all the supplies that the expedition took to the Arctic as well as pictures from the expedition, including the one used for this blog. The letters are fascinating reading.

For example, this letter:

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 28, 1884.

SIR: I would respectfully request that the consul at St. Johns, Newfoundland, be communicated with immediately to secure twenty Labrador or Newfoundland dogs, with their harness, for each of the Greely relief ships, Thetis and Bear.

These dogs are said to be superior to the Greenland dogs for the purposes in view. It is important in securing these dogs to include in each pack at least six sluts.

Very respectfully,

W.S. SCHLEY, Commander, U.S.N.,

Commanding Greely Relief Expedition.

That’s just the first mention of the dogs. My mind is dancing around the idea of these six slutty dogs. There’s a great deal more about the dogs as the expedition goes on. I think it would be marvelous fun to write a dog’s eye view of the Greely Relief Expedition. There’s enough in the letters to make it work.

Tomorrow and Saturday is ShadowCon. Bill Webb, one of the organizers of the Memphis Writers, is the Writer Guest of Honor. I’ll attend at least part of the conference. I do not plan to stay late since I have quite a bit on my plate. But if you want to meet up, that’s where I’ll be.

As you can see my January is starting with a flurry of activity. I hope you are also having fun this week and that you’ve lined up interesting activities for the new year.

Be well, friends!

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