Takes a deep breath

Now that the endorphin euphoria of the acceptance at ANALOG has worn off, and I am pleasantly floating back to Earth, it’s time to take stock. With Jim Baen’s Universe closing, and two stories accepted within 60 days of each other, my Race score has plummeted. 2009’s high was 17, and now I am down to a paltry 2.

Still, seeing the score reduced to sales — actual, bona fide sales — is a heck of a way to “lose” the Race.

Now I need to formulate some plans, both for the inventory and for future work. I still owe a novel by this time next month, and a second novel by the time I attend the Writers of the Future gala in the summer. It also seems like I need to make sure I keep up with the short production, as breakthroughs in this arena open up — I would assume? — possibilities that didn’t necessarily exist before. It would be nice to take advantage of those, especially if it meant some additional short sales in 2010 while I am waiting to see what happens with the two novels.

(shuffles through imaginary file cabinet)

Most of the inventory is very old. Last year I pulled one or two of those and did a total re-drafting on them, with no visible difference in response from editors. I wonder if I should even bother trying to get those shored up and back out to market, or if fresh production is the answer? I do still like some of those old stories, even if I probably have to tear them down to the joists, pipe and wire to make them workable. Just like that Mike guy from Holmes on Homes. (grin)

Anyway, it’s nice to be here on this little benchmark. Two pro sales, to significant national print markets. How long did I wonder how long it would take to get here? How many times did I wonder forlornly if I would ever get here??

So glad I never quit. So glad my wife never allowed me to quit. (he he)

EDIT TO ADD: spent the afternoon flushing the birds out of their nests. 8 manuscripts back in the air. Go my lovelies, go…. Race score back to 10.


4 thoughts on “Takes a deep breath

  1. Still not there yet, but I get the same “how long did I wonder…” feeling just getting a finalist at WotF. You inspire me by selling your first finalist to the first SF mag I ever read. Maybe I’ll follow in your footsteps? Really close behind? (Not THAT close.)


  2. Just to give you a little nudge — and I don’t know why I’m doing this, I don’t need the competition — remember that when your Analog or WOTF story (or some other pro sale) sees print, the 2 calendar-year clock starts ticking on your eligibility for the John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award. The more stuff you have published, the more name recognition you’ll have amongst the voters (Worldcon members, same as the Hugos).

    Actually, I do know why I’m doing this. You write the kind of stuff I like to read, and to write. The success of your writing helps prove the market for mine (and vice versa), and there’s no way we can write as fast as readers can read. On that note, I really should be getting back to my own writing.

  3. I have to admit I am still floored by all this. A year or two ago if someone had said I’d win WOTF and sell to ANALOG two months later, I’d have said they were crazy. Well, crazy is as crazy does, I guess. It’s nice to be actually breaking through.

    Oso, I hope very much that your Finalist scores for you with the Contest. But as you can now see, even if it does not, there is the possibility it will score elsewhere. I always did like my Q1 Finalist a great deal, and now I feel like the “win” it’s given me is almost more important than the win I got for Q3.

    I’m an ANALOG author… WOW!

  4. Holy crap-o-lee, Al. You’re right. And I didn’t even think about that. I have never paid too much attention to the awards, but I guess I kinda have to now. My goal has been to publish short material for a) practice and b) name recognition so that hopefully I can c) sell novels. Awards… Well, it would be nice, I guess.

    Thanks for the reminder. And yes, I agree, the more kind of people write and sell “our” kind of stuff, the better for us because it proves that there is an audience for “our” kind of fiction. Us Nivenites.

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