This is last month’s picture, since I only have one more line on this month’s and it’s an unfinished story.
* indicates stories written this year
- “Everyone Knows This Is The End Of The Line” (1,200 words, Dystopian SF)
- “Mystery Train” (6,300 words, Weird Western)*
- “The Bullet From Tomorrow” (12,000 words, Time Travel SF)
- “These Were The Things That Bounded Me” (8,000 words, Plague SF)
- “My Foe Outstretched” (3,800 words, Science Fiction)
- “Fragile” (4,600 words, Science Fiction)
- “She That Was So Proud And Wild” (4,700 words, Dracoheim Universe Fantasy)
- “The Hopeful Bodies Of The Young” (4,200 words, Dracoheim Universe Fantasy)*
- “Replevin” (1,000 words, Memoir)
- “What Lola Wants” (3,200 words, Crime Noir) *
- “The Darkest Hour Of The Night” (3,500 words, Weird Horror)
- “The Irregular” (3,700 words, SF Military) *
Stories Out On Submissions:
- “The Lord Of Slow Candles” (3,700 words, Modern Fantasy)*
Stories Complete and Available:
- “Conessa’s Sword” (4,500 words, pre-Industrial Fantasy)
- “Watchman, Mark The Tide” (3,700 words, Weird Tale)*
- “The House Of Spectral Discipline” (10,000 words, Horror/Erotica)
- “The Mad Fishmonger” (4,400 words, Kaiju Romance)
- “A Dreadful Feast” (6,600 words, Zombie)*
- “A Murder In Plague Town” (2,000 words, Medical SF)*
- “Where Your Eyes Don’t Go” (2,200 words, Time/Alternate Universe Travel SF)*
- “This Green And Pleasant Sky” (3,100 words, SF for an upcoming project)*
- “To Wound The Autumnal City” (5,400, Dracoheim Universe Fantasy)*
This is a tough update because my initial impulse is to just give up on the whole project. I had two good months this year, a fair month, one that I struggled through, and then two unproductive months. It’s a struggle to remind myself that I intended this challenge as a learning experience, not as a pass/fail test.
Okay, so what have I learned?
Well, I can produce, when my head is in the right place. I have done some very good work this year. What I need to figure out is how to tell when my head is not in the right place and stop trying to force it.
Because I can write–and produce decent stories–when I don’t particularly want to write. I can write when I don’t feel inspired or particularly enjoy sitting down and doing it.
On the other hand, sometimes I simply can’t produce, and no amount of self-discipline will make me. That is the main lesson that I have learned, and it’s been a tough one.
What I really need to do–if I am ever to be a serious writer–is to learn what distinguishes “I don’t feel like working today” (which I can work through if I sit down and start typing) from “I can’t write now” (which means I need to walk away from the computer and do something else.)
Secondary to that is learning to give myself permission to walk away when I have to, without beating myself up about it and without falling into despair. It’s not giving up and it’s not permanent. Rest is part of the process. And I expect (I hope) that taking the mental rest I need, when I need it, will lessen the down time that I have.
In any event, I am back at work now, on a new Dracoheim story, and it’s going well at the moment.
I’m back in the saddle again.
Fortune Favors The Bold!