For the first time all year, my Duotrope pending list has dropped to the single digits, which has become a sign of year’s end.
This has been a year of highs and lows. First semi-pro and pro sale, first Pushcart nomination, first agent-y feedback on the novel; all of which was tangled in with Real Life Lows.
I feel like I am on the cusp, though don’t ask me of what. Many years ago, in the hoary distant past (everything past seems a bit hoary right now), I had a kindly writing instructor who told me that it’s OK to be selfish. That women especially tend to put others first, their own work second; that your family and friends can take a little more selfishness than you realize.
I feel, in this last year especially, I’ve put that to the test.
Everything is becoming strained, including my stamina.
Doors are closing. Are others opening?
I am dipping my toe into the literary agent submission waters, which is at once very familiar to this Duotrope addict, and yet has its own rules and conventions and an entire corpus of mythos and contradictory advice. It has been a needed distraction. First, to force myself to just polish the damn novel, rather than wait for that magical time when the Research shall be Done because research is never done. Research, as I learned back in the hoary past and am now remembering, is an endless dark tunnel that you fall through, rather like Alice, and instead of being “done” at some point you simply give up chasing because you need to move on with your life.
Second, to immerse myself in clicky research that has made the down moments at work pass more smoothly, as I tune in to various agents’ Twitter feeds and blogs, the minutae of their agency websites, and the Querytracker data (yes, I splurged for a few months of premium). Oh, the data! Oh, the pondering! Oh, the time lost thinking about nothing but turnaround times and where to end the first ten pages!
That’s Talassio. In other news: I finished my mid-year to-do list, with lovely results. I am cleaned out of flash fiction; I am, in fact, nearly cleaned out of short stories period. But to get to that point required a lot of pushing, especially to finish “Marigolds.”
I need to recharge.
I need to do family things for a while.
All of which is to say, I’ve got a busy pre-holiday week ahead getting ready to take care of said needs. So I’m going to take one more look at the last couple of Talassio chapters, and then shut down the writing thing until 2014. I will be working with pen and paper over the holidays, and hopefully I’ll come back with some story seeds, and ready to dig into the revision of The Hounds.
What am I saying? Not hopefully. I will come back to this. It’s all I have right now, and I am grateful for it.
Exeunt. See you in 2014.
I like the peace
In the backseat
I don’t have to drive
I don’t have to speak
I can watch the countryside
And I can fall asleep
My family tree’s
Losing all its leaves
Crashing towards the driver’s seat
The lightning bolt made enough heat
To melt the street beneath your feet
In the night
I’ve been learning to drive
My whole life
I’ve been learning