Counting ink, 2020

I had two acceptances this year; one for  a reprint of “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” in PodCastle, and one for “The Draw of Empty Spaces” in Cossmass Infinities. I was also asked if I’d like to have “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” in the next The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and I was really pleased with that.

I submitted stories 51 times in 2020, and got 43 rejections (35 were from 2020 submissions, and 8 were from submissions made in 2019). I also withdrew 4 stories (3 from markets I submitted to in 2020, and one I submitted to in 2019).

As of the end of the year, I have 11 stories out, which I am actually really pleased by, especially given The Year That Was.

Alright. On to 2021.

The last weekend of 2020

I mean, the last weekend is also sixteen days long due to personal circumstances, but the calendar is a powerful framing tool.

It’s been a very quiet Christmas. I sent a lot of winter holiday cards and got… I think slightly more than usual? I have the impression people are kind of going out of their way to reach out a little. I also spent nearly an hour on the phone with people Christmas morning, which was definitely longer than usual.

Beyond that, I put up a bird feeder (after dark the day before Christmas Eve), and nothing has visited it yet. Not even squirrels. I mostly picked it up because the birds had stopped going to the ground-level next-t0-the-fence birdfeeder in our back yard, and I was vaguely thinking that perhaps it had started to rust badly enough that the smell of metal was putting them off, or a cat had started using it as a hunting spot, or the suet in it was off. (It has been moderately badly damaged by chewing squirrels, but there doesn’t appear to actually be rust on it.)

Anyway. I have scattered birdseed around the new feeder on the advice of someone much more invested in bird feeding than I am, and I live in slightly anxious hope.

In which both change and the lack thereof are unwanted

With regards to unwanted change: the kitchen sink broke, the dishwasher broke, someone is coming into the house to fix the former, and the default WordPress posting interface has changed. I have no idea exactly how much these things will cost (well, the WP change is free, but the others are guaranteed to not be so).

With regards to unwanted stasis: I’m going to be spending most of the next five months in the house, as it’s not as if I’m going to be visiting establishments (or people) any more than an absolute bare minimum, and the weather is going to make it a lot more difficult to convince myself to go out for walks to nowhere. I am gloomily worrying about cabin fever (which admittedly also involves mental notes to myself to rewatch The Shining and check out #Alive, so not all terrible).

Oh well. Five more weeks and the days start getting longer again, so there’s that. And I have a lot of podcasts and books to get through.

Into November

Today was dim and gray and blustery with ice specks, and I only made it outdoors half an hour before sundown. The sun was already out of sight.

I very much feel that I did not get a summer or a fall. I don’t think I particularly got a spring, either, but that was long enough ago that it’s gotten blurry. Mostly I’ve been thinking a lot about going out for a walk early in the lockdown when everything was still snowy; it feels like I’m coming back around to that without ever really getting out of it.

(I also didn’t sleep well, with the time change, so part of it is probably just the mood. I am coping through the time-tested method of topically applying a cat, it helps.)

Best of luck to everyone, I guess.

Pleasant fall

I confess to preferring grey weather, but today is cool and pleasant enough that I am not minding the lack of cloud cover. I raked a lot of the back yard (I have no idea what I’m going to do about getting the violets out; they are absolutely brutally stubborn, and I would like a back yard that is not-them), I went out for a walk, and I’m making progress on both my current sweater and my tsundoku pile.

I’ve got *mumble* revisions on the burner and two stories in progress, so that’s going to be keeping me busy probably until the end of the year. I’m trying to make sure that I clear out time to just be not-productive; it seems to help. (Video games and horror TV, yay; I keep getting recommendations for a couple of things, so I’m bumping them up the list.)

Sent a withdrawal to what I’m pretty sure is a dead market this morning, which is never a particularly cheerful event. Still, I got two stories out today, and am going to be aiming for more.

January, in a remarkable year

Sometimes I turn around and it’s odd to be in 2020.

When I was a kid, I had an RPG sourcebook with that year in the title: Cyberpunk 2020. I didn’t have anyone to play with, but that wasn’t a problem; I read RPGs for fun, weird combinations of guidebook and recipe source.

I went years without thinking about that book, but I tripped over the setting again last year–someone’s making a video game–and it’s odd to me how much I still remember of it and how much I still care. My reaction went from “yes, that game looks like it’ll be very glossy” to “that’s Johnny Silverhand? They’ve got Johnny Silverhand? I remember him.” and next thing you know I was snickering over the Holy Fathers of the Perpetual Railgun again.

It’s funny the stuff that sticks with you.

None of the impressions that stuck from the stories that talked about 2020 were anything like this. On a larger level–and there’s a lot going on, on the larger level–I’m going to settle for saying that while there are definitely dystopian elements, the fictional version of them seemed like they were a lot more manageable. On a smaller level… well, I’ve been dealing with vet bills and doing the laundry. I like both my jobs, and periodically get very angry at both my jobs, and these two things are not mutually exclusive. Life goes on, and it feels like a lot of it is a rather tired puttering.

Well. The month is nearly over, and some things are improving. I hope that part of current trends continues.

Counting ink, 2019

I had two acceptances this year; one for “The Smell of Antiseptic” in Pulp Literature, and one for “Mechanical Connection” in Cossmass Infinities, which should be coming out tomorrow. I also had my novelette “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” published in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, which is something of a dream market for me.

I submitted stories 44 times in 2019, and got 34 rejections (32 were from 2019 submissions, and 2 were from submissions made in 2018). I also withdrew one story.

As of the end of the year, I have nine stories out. Overall, I didn’t get quite as many story submissions done as I wanted, but I at least got more stories out there and I’m pretty pleased with that.

Alright. On to 2020.

Counting ink, 2018

I had two acceptances this year; one for “Late Night at the Low Road Diner” which is mentioned in my eligibility post, and one for “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” which should be coming out next year. I was also asked to contribute “Interview with Cortesa Singh” to After the War, an SF roleplaying game of mimetic horror.

I submitted stories 34 times in 2017, and got 34 rejections (29 were from 2018 submissions, and 5 were from submissions made in 2017). I also withdrew three stories (one from a 2018 submission, and two from a 2017 one).

At the end of the year, I had two stories out. I was aiming to get a lot more submissions out this year than I actually managed, and am hoping to do better next year.

Fingers crossed for 2019.

Counting ink, 2017

I had one story come out this year; “Thou Unnecessary Letter”, which was started in one of Cat Rambo’s classes and published in the Alliteration Ink anthology No Shit, There I Was…. One of the slush jackalopes for the anthology referred to it as “magical alphabet noir”, and I can’t think of a better summary.

I submitted stories 51 times in 2017, and got 46 rejections (43 were from 2017 submissions, and 3 were from submissions made in 2016). I also withdrew two stories (one from a 2017 submission, and one from a 2016 one).

At the end of the year, I had seven stories out. Last year I only managed 36 submissions, and this year I was aiming for 50; next year I’m going to try for 70.

Here’s hoping 2018 is a little gentler all around.

Quick Hallowe’en

Two weeks ago, I was trying to prepare for not having a dog at Hallowe’en.

Now, she is sitting next to the couch, staring happily up at me as I scritch her neck around the Elizabethan collar. (This is the plastic cone of shame a pet gets after surgery, to be clear, not part of a seasonal costume.)

A quiet night before NaNoWriMo starts is in order, and I am glad.

The jack-o-lantern I carved for Hallowe'en.