Wednesday, January 3, 2006
Slushy and cold
The Scruffy Dog Review’s premiere issue is available here:
Check it out. Read all the wonderful work by the contributors (many of whom have blogs linked to the right). “The Literary Athlete” column makes its move to the mag, and I also have a story, as Christy Miller, called “The Purchase” in it.
And keep reading and submitting!
My thoughts and prayers are with the 13 miners trapped after the explosion in W. Va. May the rescuers get to them in time.
Got out three newsletters yesterday, and the column due to my editor. Three things to cross off the January To-Do List.
Three submissions. With one I got out just before the end of the year, I have four of the 13-in-Play out. 9 to go. Now I just have to figure out which ones and where. I’m not counting query letters in this. I’m counting actual manuscripts.
Did a little bit of work on Shallid, although it was rough going. There’s a transitional section I have to do before I can pick up the pace and race towards the end, and those are always the toughest.
Revised the first three chapters of Clear the Slot. Fixed the glaring problems, and now I’m reworking each sentence to make sure I’m saying what I want in the best way possible. A big decision I made is not to revise on the computer. I’m retyping the entire piece for this new draft. I can see, in the draft off of which I’m working, how cutting on screen left big holes in the text. As always, when I work on this book, it obsesses me. I can’t think of anything else. It’s an inherent danger of this particular piece. It means more to me than anything else I’ve ever done. No matter how much I love any current WIP or anything that’s published, Clear the Slot has a special place in my soul.
The only other piece that drove me quite in the same way or as hard was the first volume of Ransagh, and even that doesn’t quite hit the all-consuming energy of Clear the Slot. The book consumes me even more than the game, but it’s passion for the game that sparked the book.
As I’m doing each chapter, I’m rewriting the synopsis. When I’ve completed the draft and the synopsis (how I loathe the synopsis part of the business – you like the concept, read the damn book, dammit, don’t think you can get the gist of it in two pages), I will cut that down and tighten it so that’s in place, and hone both my logline and my single hook paragraph for the book. I’ll also have to rearrange the notes for the other books in the series (although I’m thinking maybe I should make it four books, not five and not have one about the year of lockout). Maybe I should poll hockey players to find out what they think. Since the series is to celebrate them as much as feed hungry hockey fans who have little fiction from which to choose about their sport, and the players have had a lot to do with the genesis of the project, they can decide if it’s four books or five (to a point).
Anyway, by the end of this draft, I’ll have honed all the different paperwork one needs for the pitches and can get on the stick (puck?) with that aspect.
Unfortunately, so much of the business end of it is busy-work for the writer (wasting the writer’s fricking time that should be spent writing new work) to streamline the process for everyone else in the pipeline. I hate it, but it’s a reality of the business.
But without a draft as close to perfect as I can make it, there’s no point in trying to sell it.
Did four hours of administrative work on the various projects and am still nowhere near where I need to be.
Have to leave for the theatre soon, and want to try to get some work done before I go.
The Fantasy Epic requires attention or I’ll miss the deadline. It’s not like I can submit a first draft, or even a second draft with a remote chance of acceptance.
Eventually coming up with a title would be a good idea, too.
If you’re looking for a good book filled with both inspiration and information, pick up The Practical Writer, edited by Therese Eiben and Mary Gannon. It has interviews that appeared in Poets & Writers as well as new material, and a great resource guide. I highly recommend it. The essays feel as though you’re having conversations with the writers.
If you get a chance, hop over to 100 Days – I’m joining them to help with my meditation practice. With the stresses threatening to crush me in the coming months, due to The Situation, I need all the grounding and support I can get.
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
The Scruffy Dog Review