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2019-03-19 01:57 pm

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:

 
I'm in the home stretch of the contemporary fantasy thriller that I've been working on for mumble-mumble-don't-ask-please. All the pieces are coming together, the writing is flowing easily because of all the momentum pushing it forward, and I'm really pleased with how it's turning out. Don't get too excited, though. Final stretch for me means another couple of months. I have hopes I'll finish it before the kids go on summer vacation. I must say that I do miss the faster feedback loop of short stories, though. The long slog of a novel is brutal when you don't know if anyone will ever read and love it. I'll probably write a whole batch of short stories once I finish this bigger project.

See market updates and all the rest at http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2019.html#031919
I'm putting this bit here so I can keep the journal-ish parts archived.

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2019-02-17 03:19 pm

Monthly Writing Update!

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
I'm focusing on consistency--writing every day. I find that when I tell myself I only need to write three sentences, but I need to write those first (before doing whatever else it is I want or need to do on the computer), it is much easier for me to get past that initial resistance-to-writing and I usually write more than three sentences. So yay! I found something that works for me! YMMV and of course what works often changes, but if you're having trouble getting started, it's worth a try.
 
Things Shiny or Useful
Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html  
 
5 Places to Get Paid to Write About Writing: https://horrortree.com/5-places-to-get-paid-to-write-about-writing/

The Mysterious Discipline of Narratologists: https://www.tor.com/2019/01/29/the-mysterious-discipline-of-narratologists/

Emergency Triage for Writers: Bring Out Your Dead: http://dankoboldt.com/emergency-triage-writers/

The rest of the market list update: Ambiguous Horror Needed (Or Is It?) and Other Publication Updates



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2018-12-24 02:56 pm

The monthly writing post

Thoughts in Passing
Happy Holidays! I hope you are having a joyful Christmas Eve, if you celebrate it. Me, I like Iceland's idea of  Jólabókaflóð, the Yule Book Flood. In addition to our usual Christmas Eve festivities, I absolutely plan on settling in with some chocolate and a book this evening after the children are asleep.

If you are reading this after the holidays, perhaps because you've chosen to unplug for a while, go you! I hope you feel relaxed and refreshed.
 
And don't forget that ebooks are a great way to spend the last few dollars of that gift card you got, and novellas are particularly affordable. Here are the Nebula award nominees for novella this year and here's my small yet epic fantasy.
 

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
 
I am embracing the idea of a writing session being a success even if you only write 3 sentences. It's removed a lot of the pressure, and so I feel less of an urge to procrastinate and end up writing more. Usually for me, it isn't the writing that's a problem, it's the starting to write. This helps, and I'm happy with how it's encouraging me to keep my mind in my project and to write every day. Because after all, I can do those ten urgent other things after I've written my 3 sentences, and if I feel like writing more once I get started (I usually do), then those ten other urgent things can wait a little longer.

Things Shiny or Useful
Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html  

Basic client negotiation strategies: https://twitter.com/imemi/status/1065700145948434432
 
 
Ultimate list of the best book review blogs: https://kindlepreneur.com/book-review-blogs/#sci-fi
 
 
 
Featured Market
 
New pro themed anthology! Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove wants all genres, pays $.06/wd.
 
 
  • Stories must meet two basic criteria. First, they must take place over the span of five minutes. Second, they must take place at a specific era, location, and time of day within the rooms or grounds of the Hotel Stormcove.
 
  • In order to maximize ease of writing across genres, we are not adhering to a strict Earth location and timeline. Contemporary writers will find the current hotel equipped with modern amenities. Historical fiction writers would be best writing generic stories in an era, but not based on specific local events. Fantasy writers may find low or urban fantasy easier with this theme, but I don’t doubt your ability to work in high fantasy elements and hope you will enjoy the challenge. And steampunk writers, well you can stage a whole mechanical speakeasy in the cocktail lounge. Mystery has the gift of finding a dead body in the hotel room, but you know, have fun with it. And so on.

Basics: all genres--themed, under 4,000 words, no reprints, pays $.06/wd, due 1/31/2019. Guidelines: https://www.atthisarts.com/stormcove/.
 
(This month's full markets newsletter can be found here: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2018.html#122418)
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2018-11-21 11:20 am

Writing Thoughts In Passing

Thoughts in Passing
As we approach the holidays, the publishing industry slooooooooowwwws way down. Many magazines close for the month of December. Very few new magazines choose to start up during this time (January is a different story). So if you have something you want to send out on submission, get it out now, before Thanksgiving happens in the United States. Skip sending out submissions in December, as many publications will be on hiatus anyway. Take a break, write new things, and spend time with family and friends!

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
 
This month, I performed at a couple of big reading events. It went well! One was for a new release that I have a couple of stories in, The Subverted Fairy Project, a collaboration between artists and writers. If you enjoy twisted fairy tales, art, or flash fiction, I recommend it!
 
Subverted Fairy Project - cover.jpg
 
Tor.com also posted a wonderful and completely unexpected review of The Unkindness of Ravens, my epic fantasy novella. Squee!

(This is the personal-ish tidbit from my writing markets newsletter. The whole thing, with all the details about new markets, can be found here: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html)
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2018-10-25 08:06 pm

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise


This past week the kids had off from school, so our family headed to a cabin in the wilds of Wisconsin. No internet, no cellphone signal ... perfect. I didn't even burden myself with, "I should be writing a lot." It was the perfect way to get out of my own head and unwind. I enjoyed the autumn splendor, went for long walks in the woods, and read two books. Now I'm back and feeling less stressed and more connected, in a good way!

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
 
I have a short story in the next issue of F&SF, available at fine bookstores on November 1st. My inner 13-year-old is SO happy right now!
[Contributor's copies]
 
And I've been preparing for readings at a couple of big events coming up.
 
Next Sunday I'll be performing at WordBrew, an annual showcase for Minnesotan F/SF writers. It's always a great time. Check it out if you're in town!
 
November 17th will be the grand book release party and fairy-themed extravaganza for The Subverted Fairy Project, an art and writing collaboration that I am part of. It's going to be amazing. Mark your calendar now!
https://www.facebook.com/events/485033022007029/

(This is an excerpt from the Aswiebe's Market List newsletter. The full newsletter can be read here: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html)
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2018-09-24 07:42 pm

Adjusting to Summer, Wolf House Reading

Welcome to new pro-paying SF/Fantasy market, Constellary! All the details and more SF writing updates: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

(Personal bits from the newsletter below, because that's what this blog platform is for, I guess? I wish?)

Thoughts in Passing
Summer is a hectic, not-so-productive time for me. Happy Autumn, everyone! And a blessed Autumn Equinox to those who celebrate it.

My autumn goals are always threefold: ease back into being more productive now that I have school mornings to myself; de-stress myself; and frantically try to catch up with everything that I fell behind on during the summer. This includes cleaning and meal-planning and paperwork, as well as my Very Long Indeed list of writing-related to-dos. That's not actual writing, mind you, just the many obligations and projects and bookkeeping related to being a writer!

Then my oldest got sick with pneumonia. He's doing a lot better now, thank goodness, but all my fine plans (and alone time!) went by the wayside for the last week and a half. Time to take a deep breath and remind myself that fifteen minutes at a time still makes a difference. It's time to focus on writing.

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
 
I had a great reading at The Wolf House (my pictures of this weird, wonderful, bizarre space are here and here) as part of the Subverted Fairy Project. It was recorded, so you should be able to listen to that soon. And there will be more news about this project as the launch date gets closer. If you're local to the Twin Cities, mark November 17th on your calendar for an awesome launch party!
 
To get back into the swing of writing more, I've found Cold Turkey Writer incredibly useful. It takes over your whole computer and doesn't let you do anything else until you've written the amount of words or for the amount of minutes that you specify. Great for avoiding distractions!


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2018-08-15 10:32 pm

New Markets Update! The End of Our World



The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 9/15/2018.
Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2018.html#081518

Thoughts in Passing
Oops! I've had so much on my plate lately that I completely blanked on the last Aswiebe's Market List update, so this is a double shot.

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
 
My little epic fantasy novella is out in the world! The Unkindness of Ravens is an epic fantasy story about trickster gods and favors owed. Initial reviews on Goodreads are very positive. Yay! Go read the long excerpt on my website.
 
Things Shiny or Useful
Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html  

Plot Structure: How to Shape an Intriguing Plot: https://www.nownovel.com/blog/novel-plot-structure-intrigue/

25 Ways to Plot, Plan, and Prep Your Story: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/09/14/25-ways-to-plot-plan-and-prep-your-story/


Featured Market
 
The End of Our World anthology is seeking thoughtful SF themed to climate catastrophe and end of the world. Due 8/31/2018!
 
Contemporary warnings of impending doom, the rapidly approaching end of our overdeveloped and unsustainable world, are based on reality and science, on cold, hard facts, matters of projection rather than prediction. And we are already seeing the end beginning. The signs are everywhere: environmentally and socially (check our fact sheet for details). We are going down, and most of us know, perhaps not consciously, not clearly spelled out, but we know, deep inside, that we are going down, in spite of all the comforting lies told by those who are profiting from our downfall and want us to go meekly.

This contest is meant to raise people's awareness of what is happening to our (natural) world right now and what this may mean for the near future. We are looking for short stories dealing with the many existential issues facing us. No nonsense, no wild, impossible fantasies but strong, intelligent stories, based on facts, cautionary tales, speculative, plausible and thought-provoking.
 
Basics: themed science fiction, 1,500-3,000 words, reprints okay, $1,000 prize. Due 8/31/2018. Guidelines: http://www.aftermathmag.org/contest.html.
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2018-06-22 02:53 pm

New Market List Update! Sins and Other Worlds


Thoughts in Passing
I am deep in the pre-production for my epic fantasy novella, The Unkindness of Ravens. During my final grammar-and-typos copyedit, my proudest moment was spotting the extra space hiding at the beginning of a paragraph. 😆 Want to know what gave me the most trouble? Figuring out the grammatically correct use of articles with a term I made up myself (turns out it's complicated).

Ah, writers. We do it to ourselves.
 
What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
 
See above. I have a novella coming out soon! July 17th! Soon, The Unkindness of Ravens will be available in print for pre-order. The ebook is already available for pre-order on non-Amazon sites, with a special low pre-order price (Kindle coming soon).

I'm also going to two local writing conventions in the next month. I'm at 4th Street Fantasy, June 22 - June 24th (I'm there now!). And I'm at CONvergence July 5 - July 8. I'll be doing a reading (with donuts if they're allowed in the room) first thing in the morning on Friday! That same day I'll be on these panels: Kids Ask a Writer, Keeping Creatively Energized, and Next Big Monster. On Saturday, I'm part of the group book signing (look for my origami tree) and the Writing Violence in Violent Times panel.
 
Things Shiny or Useful
Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html  

A Mid-Year Prep Talk to Rejuvenate Your Writing Resolutions: http://www.ingramspark.com/blog/a-mid-year-pep-talk-to-rejuvenate-your-writing-resolutions

Featured Market
 
Sins and Other Worlds is a reprint dark SF anthology by Shacklebound Books.
 
All submissions must be science fiction in nature. Any sub-genre is acceptable, but the stories must have have a science fiction element and must be dark in tone or atmosphere.
 
Basics: dark science fiction, reprints ONLY, 1,500 words or fewer, pays at least $.01/word (maybe more depending on Kickstarter). Due until filled. Guidelines: https://shackleboundbooks.wordpress.com/submissions/.
 
For the rest of the market updates, go to http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html
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2018-05-18 09:53 am

New Market List Update!

New Aswiebe's Market List update!

I talk about feeling stressed and miserable and realizing that a lot of the reason why is that ... I haven't been writing.

Also, the Punk Rock Future anthology wants punk rock science fiction, fantasy, and horror, pays pro rates. All the details and more: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

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2018-04-17 08:12 pm

New Market List Update!

FearBot3000 wants you to know that the The Working Zealot's Guide to Gaining Capital in Pre-Apocalyptic America will pay you monies for your weird capitalist stories.

All the new market list updates:
http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

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2018-03-17 12:58 pm

New Market List Update!

New Aswiebe's Market List update! Unidentified Funny Objects 7 will pay you $.10/word for your funny SFF. But wait, there's more!

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2018-02-18 11:42 am

All the updates fit to be printed in!

New market list update! Learn all about the ultimate ham sandwich anthology, plus more: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html
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2018-01-18 05:45 pm

Pie Charts of the Dead!

It's 2018! Which SF/F publications didn't make it? The new update of Aswiebe's Market List has it all. Lists! Tables! Pie charts! (No, really, I have pie charts.)

Pie Chart of Surviving Publications
 

See?


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2017-12-17 11:31 am

New Market List Update!

Tax changes for writers, book giveaways, a contest for teen writers, and more new writing market updates!

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2017-11-17 10:48 am

New Market List Update!

New Markets Update Nov 2017: If This Goes On political SF anthology & more!

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html
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2017-11-10 10:00 am

Some Extremely Unscientific Submission Math

This is not exactly rejectomancy, but it is mucking about with submission numbers data and how to predict what kind of competition your submissions are getting. THIS IS NOT REALLY USEFUL FOR A WRITER TO KNOW. RUNNING THE ODDS STRICTLY BY THE NUMBERS WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY. But it is interesting. 

I've been curious about what percentage of writers is represented by the submissions tracked at Submission Grinder. (Tl;dr = 10%.) So!

A recent interview with Uncanny Magazine said that they got 1,000-2,000 submissions per month. They've had two monthlong submission periods in the past 12 months, with a total of 417 submissions tracked on Submission Grinder. Figure 209 submissions/month. This means that roughly 1/5 to 1/10th (21%-10%) of the writers submitting to them in those months used Submission Grinder.

The day before yesterday, I submitted a story to F&SF. At the time, it was #239 in the queue (today it is 139--*gulp*).

So 100 people got their responses. In that time, 13 people recorded responses on Submission Grinder (13%).

My (recorded) starting queue number at F&SF has varied between 562 and 97 in the past, which is kinda crazy fluctuations. Let's assume that today the queue's end is still around 239. Submission Grinder thinks there are 54 pending submissions (23%).

Updated for more accuracy: Charlie Finlay let me know that the day-before-yesterday's queue was not average. F&SF's average daily submissions received is about 35. Submission Grinder has tracked 1820 completed reports in the past 12 months, for an average of 4.99 submissions/day (14%).

In 2015, Clarkesworld reported what looks a lot like about 40 submissions/day. They were already well-established at the time, so let's say submission numbers remain about at those numbers. Submission Grinder reports an average of 4.48 submissions/day in the past 12 months. Again, we're hovering just above 1/10th of writers recording their subs in Submission Grinder (11%).

By this extremely unscientific math, the number of submissions shown on Submission Grinder is probably 10%-21% of the actual number of submissions the publication received. The 10% is probably more accurate because of the data it's based on.

Why am I specifically curious about this now?

I submitted a story to the (now closed) Into the Black contest, which was a fairly high profile one-off contest that has a hefty $12,000 prize and no entry fee. I would expect there to be a lot of entries, even with the strict theme and wordcount limits. Only 12 submissions were recorded on Submission Grinder, which seemed super-low. I'm guessing part of that is because they probably got many entries from people coming from the universal basic income movement, instead of only writers coming from the "here's a neat writing contest" side of it, but still. Huh.

(BTW, if you're at all interested in the idea of a Universal Basic Income, go read the contest page. They have ALL the links.)

Child Counting to 10

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2017-10-21 01:01 pm

New Writing Markets Update October 2017: Book Smugglers

Book Smugglers is open for awakenings-themed submissions!

All the details and more new market updates: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html
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2017-10-04 12:15 am

Eco-Horror Anthology: Mother's Revenge

Cover Art of Mother Earth Eating People

Mother's Revenge

ed. Cin Ferguson

In this mixed genre group of eco-tales, thirty-two authors from around the globe offer up some lessons in why it's wise to be kind to Mother Earth. Read and take heed. Your very life may depend on it! From my story, "The Miracle Material":

The landfill is safe. I think. Even tupperware frightens me now. The sight of a discarded teddy bear moves me to tears. I wonder if Meredith's teddy bear still lies abandoned on her bed, held under siege by the ever-glowing blue stars that decorate her bedroom.

 I tell myself that Meredith is safe and happy. We came from the sea, the scientists said. When there were scientists. What could be more natural than for us to return to the sea? I tell myself that she is safe and happy within the bosom of the sea.

I know I lie.

 

Read more!

Amazon | IndieBoundGoodreads
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2017-09-15 11:38 am

Market List Update

New market list update is out!

In which there's a super-awesome short fiction contest about the idea of a basic income (and the prize is one!), and I ponder how writing time disappears.

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2017.html#091517
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2017-08-29 09:47 am

Quarterly Writing Goals & Statuses

Writing goals for the next 3 months, September - November

Summer is ending and autumn is almost here. The kids are going back to school. I put Cassius on his school bus today at 9 AM. Next week, Theia starts going to preschool 5 mornings a week. This means I get time to write and do writingy stuff! Today is a misc writing stuff day, so I'm tracking big goals and updating my writing to-do list.

Doing the math! Theoretically, if I get myself ready for the day before the kids are out the door (not something I've always succeeded at!), I'll have about 3 1/2 hours to myself every morning to work on writing, plus whatever I can scrape together at other times. Theia's been really uncooperative about staying quietly in her room during afternoon quiet time and bedtime recently, so that time is not as useful as it used to be. Phil usually gives me a couple of hours one evening during the week and also one weekend day.

3.5 morning hours * (5 writing days - 1 misc writing stuff day) + 1 afternoon/evening hour * 6 + 3 bonus weeknight hours + 4 weekend hours - 5 hours weekly of cleaning/bills/paperwork during regular writing time
3.5*(5-1)+1*6+3+4-5 = 22 hours/week to write, max

22 hours seems really high! It's something to shoot for, though. I don't think I'm going to get that much, given my other housework/parenting/social commitments. My estimate of only 5 hours of writing time weekly sacrificed to bills and paperwork and cleaning is probably low. I'm also not very productive in the first hour of a block of writing time.

I am really looking forward to finding out what my writing rate is when both kids are in school, at least in the mornings.

Project 1: Space Marine Midwife anthology short story, "Mother of Nobody" ("Mother of No Child" "Mother of None" "Mother of No-One"). Figure this will probably eat a month of regular writing time, between plotting, writing, critting, and revising.
CURRENT STATUS: I have some ideas.
ETA DUE: Submission period is maybe "late autumn." Hey, I need to get started on this one!

Project 2: Scorpion Dance. My main novel project.
CURRENT STATUS: 70,719 / 100,000 written.
ETA GOAL: Complete draft by 2018, which means 10,000 words in three-quarters of the months remaining. Oh! That's a lot, given everything else I'm doing (yet not much, considering that a full day of writing should net me about 2,000 words--if I ever got a full day of writing) and the various complications of life.

Project 2: The Unkindness of Ravens short-cut. Finish cutting novella down to under 25,000 words. Start sending it on the submission rounds for places that pay enough to make it worth it (i.e. no $100 advance or royalty-only small presses).
CURRENT STATUS: Over halfway done.
ETA: I expect to finish that project this week (by 9/1/2017).

Project 2b: Draw up project timeline, budget, and task list for self-pubbing novella, to be executed either after exclusive period from publication or after exhausting the limited well-paying options for novellas (up to 9 months). Remember to include sequels.
CURRENT STATUS: Not started.
ETA: Tentative, 9 months of collecting rejections would put it DUE BY 6/1/2018.

Project 3: Destroy revisions backlog, starting with "You May Also Like Gas Masks." Current rate for redmarking = 3-4 pgs/week. Then I'll need to make the marked changes (time = ???) and do a final read-aloud draft (1 day). Says something that I don't even know about how much time this process takes me.
CURRENT STATUS: Ongoing project. 13/23 pages redmarked for "You May..."
ETA: About 5 weeks from now to finish the redmarking, estimate 10/5/2017 to finish redmarking.

Project 4: Dragon Succubus, the fluffy side-project novel. The whole point of this project is that it is the thing I'm working on when I don't have anything else to do or when I have only a smidge of time and so I can't work on anything too complicated.
CURRENT STATUS: 56,246 / 80,000 words
ETA: I've been fiddling with it on and off since November 2015, sooooo maybe draft ETA 10/31/2018??

In the next couple of months, I'm also teaching a class at the Loft. I've run it before, so I don't need to come up with the lesson plans, but I need to make a couple of tweaks, do publicity, etc.

I want to get the pseudonym's stuff in the pipeline, but I think that'll have to wait.

And I've been thinking of poking at Circus of Brass and Bone, updating the layout to reflect the episodic nature of it, adding reviews to backmatter and interior, maybe trying some ads and seeing if that boosts sales, trying a bookbub or putting it in Kindle Unlimited. But those things take time and/or money, so. Not putting it on the official goals for the next 3 months, 'cause I have enough things there for now!