So I’ve been spending most of my time decluttering, making plans for further decluttering and prepping for house stuff, kid stuff and various other life stuff that is on the menu for this calendar year. Story submission is not happening sooner than April, pretty likely.
Some posts coming up about The Feminine Mystique, it’s interesting to me anyway how nothing’s changed since Betty Friedan wrote it.
Most people don’t know this, but comedy can be disassembled and deconstructed and why certain sounds and jokes are funny can be written up. At one point we sat down and did that very thing. I can’t find the notebook though.
I found instead that I’ve been starting journals and losing them over and over again since my first child was born around the time of Occupy Wall Street. Since I stopped having anyone to nurse of late, I was finally able to gather some of them together. There’s general journalling, book journalling and some interesting notes and sketches for planned novels and novellas. Right now the one I’m looking at was started and is almost entirely from late 2015 and has a brief book note about Anne of Green Gables and a very extensive set of notes about a polemical book I reviewed a a while later. The last page for that year has some notes about books I planned to read when I though I’d write more about the frontier. And this:
“Marriage civilizes women
Fatherhood civilizes men”.
I already have some characters I’d love to attribute those words to.
The last written page is actually not from 2015, though. I skipped some blanks sometime last year and started anew with writing notes. One is for a children’s series Dagmar dictated. The rest of the page is a bunch of calculations from which I was deriving triplet birth rates by educational attainment and college attendance rates crossed against income levels.
I tend to feel like I do very little writing by hand, and just putter about for months on end doing not much. But I clearly keep trying and doing so for weeks at a time, so there must be something there.
Got my edits back and I could publish as-is, but it would be best long-term to go ahead and do rewrites. What I wanted to publish suffered from staring at it too long myself and starting to not-see basic continuity issues. There is a slice of life short story I will send out to magazines in the New Year, but I also have a lot more work to do to set up the pen name so it’s easy to use. This is why self-editing is not the best approach for the vast majority of writers. You can figure out basic spelling errors yourself, but since it’s your story, sometimes you just stop being able to step outside of it and approach the plot, form, structure and characters cold-eyed. Pro edits aren’t expensive, even for novel-length and they’re worth it regardless of whether you pull it back or push it out. Many self-published writers I personally buy the books of do 2 or even 3 editing passes before publishing.
Honestly, if it was a novel-length manuscript, I’d perhaps take my chances in the marketplace, because people are more forgiving with novel-length work being corrected here and there on the fly, but it was a novella and those are higher-risk and low-medium reward.
Working on arranging our household so we can all do more physical activity is going to be the main project this year. Sounds unrelated, but having more energy and muscle mass helps with cognitively demanding tasks like writing and with the organizational aspects of finding the time in a household where a bunch of other cognitively demanding things are going on.
So the revised plan is to find time for rewrites and some other work and to submit the other story to Asimov’s (might as well start at the top!) January or Feb, unless they don’t have open submissions then in which case I’ll submit to some other “top” market with open submissions.
So I think updating every couple months is probably the best way to keep me on track. So another update in February!