The Most Important Part

Completion and Inspiration

This has been a great week for feeling good about myself as a writer.

My short story “A Familiar’s Predicament” has been accepted for publication in the next Sword and Sorceress anthology.  This was a cold submission to a very limited market, so the acceptance felt very good.  I’ll let you know when it comes out.

Speaking of things coming out, my short story “A Green Moon Problem” is now live at Lightspeed Magazine.  You can read it on-line or download it.  There’s even an audio version, which I admit to thinking is pretty neat.  The “Author Spotlight” interview is worth reading, since it delves into the details of how the story came to be.  However, for this reason, it contains a number of spoilers.  Consider yourself warned and read the story first!

Later on release day, I had a foreign magazine request permission to translate “A Green Moon Problem.”  That was a nice pat on the head!

As you may recall, earlier this month my short story “Unexpected Flowers” came out in the May/June edition of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.  Last week, when reviewing that particular issue of the magazine, Adam Troy Castro praised “Unexpected Flowers” in these words: “There’s the short story, ‘Unexpected Flowers’ by Jane Lindskold, unquestionably one of the great short stories of this or any other year.”

Big smile!

I also did a lot of writing.  Wolf’s Search is now nicely taking shape.  I still have a lot to write and, even after the rough draft is completed, I’ll be spending time polishing.  However, Blind Seer has stopped growling at me.  In general, I’m feeling good about the shape of the evolving narrative.

I also started fleshing out the details of another short story…

So, which is the most important of these?  While the praise for “Unexpected Flowers” was terrific, and the really positive reactions to “A Green Moon Problem” were great, and having “A Familiar’s Predicament” accepted for publication made me glow, the best part was the writing.

Why?  Because writing is something I can influence.  Next week I won’t have a new story out.  Or someone might decide they absolutely hate “Unexpected Flowers” or “A Green Moon Problem.”  Getting another acceptance isn’t really likely, although I do have another story or two out there being looked at, so it’s not impossible.  (So’s a rejection!)

But writing is something I can do that relies on me.  I’m my sole audience, my biggest critic.  I haven’t started keeping track of my daily work count because, to this point, I’ve been going back and forth, fleshing scenes out, cutting extraneous detail, writing myself notes, and things like that.  Sometimes a hard day’s work has ended up with a negative regarding words written.  But as long as the story gets better, I go to bed feeling good.

This is not saying that last week’s reminders that there are people out there I’ve never met who think my stories are worth reading don’t make sitting down to write day after day feel a little less futile.  Writing is a very solitary job.  Positive feedback, when it comes, feels good.

Now, off to do more writing!

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9 Responses to “The Most Important Part”

  1. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Wow! Fantastic news. It’s great that the writing of stories, a thing you enjoy, is bringing joy to so many others. All of those stories finding homes and readers, just awesome!
    Definitely good that Blind Seer is happier. Although, I think Firekeeper might just be a little more dangerous (she sometimes doesn’t think before rushing ahead) 😉
    I hope the writing continues well for you and brings you as much joy as the reading brings to me.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Thanks. I agree the Firekeeper is the more impulsive of the two. That’s why I was worried when Blind Seer, after careful deliberation, let me know he didn’t like the direction in which I was taking the story. This led me to thinking, deleting, and refocusing.

  2. Louis Robinson Says:

    Hmmm… i hadn’t realised that S&S was still around. a little research suggests that it’s because it’s been e-book only for the last 6 numbers. pity, since it means i don’t always notice it. [not _everybody_ reads only e-books!]

    Anyway, looks like it’s still good company to be in.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Many of the short fiction markets are electronic only. Some do print as well, but only to those who subscribe. In many ways, this may be good. However, I think it’s led to short fiction being more marginal than it once was.

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        It’s certainly good in the sense that it keeps them up and running. Given that it looks as if the print market is improving again – a couple of the Chapters stores around here have _increased_ SF&F shelf space recently – not being in it is going to limit your opportunities, perhaps severely. Really hard to say.

        As for ‘more marginal than it once was’, given that short form was once the heart of the genre, with long form fiction having to jostle for market space, any marginalisation is already a major shift.

  3. valorandcompassion Says:

    Jane, thank you for sharing the ups, downs, and arounds of your writing career with us. I’m always inspired…this time, by your reminder about the writer’s agency in the writing process. Once the story gets released into the world, readers and reviewers move about in it as they will, but in the creative space, that’s where we writers reign (or if you prefer a less monarchical metaphor, it’s where we play). Knowing that the writing space will always be our (and our characters’) domain emboldens me to hand off what I’ve written to readers.

  4. Neal Holtschulte Says:

    I just read A Green Moon Problem. I loved the setting and mysterious wish-granting entity. Great work!

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