Monday, January 7, 2013

My Last 2012 Recap Post

I think I've hinted around for a while now that I was pretty dissatisfied with my writerly pursuits in 2012. Since I went through my books read during the year, I thought I would go over the things I wrote in 2012 and see what I actually did, and what I didn't do.

The Blutonian Death Egg - Finished - A novel about a twenty-something slacker that finds himself as humanity's representative to an alien species.

I've really just sat on this. I submitted this a couple of years ago to a traditional publisher or three and then pulled it back after several rejections and rethought what I was doing here. It's now a contemporary tale that I started a decade ago. It's getting dated. I had a few people read it in the past two years (Hey Alex! Hey Donna!) but in 2012 I decided to rework it some more... I just didn't work on it due to the other shiny things that captured my attention.

Nada's Song - Finished - a post apocalyptic short story set on a small moonbase. I thought it would be neat to explore what happens to people left alone after the world ends, namely, astronauts on the moon.

Submitted to and rejected by: Writer's of the future, Analog, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld & Daily Science Fiction.

I like the story, a lot. I had to deal with the fact that it was a last-person-on-earth scenario which makes it a bit experimental for me. I mean, without other characters it's hard to do a traditional story. I think it works, but not everyone agreed with me.

The Legend of Catkid - Finished - A superhero origin story. I thought it would be fun to write a short-story that included b-list superheros that sometimes peddle dope on the side to make ends meet.

Submitted to and rejected by: Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Lightspeed, Michael Morcock's New Worlds*, Clarkesworld.

Another one I loved. One rejection had a note that mentioned how much they enjoyed some aspects of the story but felt it was a bit unfocused. I understand, it is all over the place.

My Killbot Buddy - Finished - probably my favorite story I wrote during the year. A story about a 120 year-old that has his dementia cured only to find out the whole world wants him dead for something he did while suffering from his affliction.

Submitted to and rejected by: Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Asimov's, Escape Pod, Lightspeed & Analog. 

Proof that thinking you've written an amazing story doesn't mean anyone else will.

Forager's Feast - Finished - Another post-apocalyptic story, this one about future scavengers looking for the things they need to survive.

Submitted to and rejected by: Apex Magazine, Pseudopod & Nightmare Magazine.

I waffled on whether or not I should even submit this one, it has a twist ending that I wasn't really thrilled with. But I decided that I would let any potential editors make that decision. So far they've seemed to agree with my gut that this one isn't ready.

Going Home - Finished - Another one I personally thought was great. And yep - the world was ending again. It was 2012 after all, I mean, the world was supposed to have ended. It was on my mind. This is about the fall of the last soldiers remaining during an alien invasion.

Submitted to and rejected by: Lightspeed, Shimmer & Clockwork Phoenix.

This one might have been missing something, I dunno. I liked it.

Elvis, Leia, and Greedo Walk into a Bar... - Finished - a contest for a Star Wars competition. I can't recall what happened with that, but I posted it on my blog. You can read it any time you want by clicking on the page above.

Unnamed Ghost Story - Finished - You'd think I'd have a name for it. But it's about a peeping tom that accidentally stumbles onto a haunted bridge.

Written specifically for a locally produced anthology that is to be released sometime in 2013.

Lot's of local landmarks in this one. It was a great deal of fun to write.

The Ice Machine - Sorta Finished - A novelette written and almost great... but with something missing. It serves as a prelude of sorts for a novel drafted two years ago but never competed. It's complicated. Anyway, it's a story that stands alone but needs a companion piece to work. Not real sure what to do with it.

Submitted nowhere... it's sitting in a file while I try to figure what to do with it.

It'll be finished. I swear.
Total Depravity - WIP - my never ending novella/short novel about a colonial era man hunting an escaped slave that I keep rewriting. I put it aside in October when I got stuck doing rewrites. I swear, it'll be done soon. This one is going to be self-pubbed once complete.

The Ascension Artifact** - WIP - I did the infamous Writer's Roundtable podcast about this one. Ugh. I put this aside mid-year to focus on Total Depravity. You can see that didn't work out too well for me. The intent for this one is to submit to traditional publishers once this one is done.

Mary's Tale - abandoned/shelved - I may pick it up and finish it. But anyone who's read A Dead God's Wrath might recall Mary. This is another story that takes place in her life in the modern era. It's a premise that lacks a story right now. I worked on it for some time before I just gave up because I couldn't make it work.

Billy vs Science - shelved - I plan on finishing this later, really. But it's 1000 words or so about a boy that thinks he's a cosmic power trapped living the life of an elementary school child. I loved the premise so much that I need to come back to it and really focus on it when I can do it justice.

Unnamed apocalyptic tale - abandoned - a short story about why googling things won't work once society fails. I figured that this one was a bit too preachy. But man, it certainly proved my point.


And that's about it for me. There were a few flash fiction pieces I toyed with during the year, but for the most part. These were the things that consumed me in 2012.

And now you know.

* I actually was a bit unsure about New World's submission guidelines. I actually ended up writing to them and removing myself from consideration after 6 months or so. I'm sure I would have been rejected eventually anyway.

** That is NOT going to be the title of that book when it's finished. Ugh.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dude, I'd kill to have even half that much written.
Gladly read the reworked edition of The Blutonian Death Egg, because dated or not, the first version rocked.
Check with Milo for some other places to submit those stories. Someone will like them!

Trisha said...

This list is really impressive! You did a lot in 2012, even if you got some rejections too. But maybe 2012 was a year that was about getting you in place for a great 2013 :)

Huntress said...

ditto what Alex said.

All I can say is, wow, your brain must be quite crowded with new stories and characters. *green with envy*

Cindy said...

When I saw the tag "I'm a failure" on this post, I chuckled because I feel like that too. Anyway, keep subbing those out. They sound great. Are you sure you tried all places??

Maybe even try some non-SF markets.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

That's a lot of stuff. I wish I'd thought to have Emma dealing crystal meth on the side. Then I could have queried it as: it's like Batman Begins meets Breaking Bad!

Tonja said...

I agree with Alex - that is a lot. I read somewhere that it's good to submit each thing to ten different publishers. When those get rejected, send to ten more, and repeat the process. I wouldn't take it personally - I think it's just part of the process. I wouldn't give up after four or five submissions.

Briane P said...

So "Total Depravity" is the sequel to "Dead God?" That's what it sounded like.

These all sound amazing. Especially Killbot and Billy vs. Science. I want to read those NOW.

You've been really productive. What are you going to do with all this stuff? We the reading public want to see it.

M.J. Fifield said...

Yeah, I've never been that prolific in my whole entire life.

I remember the Elvis, Leia and Greedo walk into a bar story. That was a lot of fun.

Deborah Walker said...

Not too shabby, Rusty. Not too shabby indeed.

But you know you haven't subbed those stories enough yet. Keep on truckin. I have dozens of stories about stories that sell after a year or two. or three, or ten.

You just got to believe. And what have you got to lose?

Tony Laplume said...

I think your problem is that you're submitting to the wrong markets. You may have to have a more established name for mainstream markets to consider accepting material that does not appear to sound mainstream.

Andrew Leon said...

Dude! Send some of that stuff my way. Seriously. That's what I'm supposed to be here for, right? Send all of it my way.
In fact, the shorter pieces, you can just email to me, and I can have my wife print them out for me to work on.

As for the Elvis thing, you and I tied for 1st on that.

Rusty Webb said...

@Alex - dude, you have no idea how awesome it is that you are so danged supportive. I'm going to get all weepy eyed if you don't stop.

@Trisha - Thanks! I think it's a long list, but word count wise it's not that big a deal. And I can only hope 2012 will be more encouraging.

@Huntress - You are way too kind. Yes, ideas are no problem at all. It's turning those ideas into something people can read and enjoy that gets me.

@Cindy - I've not submitted to all the pro markets that I could. Very few places take simultaneous submissions though, so it can take quite a while to make the rounds. I'm not done submitting.

@PT - I figure that all those drugs that heroes end up uncovering is a mighty big temptation for a guy or gal that has rent to pay.

@Tonja - thanks for the tip. I'm not done yet with the submissions. I'll find them a home one day.

@Briane - it is a sequel! Sorta. And you can read anything you want. I'll email you Killbot if you want to see what all the fuss (that I'm making) is about.

@MJ - thanks. And again, it isn't really that profilic. One long novel is just as much as all that put together.

@Deborah - they aren't done. That's just where they were at at the end of the year. They'll keep getting submissions.

@Tony - You're probably right. I start at the dream mags first and work my way down.

@Andrew - Then be looking for some emails coming your way.

Andrew Leon said...


Brinda said...

Man. That's a lot of writing. I'm confused. You always give me the impression that you aren't getting anything done and then you produce this manifest. Sheesh.

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! You wrote a ton in 2012. I barely managed a short story. I'm working on improving my 2013.

Here's to a bigger, better and hugely successful year for you. :)