Lifting Up Veronica

I’m pleased and excited to announce that Every Day Publishers, Ltd. has selected my novel, Lifting Up Veronica, to be the first of its Every Day Novels.

Every Day Novels, slated to begin publication in January 2012, will be an online magazine devoted to serialized novels. A new flash-fiction length chapter will be presented daily, in the tradition of the 19th century novels serialized in British and American newspapers.

In addition to the serial run, Lifting Up Veronica will be presented in e-book and print formal after the serialization is complete.

In Lifting Up Veronica, Michael Kovac, a sociologist from Ohio State University, travels to rural West Virginia in the summer of 1960 to shoot footage for a documentary during a week-long tent meeting at a Signs Followers church. The Signs Followers are a Christian sect best know for their practice of handling venomous snakes and participating in other potentially deadly practices.

Every Day Publishing also owns and operates Every Day Fiction, where a number of my flash fiction pieces have appeared.

Flotsam in Analog

My short story, Flotsam, is in the September 2010 issue of Analog, which went out to subscription holders June 15. It should be on the newsstands any day now.

I wrote this story a year ago, workshopped it at Jim Gunn’s SF Writers Workshop in Kansas last July, and got the letter of acceptance from Editor Stan Schmidt in early September.

The wheels of publishing grind exceeding slow.

At Analog

Got an e-mail today from Trevor Quachri, managing editor at AnalogFlotsam is scheduled to appear in the September 2010 issue, which will be in print sometime in late June.

I like that.   Just about a year after it was workshopped at Jim Gunn’s SF Writers program at the University of Kansas. That has a certain symmetry, doesn’t it?.

Thank you for the news, Trevor.  You helped make my day today.

I’ve changed my name to Anxious

I swore I wouldn’t talk about this until I had something more definitive, honest to God, I took an oath. But the waiting and not saying is just more than I can stand.

I’m not sleeping much, obsessing about this. I’m eating too much, what I always do when I’m faced with something important that I can’t control.

I’ve been writing, but I’m not finishing anything. I have five stories started right now, but I get to 1,000 or 1,500 words and it feels as if I’m dragging heavy weights.

And I’ve been haunting my mailbox, too; so much so that the mail carrier flinches when she sees me.

Here’s the situation.

Last July, I attended Jim Gunn’s SF Writers Workshop in Kansas and workshopped a story that wound up being titled Flotsam. It’s hard science fiction, a near-future story about a work team in low earth orbit. I don’t write much hard SF and I sweated .44 caliber bullets doing the research for it.

In mid-July, after the workshop and at Professor Gunn’s suggestion, I sent the story off to Analog. Editor Stan Schmidt requires hard paper submissions, so I knew there would be a wait before I knew anything. Maybe a long wait.

So, here’s what I’ve been holding in.

The third week in September, I got a letter from Dr. Schmidt saying that he liked the story and that he wanted to use it in his magazine, if I was willing to do a minor rewrite.

Would I be willing to do a rewrite to have one of my stories appear in Analog? Might as well ask if I would be willing to go on breathing.

It really was minor, though. In fact, all I had to do was insert five paragraphs that I had taken out in my final edit. I put the revised piece in the mail a couple days later and sat down to wait.

I haven’t heard anything yet. It’s been six weeks, but in this business, that’s nothing. I’ve talked to other writers who have had work published in Analog and they’ve all told me I just have to be patient.

But this is one of only a few times I’ve submitted a story via snail mail — there aren’t many magazines that require that anymore — and it’s the first time I’ve gotten a conditional acceptance from a major SF market.

I know it’s stupid to fixate upon this to the point that it interferes with my writing. With my life, to be honest. But I’m new enough to this profession to be anxious about the outcome. It’s possible this sort of thing may become commonplace at some point in my future, but right now this is a big deal for me.

It will be my third professional sale, which means I can apply for membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America. It’s validation that my Writers of the Future win wasn’t just a fluke. And, most important, it’s frakkin’ Analog. I’ve only been reading the magazine for fifty years.

But I’ll be good. I swear I will. I’ll wait patiently. I’ll focus on my writing; get it back on track. I won’t pounce upon the mail carrier the moment she steps down from her truck. I just hope word arrives soon, though.

Before I’m forced to resort to slicing open live chickens and reading entrails. 😉

And the winner is …

Winners of the 2008 Writers of the Future competition were in Los Angeles this past week for a writers workshop conducted by SF novelists K.D. Wentworth and Tim Power.

Part of the pay-off for winning the contest.

The folks at Author Services, which sponsors the competition, have been posting pictures of the proceedings but it’s too late to catch the best part.  The awards ceremony for the winners was shown live Saturday night via streaming video.

I watched the whole thing and it was a classy operation.  Tuxedoes and evening gowns and speeches.  Choreography and film clips.  Trophies and some tears.

My buddy, Jordan Lapp, who won 1st place in the 4th Quarter 2008 segment of the contest, looked dapper in formal wear and offered up a great thank-you speech.  But he didn’t win the gold prize, which means a second, bigger trophy and an extra $5000. 😦

Oh, and the 25th edition of the Writers of the Future anthology, in which Jordan’s story will appear, was presented for all to see.  Pick up a copy when it hits the store shelves.  It’s going to be great reading.

All the ceremony had me day-dreaming about next year, when it’s my turn to head to L.A. for the hoopla.

Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting? 😉

The check was in the mail

Just got back from the mailbox.  My prize check from Author Services, for Coward’s Steel, the 3rd place winner in the 1st Quarter 2009 Writers of the Future competition.

$500!

I’m going out right now to spend it on something frivolous, before reality picks the lock on those handcuffs and rips away the duct tape to remind me about all the practical uses I could make of the money.