punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

The rusty gears have started to turn and grind

I think it was 15 years ago when I submitted a work to the now defunct magazine Gateways that ended up being published. I don't even remember what the story was anymore; I lost all my tear sheets in a flood around the same time. Since that time, I focused heavily on my IT career. The Saga of Punk Walrus was published in *1993* which might as well have been when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I know I had a lot of writing projects in many cook pots since then, but basically the stove was running off the kind of heat used in Lava Lamps and EZ Bake ovens. I mean, I had a lot of false starts, like NaNoWriMo in 2005, plus two books that never got published for logistical reasons.

I got paid for two screenplays, but made less than $600 (partially thanks to Cory Doctorow via Boingboing). One of them was nothing more than selling RIGHTS to a movie that, as far as I know, never got used. I know a girl who writes screenplays who told me that it's more common than not to see this, but I didn't care, I got paid. I was also a ghost writer for a Linux hardware magazine, and got free Linux stuff. And wrote in online forums and my LJ.

Yesterday, I submitted a short story for an anthology based on a link a friend of a friend sent me. This was the first real attempt to promote myself blindly in a LONG time. I expected the usual, "thanks for your submission," form letter, and possibly a "we are not looking for your style at this time," polite rejection letter. Or hear nothing. Instead, I got a long letter back thanking me for the submission, that the editor looked it over, and I would be considered for submission after the cutoff date (Nov 30th). It was NOT a form letter. It replied to points in my cover letter that was kind of funny because we both misunderstood each other. But it said, "even though the format is not what I usually accept," [single-spaced, no indents]... I can work with this as this is an easy conversion and better than some of subs I will probably get." The misunderstanding came from this series of events:

  1. At Balticon, I was invited to write two pieces for an anthology (there's a meeting at my house today about it, as a matter of fact).
  2. One of the other published authors said in the mailing, "Hey, this anthology is also looking for short story submissions. They are a really good publishing group!"
  3. So I wrote a short story based on an idea I had I hadn't written down yet. 5100 words in 4 days (thank you, NaNoWriMo).
  4. Before I submitted it, I looked up the publisher to make sure it was legit.
  5. Turns out, the mail I got about them was a publisher that wrote only women's fiction. Doh. I submitted the story anyway, since my protagonist was female, explaining in my cover letter their website wasn't specific about whether a man could write for them or not. But if not, I understood.
  6. At takayla's henna party, people said I should have claimed to be a woman anyway. Look, I feel that's dishonest. First, how would I claim that as one of my published works? And it would be disrespectful since some people may think, "Ha ha, Punkie fooled a woman's magazine pretending to be a dumb broad and they were too dumb to notice! Ha ha!" There are people like that. I don't ever want to be confused with one. I fully support and respect women trying to find their identity in fiction (or any art or science or career or sport). So if I got a rejection that said, "you're a DUDE!" I would understand.
  7. Instead I got this letter about how I must have looked at one of the publication's side project magazines. "I could tell by your submission format." Truth is, I accidentally looked at a magazine *not even related to them*, but by a writer's group that happened to be promoting the link to the real publisher and had a similar name. Oops. No matter. Because this publisher I really submitted to accepted my fiction for consideration.

Now some may think, "they probably tell everyone they accepted you for consideration." I don't think so. And even if they don't publish my work, I DON'T CARE. Well, I sort of do, but 90% of my submission was DOING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS. The pay is negligible, like $5 plus a portion of 50% of royalties split by all accepted submissions. That would be icing on the cake.

And ironically, what is this anthology about? Armageddon. HAH!

So, where does this leave me, writing-wise? Here is the state of the union:

  1. In consideration for an anthology about short story Armageddon. Will know by December if I will be published in 2011.
  2. In consideration for an anthology about either dark fairy tales or twisted mythology. Meeting today will determine what it will be, what our schedule is, and how we'll get paid. Meeting with another author and publisher.
  3. "Essar and Eliza" (working title) I read at Balticon about the psychotic ship captain and the constant abuse of her navigator will most likely be published. I just have to finish it, and I'd like to get it done by September.
  4. "The Saga of Punk Walrus," which consists of a published work (distributed by Mystic Station Designs), and a lot of unpublished stuff, will be re-edited and compiled under my own publishing name (as instructed by tth). I hope to have this done by Balticon next year. Working title is "The Compleat Punk Walrus Saga."
  5. The "Tony Bumper" series, which consists of Part 1 (85% done), part 1.5, aka "We Three Gatekeepers" (100% done), and part 2 (15% done)... I am not sure. I really want to get Part 1 done, then part 1.5 came slide right in after it. Who will publish it? This may be only hold until 2011. Ugh. This is getting old.
  6. I am touching my foot to podcasting. One invited me to New Jersey. One said he's working on it for the summer, and wants to collaborate with me. I sent him a newer version of "Security Blanket," but we're planning on doing themes. Another podcaster with Balticon says I am on his to do list, really. I thought about doing my own podcast, but I don't think I have THAT much material to do anything steady.

So... here's to a bountiful 2010!
Tags: fiction, writing
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