publication, Writing

Catching Up is Hard to Do

My “Writing Partner” for a day

For the past few days, I’ve been away on a self-styled ‘writing retreat.’ I go off by myself  and write, write, write. Or, in this case, edit, edit, edit. I worked this year on editing the two stories that came out of the Write-a-thon, and a bit on writing another story.

One story was a joy to edit. I loved what I wrote, but knew it needed polishing, cutting, layering of detail and image and metaphor — all that stuff I’m trying so hard to learn and incorporate. I think it’s close now. We’ll see–it’s going to my writers’ group later this month (gulp!).

The next story was a real struggle. There was a great underlying idea, but the story as written just wasn’t working. I fought to make it work as it was, but it would not fit into the image I saw in my head. Finally, I resorted to reading about writing and lo and behold, I found the exact right things to help me along. So, after much twisting and playing with the entire story structure and plot, I found what I think will work and am attempting to make it right. Now I’m excited about this story, too, and can’t wait to see how it will turn out in the end.

And finally, I wrote new words on a short story that had gone onto the back burner. I’d thought the story was lost to me, honestly; that I’d messed it up utterly and should probably have to abandon it. To my surprise, when I re-read what I’d written, I found myself caught up in the tale, saw the exact way to weave the beginning into the ending to make a satisfying conclusion…and I wondered how I’d thought this was so bad. I guess I just got too caught up in my Wolf story and then in the novella, and the re-write of the Witch story, etc., etc..

Why the sudden rush of editing? Why not new tales told? Well, all stories need editing, of course. And…are you ready??…my submissions are down to three. Why, you ask? Well, because I’ve gotten three acceptances!

I wrote some time ago about sending out more “ships,” and hoping for replies to come back nicely staggered, but usually what has happened is that rejections come flooding in, three in two or three days. Painful! But this time what’s happened is truly delightful– three acceptances in four weeks! Who could ask for anything better?

Oh! I almost forgot–my newest acceptance is at Every Day Fiction, for the story “I Promised You a Miracle.” It’s a flash fiction SF-romance; not my everyday domain…but I do have a soft heart. As soon as the date for my story is announced, I’ll post it here! As for the other story, well, that’s the mystery story. Until the acceptance is confirmed with the contract I’m holding off on announcing it, but I’m bouncing with anticipation, bubbly with the news that I want to spill.

Until then, I’m off to write, and edit!

4 thoughts on “Catching Up is Hard to Do”

  1. I often have that experience, of despising something and throwing it down in disgust only to look at it later with new wisdom and a cool head and realize it’s actually quite salvageable 😀


    1. Thanks! I’m coming off my giddy-cloud right now, despairing of getting anything “worthwhile” written–what was wonderful yesterday no longer suffices as acceptable today. (Sigh. But that’s progress; it means I’m getting better, right? Right?)

      Glad I’m not the only one who does 180’s (or would that actually be a 360, considering you wrote it at first, thinking it was okay?) on the opinion of my own works-in-progress. Strange, though, how we can so thoroughly convince ourselves of the “unsuitability” of our words for anything but the trash, only to later realize it’s actually pretty good. What brain chemicals or processes do this? Could we harness that, make ourselves believe the best, or the worst, of any situation? To what societal effect? Hmmm….does anyone else see a writing prompt here? Make free with it.

  2. And I’m bubbly with excitement waiting to hear the details!

    Congrats on the all the good news, and on the editing progress. I’m deep into editing as well, and it is wonderful but more than a little exhausting.

    1. Yes, it can be a challenge to pick a story apart by the seams and then try to reassemble it into something that appears seamless and whole again. Good luck!

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