Burn, baby

It’s been a little while since I posted. In the mean time, I saw Alice in Wonderland (charming, but somewhat unsatisfying) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (weirdly wonderful), enthused over the Oscars, and had my soul crushed. Oh, I’m sorry, what? That last bit? Yes, well, it happens.

Story: I went to Comic-Con last year with a friend who is a pro artist. I want to go again. I had pipe dreams of applying for a pro pass myself, since the qualifications seem to suggest (though only by turns) that people who have written for books count as pros. Mostly, I thought I would just try and see what happened. Instead, when I started to fill out the online application, I discovered that I don’t even have enough pro publications to qualify, assuming they do accept books. Um.

To say I was disappointed was something of an understatement. It felt like someone had come into my house, poked around my belongings with a vaguely offended air, and announced that I don’t actually count as a person. I realize that my status as a pro is tentative by even the most generous standards, but this felt so personal. Much more so than a rejection letter, which I deal with very well.

So I spent yesterday feeling sorry for myself. Then I spent today lighting a fire under my ass. (I fight depression with spite and bile and an obsessive sense of competition.)

I went onto Duotrope’s Digest and found a bunch of anthologies accepting submissions over the next year. There were not a lot of romance ones available and I had checked out most of them previously and determined that I was not interested. But there was fantasy in droves. And there was science fiction, which, okay, I haven’t written before, but that just means I need to learn. Same goes for horror, for which there were more anthologies than you can shake a stick at, even after I weeded out the zombie ones (one thing in horror that scares me too much). A couple romance crossovers and a few that accept just about any genre on the theme. And westerns. Two of them. I swore up and down that I would never write a western (I have personal issues with cowboys), except now it seems I will be writing some.

It might sound like I trivialized all these genres that I don’t normally write, saying, hey, any idiot can write this. Thing is, I just want to tell stories. And I don’t like the idea that there are all these genres out there where stories can be told but I don’t have the knowledge. Because someday I’m going to have an idea that needs to be a horror story or a mystery or (jeez) a western but I won’t know it because I don’t know the genre. So okay, I’ll learn them. I’m actually pretty intimidated by these genres that are so unfamiliar. So I have my work cut out for me.

But the point is I will write like the devil and if I get into even a few of the 27 (jeez again!) anthologies I picked out, I will be doing, well, rather a lot better than I am right now. Most of the calls are just for a few thousand words anyway, which, hey, now I’ll trivialize something because I can eat a five thousand word story for breakfast. So next year, when Comic-Con rolls around, I will have more than enough publishing credits (still assuming they accept books, but I know they do sci-fi and I’ve got 14 anthologies that will take it). Not everything pays, so not everything counts as pro work either, I suppose. But I don’t have time for these petty details. I will be a writing fiend.

Plus, there’s the whole part where this is my job, but really, right now, I’m much more motivated by the idea of spitting in the eye of my (largely imaginary) detractors.

Here: a screen cap of the deadlines by month, plus a grab-bag of ones that will close when they fill (?).

What am I thinking?

Published by Joyce Sully

Joyce Sully believes in magic and dragons and ghosts, but is not convinced her next-door neighbors are real. So she writes stories. Really, what else could she do?