I was pretty well on track for my July goals until about halfway through the month, when I got word that I had won the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize and that my first book, a short story collection called Peter Never Came, will be published by Autumn House next April. For the first few days after I found out, I entertained notions that I could work under editorial deadline to get the book ready and keep working on my new novel at the same time, but it turns out that goal was a bit unrealistic. So I made the executive decision to put the new novel aside for now (which was really kind of painful since I’ve been on quite a roll with it, and I know it will be hard to get back into it after a break, but ah well).
The book contract also puts a damper on my usual 10 submissions a month goal, since all of the stories that I’ve been submitting were part of this collection. About half of those stories have already been published, but the other half were the ones I’ve been sending around. I no longer have anything to submit, and that’s kind of scary (although, as Damien keeps reminding me, kind of exciting, too, as blank slates invariably are).
So, while my main goal—the one that I have no choice but to keep—for August is to keep working with my editor to get my book ready for publication (and do all the other odd jobs involved with publishing a book, like getting my bio and author’s photo together, tracking down blurbs, etc.), I’m also hoping to scrape a bit of time together to work on some new stories. I have a pretty long list of ideas I’ve been waiting to work on, but for the past several months it seemed like every time I sat down to write, I ended up revising. Revision is important, don’t get me wrong, but I think it will be good for me to simply have to write some new stuff.
- Continue revising/polishing my book to have it ready by the September 15th editorial deadline
- Try to work on some new stories