OK, I think I got the short stories out of my system for a little while, which means that I can get back to papers and proposals; those babies (well, more like cantankerous old men) aren’t gonna write themselves. Also, I will be back to blogging!
Here’s the tally.
Total: Nine stories written and submitted over the past month (more like three and a half weeks).
a) Four pieces are microfiction (~100 words or fewer). One published, one really good that I expect eventually to be published, and two that may or may not be published but I wouldn’t mind retiring them, either. Of the latter two, one works as a poem, so I might try that for kicks. (There is an online poetry journal called Rat’s Ass Review. The name alone means that I simply have to try to get something published in there. Not this particular piece, because it’s not good enough, but something else. Beware!)
b) Four pieces are flash fiction (under 1000 words). I think they are all pretty good; three are mainstream, one is a bit weird with a sci-fi bend and might be tough to place. They are not all the same length, style, or quality, but I think they are all good enough to be published somewhere, eventually. It might take some time for a couple of them.
c) One piece is short fiction, at about 2000 words. I had great fun with language and style when I wrote that one. It might be my best piece yet.
I feel okay about my understanding of the publishing-market lay of the land. I have a GoogleDocs spreadsheet where, for each piece, I have identified a string of 5-10 markets where I can send next following a rejection. I have already received a couple of rejections, but I don’t particularly mind, since those were either from extremely competitive markets (I don’t think I can yet swing it with the best of short-fiction writers, but perhaps some day; a girl can dream!) or from markets that were sort of suitable, but not really, and I sent a story there because I knew (thanks to Duotrope and the Grinder) that they would give me speedy rejections accompanied by personal remarks, which I found helpful.
Resilience seems to be the name of the game when you try to publish creative work. Thanks to perpetually writing grant proposals (and perpetually getting them rejected), my hide is tough; it might have actually been ossified. I should be fine with rejections. My main issue is severe, severe impatience.
See what a young sci-fi/fantasy writer of growing acclaim says:
By the way, come join the fun with our little online short-fiction contest.
Your piece doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t even have to be good, just give it a shot. You can crank out 300 words in no time at all — for instance, this post is over 400 words.