Writing Challenge Month 2 Results

I’ve reached the end of the second month in my personal writing challenge and here’s how I’ve come out:

Month: 2/12 16.67%
Stories Written: 4 completed stories + 5 the month before = 9/52 17.3%
Stories Read: 69 + 95 the month before = 164/1,000 16.4%
Pro Publications: 0/5

January was very productive in terms of shifting my mindset. I read seven books on craft and started to focus more on telling good stories instead of worrying about prose. I’m trying to incorporate more emotion and description in my writing to tell more vivid and compelling stories. So I certainly didn’t mind the dip in short fiction reading in exchange for all the craft books I read.

I ended up making the highest round of consideration in Fireside which I was proud of achieving, and I got a hold notice from a pro market that I have hopes will turn into a second sale to them, so there is hope for my five pro sales yet–I’m pretty eager to break into that goal to get the ball rolling.

Aside from those things, I’ve started getting into longer short stories. I’ve been mostly a flash writer up to this point and I think a lot of that has to do with my learning. I feel comfortable telling a story in 1k words but very out of my element with anything longer. I’m trying to push myself to write longer stories with more content and I hope that several of my 52 stories wind up longer than 1k.

Thanks for following along!

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Story Release: The Astral Queen

Hello!

I wanted to make you aware of the release of Little Blue Marble’s 2018 anthology. I have a micro science fiction piece titled The Astral Queen within and my story is surrounded by many talented writers. If you can spare a couple bucks and want to check it out, it can be ordered here. Little Blue Marble recently transitioned to a professional paying market back in October and the quality of Little Blue Marble’s publications is top notch.

Thanks for following along!

-ESF

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An Early Start

I surpassed my reading and writing goals for last year by a lot so I’m going to go ahead and start on my 2019 goals for motivational purposes and just try to get them done by December 1 of next year. So based on last year’s goals and what I want to accomplish this next year, this is what I’m going to try to achieve:

1. Write 52 stories. I write mostly flash (around 80% of my fiction) and wrote 59 stories from January 1 to now, but I want to have that level of productivity next year and hopefully blow right past this number.

2. Read 1,000 short stories. Now, in years past I’ve set a book goal and I typically read 50-75 books a year. However, with the focus I want to put on short fiction, I want to read 1k stories. I think it will be beneficial to my writing too. I’m a first reader at two pro venues so I will not count these, just regular published stories. I’m already preparing my Barnes & Noble anthology buying spree. 😛

3. Pro publish 5 stories. This one will be a hard one. I set a goal of 1 this year and ended up with 3, but they are so hard to get. I didn’t really start subbing to pro venues until mid-year this year and as long as I keep up with my short fiction goal, I hope to be churning out enough stories that this number isn’t quite so unrealistic.

So these are my goals. Additionally, I want to post monthly updates here to keep track of stories read, written, and also for the first time I’d like to keep track of word count—it might be useful in future goals! Every year for the last four years I’ve set some type of goals and have always reached them. This year will be the biggest stretch yet and I really hope to keep up with it. Feel free to follow along to cheer or jeer at your leisure.

Pro Sale #3

My flash fiction story “A Girl Like Us” will appear in the Flame Tree Press Newsletter later today. This sale caught me off guard as so many authors sub to only one available slot in the newsletter each month, and I was pleasantly surprised. This represents my third professional short fiction sale since my first in August.

You can read my story in the newsletter by signing up for free here. The story should publish later today.

Thanks for following along.

-ESF

Reading/Writing Goals 2019

Today I read my 75th book and completed my 2018 reading and writing goals. At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 75 books (which I’ve read 75), write 10 short stories (I’ve written 57), and land my first pro sale (I’ve landed 3). So I’ve set my goals for next year already, and they’re a lot more aggressive.

For 2019 I want to read 1,000 short stories, write 52 stories, and pro publish 5. I don’t think these goals are too outrageous with the year I’ve had this year, but we will of course see.

Thanks for following along.

-ESF

Story Sale – “Toy Hearts”

I received an acceptance today for my science fiction flash story “Toy Hearts” in Asymmetry Fiction, a semi-pro webzine. The story explores the possibility of giving micro bots emotional and cognitive capabilities. It comes in just under 1k words and will be available to read on their site at the end of next month.

Pro Sale #2!

Pro Sale! Two months to the day after my first professional short fiction sale to Galaxy’s Edge, I am excited to announce my second professional short fiction sale. My science fiction story “Leeching for Good” is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction! I’m very excited about this sale, DSF was one of the first magazines I read regularly and a sale I’ve been hunting the longest.