Saturday, March 20, 2010

My First Editorial Job (and some other stuff)!

I've been delinquent in posting anything at all to this blog. I created it at the start of the year, with the intention of posting "important" information about myself and what I'm doing as a writer.

Here we are in March and I'm finally getting around to doing that.

The biggest news is that I recently had the opportunity to sit in the seat of a fiction editor, which is quite different from the cushy position of a fiction writer. (Well, it's kind of cushy by comparison...I write for fun; editing is almost like real work!)

My good friend, Angel Leigh McCoy, who founded the Wily Writers website in October 2008, came up with the awesome idea of theme months for 2010. Each month will have two stories featured that fit a particular theme. The themes will be chosen by guest editors, who will also select the two stories from the bank of submissions for that month.

I wanted to do more with the group, since my writing is nowhere near as prolific as I'd like it to be. (I'm working on that.) My response was to volunteer shortly after Angel announced the idea.

After some thinking, my wife came up with a really good suggestion. Even though the idea wasn't initially mine, I knew I had to do it. Thus, March's Wily theme is Twins!

The process of reading and selecting from a group of stories was eye-opening. We didn't get a huge number of submissions, perhaps because I chose one of the earlier months and what might be considered a strange theme. The small number allowed me to read every submission, rather than having to cull some of them based on first impressions alone. Still, the process showed me first-hand that it is impossible for an editor to actually read hundreds of submissions for publication. The lesson for us writers is, you have to work to both meet the submission guidelines and grab the editor from the very beginning. If they can find a reason to cut you before reading all of your story, they probably will. Ultimately, I had fun doing the work, and I hope the readers enjoy the stories I chose.

I was surprised at the many different interpretations of the Twins! theme. I chose the two stories that I could most directly engage as a father of twins. My girls surprised me daily with their antics and have demonstrated some interesting "twin" behavior, like the complex non-verbal communication they have shared since birth. Whether it's telepathy or something else, they each seem to know what the other is thinking. These days, they don't appear to care as much as they did when they were toddlers, but the connection is still there. In fact, they seem to use it as a weapon at times, because they know exactly what to say or do to get the biggest reactions from each other.

So, check out the newest story posted on the Wily Writers website. Written by Larry Lefkowitz, "Miriam's Song" is a haunting and mysterious tale about fraternal twins who share a close bond and the pain that comes when such a bond is severed.

If you're interested in submitting, there's still time left to submit for the current theme, Flash fiction (stories of 1000 words or less). The deadline for submissions is March 31st.

The next theme will be "End of School/Start of Summer", so start those creative engines! The deadline for that theme will be April 30th.

In other news, I've submitted another story for publication in the third installment of Wayfinder magazine. I'm a fan of Paizo Publishing, LLC's fantasy adventure setting, Pathfinder Chronicles. I was fortunate to learn about a fanzine that some folks were putting together for PaizoCon 2009, a small convention for fans of Paizo.

Though I couldn't attend the convention, I was proud to have a story included in the "PaizoCon 2009 Fanzine", which would later come to be known as Wayfinder #1. I submitted and was accepted for Wayfinder #2, as well. The story I started there will continue to be told at, if I can ever get my butt in gear.

When Liz "Lilith" Courts announced the deadline for Wayfinder #3 submissions, I despaired that I would not be able to submit to the magazine. Work and home life have been very busy, lately, and I wasn't sure if I would have time to write a story for this issue. However, my pride pushed me to get a submission together in the 11th hour (almost literally), and I'm proud to say that I've at least submitted a story to every issue of Wayfinder.

That's particularly important to me, this year, because I've made arrangements to attend PaizoCon 2010. I'm psyched about the chance to meet up with so many great people, with whom I've corresponded via e-mail and messageboard posts for years. Paizo's staff is made up of some amazingly talented and friendly people. I'm looking forward to meeting some of them in June.

Well, I think that brings everything up to date. I suspect my next post will be about my current writing projects. I do have a couple of irons in the fire...they're just heating up very slowly.