I was supposed to be at the dentist this morning for my cleaning, but at the last moment I got an e-mail that my hygienist is sick, so I’ve unexpectedly run around and cleared my morning without needing to. She’s the best hygienist ever, and people get sick, so I’m not upset in the slightest, but it’s funny how when you plan out a day a certain way and it falls through the empty part of the schedule leaves you sort of blinking and stunned.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, I’m back on schedule with breaking my writing up across certain days. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays belong to “The Big Project” (more on that below), and Wednesdays, like today, are for short fiction (although there’s another big project, also see below).
And since I have an unexpected morning, I suppose I should get to work on something now, rather than later…
The Big Project
This year’s big project (ie: a novel) is a YA. Yep. I’m writing a YA. Cue screaming noises of self-doubt and terror. That said, so far so good, and thanks to the wonders of Scrivener’s auto-target thingamabob™, I am aware I’m ahead of schedule.
Mostly thus far I’ve outlined, written some basic pieces of the basic framework of the main narrative, and am building up my cast of characters and considering ways to make the main character’s life all the more difficult. Much like my first novel, Light, there’s going to be a kind of “no time to stop and think” vibe to this novel for the main character.
The blurb? Why, how nice of you to ask. The working blurb is this:
Being the kid abducted by crazy old Ms. Easton when he was four permanently set Cole’s status to “freak.” At sixteen, his exit plan is simple: make it through the last few weeks of High School with his grades up and his head down.
When he pushes through the front door of the school and finds himself thirty kilometres away holding the door of a museum he was just thinking about, Cole faces facts: he’s either crazier than old Ms. Easton, or he just teleported.
Now every door is an accident waiting to happen—especially when Cole thinks about Malik, who, it turns out, has a glass door on his shower.
When he starts seeing the same creepy people over his shoulder, no matter how far he’s gone, crushes become the least of his worries.
Cole is running out of luck, excuses, and places to hide.
Time for a new exit plan.
The working title is Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks.
The Other Big (But Also Smaller) Project
The second thing I’m working on for this year is a collection. I’m going a bit against the usual, though, in that the collection is going to feature quite a lot of new short fiction—at least half the stories will be previously unpublished—and that’s the heavy lifting part of the project.
Thematically, I’m focusing on my slightly-(or not-so-slightly)-psychic stuff, with bittersweet romances, happy ending romances, and “second chance” stories. The working title is currently Of Echoes Born. Basically, if you enjoyed “Heart,” “Elsewhen,” “The Psychometry of Snow,” “Time & Tide,” or “The Finish,” you’ll know what vibe to expect from the stories. I already have a couple of them finished, and am working on more. One involves a man who can relive the last few moments of those who died wherever he happens to be standing, and another is a piece about a fashion designer with dementia that thematically was the springboard that inspired my novella In Memoriam.
Open Calls for Submission
The other thing I generally do on these Writing Wednesday updates is list off all the various open calls for submission I’ve found and/or am trying to write for. If you know of any others, by all means do drop them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If this is helpful for people other than myself, it’s even better. Also, to keep myself honest, I’m being public about trying to submit something once a month no matter what this year (it worked out well in 2016, so I’m keeping it alive). January thus far: 3 submissions (3 reprints).
- Chicken Soup for the Soul – Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
- Clarkesworld – Currently open for art, non-fiction, and short story submissions.
- Cast of Wonders – Young adult short fiction market, open to story submissions up to 6,000 words.
- Tales to Terrify – A volunteer-run fan podcast featuring short horror, dark fantasy, and other disturbing fiction, looking for works up to 10k; Deadline January 21st, 2017.
- 49th Parallels – Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures, Bundoran Press, deadline February 14th, 2017; 1,500-7k word count limit.
- MM Superpowers anthology – This isn’t the only thing open at Totally Bound (you can click through for the full list), but this is the one I’m eyeing; deadline February 28th, 2017; 10k-15k word count limit, with erotic content.