rflong: (Camberwick Sam)
( Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:57 am)
to an R. Ah well, they happen.

The alter-ego* is having better luck with her short stories(sold one end of last week), I am having better luck with my longer ones. Strange isn't it? Perhaps the different genres suit the length at which I write. Or maybe, as [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  unintentionally quipped this morning, I'm just a "long" writer when it comes to fantasy. (Ha ha! *wipes tears of mirth from eyes*) The other stories - short, snappy, contemporary, no the identity is still sekrit so there - flow very easily. They're also usually short (max 6k, except for the novella but that was more paranormal so akin to fantasy). And in one sense I can't write them fast enough.

However, when I try to write short fantasy at the moment, while I come out with a story I might love (and in some cases LOVE) it just doesn't sell. Weird.

Is it the complexity of a fantasy (or urban fantasy or paranormal romance) world? I know I have stories that I tried to make short - honest to GOD! I tried - but just want to be long no matter what I do. Every reader comes back with - yeah, but it needs to be longer. *headdesk* 

I'm not complaining as such, but wondering why? It happens, I guess. Something at the planning stage. Something in the level of detail I like in a story.  Are there less people writing in the other genre? (errr... I think not). Are there more markets? (No, although I've found one particular market that likes my work).  Is one genre a tougher sell than the other? (Not in this market matey).

Or maybe the alter-ego is better than me???

Eep! *scurries off to work on craft*

(*this post has it's tongue firmly in its cheek)

rflong: (Elf)
( Apr. 22nd, 2008 09:14 am)
*sigh* an R on Puzzlebox.

But a good R, if there can be such a thing. Lots of helpful comments, compliments on voice and my fav "strong mechanics made this an easy read" which is nice. And encouragement to submit more.

But still an R.


I know there has been some debate about whether to post on blogs about gettings R's but I figure its all steps along the way. If someone really thinks anyone gets published without any Rs at all, they must never have tried.

If someone has got published without any Rs at all...  grab your torch and pitchfork, lads!


Strangely, this time the rejection mourning doesn't seem as bad. And that is probably what defines a "good" rejection. This lovely editor took the time to point out where I went wrong, making points I can use to make it better and told me where I had got it right as well, which is very encouraging - something she need not have done.

So, *pout*, *sigh*, but on the whole a sense of getting there, perhaps?

What constitutes a "good" R for you?
rflong: (Sive)
( Nov. 27th, 2007 09:52 am)
Ok, I've been in rejection mourning since Sunday, which isn't good. I don't take rejection well. (NSS!)

On the other hand, I sent out two pieces, one immediately after the rejection (Elements to Interzone (!!!!)) and The Wolf's Sister to an eBook place as a novella. I did a run through and added back half the stuff I had cut out when trying to force it to be a short story. Basically, it isn't. It's a romance/fantasy novella and is determined I think to be nothing else (except maybe a full blown three volume novel one day if I am not careful).
So yes, slightly ratty, but getting over it all now. Trying to concentrate on some work.

On the other hand I went to a library seminar last friday and got a demo of software for the British Library and the National Library here that takes digital scans of rare books and manuscripts and creates 3d virtual books. It was AMAZING!!!

But really, still in a bad mood.
I got a rejection for "Old Friends". Actually they dissected the story opening, which is not a bad thing - when I get over the usual rejection part of the thing it will probably be quite useful! One of the editors really liked it though, which is good. The rest of them hated it!

Still. Boo, hiss. :D

I've got a new phrase = "rejection mourning"

Back to work on the novel.

rflong: (Beardsley)
( Oct. 9th, 2007 08:40 am)
Home sick from work for a second day. The minor cough I had to the last month has basically knackered my chest so I am armed with inhalers and a super-drowsy making cough syrup. The first plan was to curl up on the sofa with lots of tea and watch digital tv. But we have no milk and the digital broke down. I will have to go out shopping!!! And deal with NTL on the phone, which means staying on hold listening to rubbish tinkly music. I am feeling very sorry for myself indeed.

Yes, I should sleep, but that involves having a workable bed, but a middle of the night spillage which has resulted in children being banned from our bed in perpetuity means that is out of the question. Grrr....

Writing wise: I'm ploughing ahead on the new idea, because this always happens to me so I am just going to throw time and energy at it until I run out and turn my attention back to something else. I'm on to Chapter 3. :D

I got a rejection from IGMS for Old Friends last night. I have a print out of it so will give it a once over today and try to get it out again as soon as possible.  I still have to do the same with The Wolf's Sister. My main worry is that The Wolf's Sister is a much bigger job.

It also looks like I will be brushing off The Penitent again, as my time with MacMillan is up with no word from them, which I guess means a no. *sigh* I think I will hit the agent trail again. At least you generally get your rejections!

HEY! The TV has come back! Things are looking up! :D

I spent yesterday evening decorating the cake and sorting the party bags for my son's friends. It looks like we will have 17 little guests at Sea Life in Bray this afternoon (!) Here is the cake.

Do you think he likes Harry Potter?

It worked out pretty well using mini sponge rolls, a large sponge roll and two madeira cakes chopped up. I used fondant icing, which I then painted with red food colouring (I couldn't be doing with getting that dark a red through kneading the icing - it always ends up pink and my hands end up scarlet for about a week afterwards. I used a roll for the chimney as well and sweets for the remaining decoration. It's a little wobbly, but I am pleased on the whole.

Have to remember to warn the restaurant about the skewers holding it together!

Yes, it is BP-day and I don't mean British Petroleum! A little nervous. I was still getting messages from other harassed mummies last night and this morning who had only just found the invite their child had stuffed in the bottom of their bag! :D It's not just me!

On a more serious, writerly note, I got a rejection from Leading Edge for The Wolf's Sister today (sniff!) so now have to find another market for a longer piece (I think its about 14k, novelette length anyway). The rejection was very nice though 

"We would like to encourage you to continue writing stories and submitting to Leading Edge. We appreciate quality work and are always looking for talented writers "

So I am focusing on the birthday and trying not to feel sorry for myself.

Once again, Internet explorer foils my lovely post and crashes when I try to do something. Arrgghh. Most annoying Microsoft thingy ever.

So here is the mark 2 post, which won't be as funny or witty or clever. But here goes.

Not yet properly awake, even after two mugs of tea and a drive on the M50 carpark motorway in pouring rain. I also set up a cooler in our special collection room, trying to take down the temperature to a level that will not slowly dry out the books in the manner of smoked kippers. Hmm, better check the cooler shortly, just to make sure I did actually set it up alright.

I wrote a bit of May Queen last night, new words which are always wonderful at first glance, and rather disappointing at the second. Still. they are new words and that is what matters. A twist came to me, as twists will, which I think has firmly lodged its way into the narrative. Hopefully it is as clever as I thought it was last night anyway.

I also typed up a little more Moy Tura Echoes. This may be the best way to work myself out of the block I have found myself stuck in with this novel . There is some more still to type - two more scenes I think and then I hit the end of what I have written so far. But hopefully something magical will occur. Either that or I will have to put in some serious grind. Well, I'll let you guess which is more likely at the moment.

Sunday is Book Day at Farmleigh house, with a special exhibition on special bindings in my dream library . There are a load of children's book events going on so we should be able to entertain the small ones long enough for me to Ooo and Ahhh a reasonable amount. There is a gang of us going, most of the Leceister Codex brigade I think, so it should be fun. Thing is, I hope the weather isn't like today.

My son starts football tomorrow morning. (That's soccer for the rest of you). He is so excited I doubt he will sleep tonight. Again, I hope the weather isn't like today!!! And he made a new friend last night. A family with a boy his age moved in up the street and they have bonded big time in the space of about twenty minutes. Guess I'd better get used to having a second little boy running around. My daughter looked a bit shocked though. She isn't used to having to SHARE her brother with someone else. And someone who wasn't impressed by her Little Mermaid Barbie, either. The indignity!

I got a rejection for The Bonny Lass O'Fyvie the other day  (no comments or anything) so it is off out again elsewhere. 

Will probably be wallpapering the infamous kitchen tonight, and trying to avoid listening to the screams from the living room as Ireland plays France in the Rugby World Cup. Determined to have take away at least. Something will have to make up for it. No, I think the wall papering is a really good idea. 

I am not a rugby fan, except by osmosis.

Also must find out what the French press wrote about a particular member of the Irish team that has them so riled up!
rflong: (River Bridge)
( Sep. 2nd, 2007 01:09 pm)
Coupled with two rejections coming through last night - one for Come and Play and one for The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie. I've sent out Come and Play again already and want to do The Bonny Lass as a snail mail, so much print it up and write a letter on the home pc (it being the one with a printer attached!)

I've been unpacking most of the morning. We still have all the bags to go. Hubbie just phoned. He was out with his fishing club and has six mackerel for us for dinner tonight (ok, maybe not ALL of them for dinner). We also picked up some rather lovely sorrel sauce in France so that might be the menu, I reckon.

France was lovely, really really lovely. We were in a great site in a wonderful area. Most of all we didn't do too much which has left us both wonderfully relaxed (possibly a little too relaxed). The world is winding up around us and I don't think we're quite ready to join in yet. My daughter goes back to her creche tomorrow and my son and my husband are back to school/work on Tuesday. I am the lucky one - not back until next Monday (at my boss' suggestion! YAY!), but we have a lot to do to get the boy ready for school again! Shoes for one thing. He needs new ones. And the new (which we did manage to be organised enough to get before we went) trousers have to be taken up. (Mum?!)

I have to get myself back to writing. Big time. The only problem with taking a holiday is that you do have to get going again afterwards. Ah well. May get something done shortly.

Oh, and I am busily planning evening courses for the new term. Might even take two! Eek. Such ambition. So far my options are Fencing, Pottery, Jewellery Making, and Woodcarving. Such a dilemma.

Yes, all taking away from those all important writing hours. Bad bad me.

Anyway, talk soon
rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2007 10:12 am)
Two rejections this morning.

One for The Wrecker's Daughter from Heliotrope (32 days)and one for Come and Play from Wierd Tales (49 days). I think I have another market for The Wrecker's Daughter, a fairly unusual one, but I have to go check out their submission guidelines. Not sure about Come and Play - I have one idea, but want to see if I can pull up anything else first.

Other than that, I have done NO writing thanks to JK Rowling and THAT book. I finished it last night. There were laughs and tears and a certain amount of cheering (in my head). I really enjoyed it. There were one or two spots where it dragged a little, but the main thing that struck me is the vast improvement in her writing over the years. Yes, of course you would expect that, but it was glaringly obvious in this one. What an amazing thing to do though, to have so many people, children and adults gagging to get to the end of the seventh book in a series.

The kitchen is nearly there. Nearly.  We had a couple more hiccups (surprise!). We're trying to work out why everything about this installation has ended up being "non-standard". The cooker went in last night (hurray) and looks wonderful. The oven isn't wired in yet, but the hob is and works. I may yet get my pasta! We're all having a night off tonight and then doing a full day tomorrow. I must take some pictures. I have a couple of befores already. I'll do an "in progress" tonight (if I remember) and an "after" on Saturday evening. We will still have to decorate, of course, but that is to be expected. There is a large hole in one wall exposing the pipes. The electrician took on look at it and said "That was the work of a plumber!". There was also a leak in the bathroom at some point and the ceiling above the cooker is bowed so a panel will have to be replaced. (Yippee!) So, there will be tiling, papering and painting to beat the band going on next week. And I am a painting monster when I get going.

Off to check up on the local DIY shop where I will be spending my lunch hour looking for wall lights. :D

Yes, the laptop is up and running and the sofa is lovely and comfortable.

Not a whole lot to report. No writing/editing done as such because the computer was otherwise engaged. And I was engaged in mindless television.

I still have the second half of the scene with the Pigeon Man to get down longhand - may have a stab at it tonight. May just go to sleep, of course. You never can tell.

Another rejection in, however, for "Old Friends" from Strange Horizons. This is a Tyria story, a portion of her past before A Dream of the West began. One day I will go back to that novel and make it work.

In the meantime I will have to find a market for "Old Friends" - logically it shouldn't be too hard - it's straight heroic fantasy with a strong female protagonist. Of course, it may be a bit more difficult if the story is actually pants.

Starting to desperately look forward to the holiday at the end of August. The weather here is dire - it is probably not much better in Brittany, but it does have the advantage of being in France! :D  Ah, food and wine - what more can I say! Soon, soon...

Flicking around the tv and found Vampirella, the movie. Wow, Roger Daltry can chew scenery! And Vampirella's costume is doing more acting than she is! I remember the comics really clearly, but not an actual plot line (there probably wasn't a plot line - the film definitely is lacking one!)

Anyway, time for bed methinks.  Yes, I should do many many things, but I'm sleeping and my brain stops working when that happens. I fought off a migraine earlier today and it has left me wacked out ever since. I sometimes wonder if I would be better off succumbing and withdrawing to a darkened room for several hours. However, when it strikes in work it does leave one vitally unanswerable question - if I have lost at least half of my field of vision, how do I drive home? Hmmm....

zzz zzz zzz Time to go....
This time just to the UK tomorrow to stay with family. I'm taking a day to go down to the Friars at Aylesford and see the library there. I'm really looking forward to that.

The quest for "was" continued last night. I'm almost half way through. Problem is I will then have to go back and look for "felt"s and "seem"s and "had"s. Oh joy. This is going to take longer than I thought. But as I started...

Got a very nice rejection on The Wrecker's Daughter from Shimmer, complimentary on the story as a different and welcome take on the selkie legend. I sent is out again to Heliotrope, so we will see how fast they get back to me this time. Last story had a pretty fast turnaround - under a day I seem to remember! :D Still, fingers crossed. I believe strongly in this story and really want to find it a good home.

Why am I referring to my stories more and more like stray cats? Hmmm...

So, still have all the packing to do, and I'm heading downtown at lunchtime to get sterling from the bank, and pick up some other bits and pieces for the trip. We have to pack this evening and work out whether we can take the car seats or not. The cat sitter is calling in the get the keys tonight too. Busy busy busy. Looking forward to it, but probably will look forward to it more once the day is over. 

Not likely to get much writing done tonight, but maybe I can work on the new story and the next chunk of Moy Tura Echoes while I am away.

Well, one thing I can say for Andromeda Spaceways, they're quick! And they gave notes.

Don't think they like the story though!

Totally exhausted today. I had a really busy day yesterday and today so I will probably try to veg tonight. Once I've cooked dinner and put the children to bed, and phoned my mum to find out what my visiting cousin is planning for the week and whether they want to come to the library, and phone the parents of my son's friend to find out where the birthday party is on Wednesday... AND FINISH THE GIN!

Nah, only joking. It's too expensive to drink the whole bottle of Bombay Sapphire in one night.

So, bit blah, going to put pen to paper in a little while and maybe have a think about short stories - I am torn at the moment as I really want to work on the novels. On the other hand, stories have more short term gratification! I don't know.

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just blah. I told you that already.

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 17th, 2007 08:54 am)
Yes its Sunday morning because basically I was too jazzed to write anything last night. I watched the first of the 3 part finale of this season's Dr. Who. Not only did I have David Tennent there, but also John Barrowman playing Captain Jack, Derek Jacobi as one of my favorite actors ever, and John Sim from Life on Mars.
Spoiler )
I went a little hyper by the end. Oh happy day. I could be a little insufferable for the next couple of Saturdays.

The writing on the last few episodes has been really superb. The two parter with the Family of Blood, Blink and now last night's episode just rocked.

I also watched Jekyll with James Nesbitt, the first part of a series which was also wonderful (although it could have been riding on the Dr. Who wave of elation. We'll have to see how it develops). Nesbitt is a really good actor and having seen him do so many comedy, cheeky lad parts (yes I know he's done other things but I haven't watched them) it was really amazing to see him switch between Jekyll and Hyde. We spent a lot of the episode going "who's that? who's that?" at one person in particular Denis Lawson, aka Wedge Antilles!

On the writing side, I got a rejection from IGMS for The Wrecker's Daughter, just a form letter. I have now sent it off to Andromeda Spaceways. I now have 9 pieces out; 7 stories and 2 poems. Not a lot of movement from anything. I am waiting on one which was referred to a higher power but its all gone terribly silent since. This was at the end of March. I'm trying to get the nerve up to mail and find out what has happened.

I am trying to get the Penitent together for Macmillan New Writing. I need to do some work on May Queen for the crit group as it is not actually as coherent a narrative as I remembered! *cringe*.  And I need to write some more of Moy Tura Echoes, although that seems to be almost back on track after a fairly shaky "how do I pull this together" section!

I have to go to a work thing this afternoon and then Pat and I are going out ot dinner tonight so this is my only chance at the computer today I think. And what am I doing? Of course I am. Why be constructive?

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 14th, 2007 10:01 am)
I'm all up and down again.

Got a rejection from another agency on The Penitent. Hmm... I know this is meant to be difficult, but really! 

Still no news on the myriad short submissions still out there which I am taking as a good thing. (Sort of...)

On the other hand, work is good - very busy and all gearing up for the annual lecture on Sunday. I have to do up a book list for that. Still have a pile of cataloging sitting on my desk too.

And I am now a slush editor at Haruah. Don't actually know what that means as yet, because I need someone to explain the system to me but I am very excited about it (always excitable). It adds a new dimension to The Lost Rose as it is on submission there. It's the old adage skewed to deal with editors, but subbed pieces have to be better than good and really really polished. Maybe I have just made things a lot harder for myself! Uh-oh.

Anyway, work calls. Better get some done. It does pay for everything else!

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 12th, 2007 06:13 pm)
Really. Not a good day at all.

The cat didn't come home last night. No sign of him since yesterday morning and I have now managed to get myself worried sick imagining all sorts of awful things. Logically I am sure he is ok. He is a tom, (or formerly was) and they roam. I have owned one before and should know what they are like. That's logically. I don't really do logically.

I went to a funeral this morning, the dad of a friend I have known since I was about 4 and that really upset me.

Finally I got a rejection, a very nice and polite one, from the Nelson Literary Agency for The Penitent.

So now I have the joy of starting all over again!

I have decided to do nothing tonight except drink a very large gin and tonic (or two) and tomorrow I will take another look at the Macmillan New Writing submission guidelines.

And look for the cat again. (tonight, that is)

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 5th, 2007 09:09 am)

Just to log another rejection. This time from Aberrent Dreams for "Come and Play". Poo etc!

Just back from the Bloom Garden Show in Phoenix Park. This was not the day for it to say the least. The torrential rain has just stopped (now that we are home!) We were running late as we had friends over for dinner and what turned out to be a rather late night. This became an early morning - ah yes, children. Rise earlier at weekends to get more out of the day.  We had advance tickets but were supposed to be there before 12. What with traffic and fairly chaotic parking, that wasn't going to happen. One would think that given the amount of rain that falls in this country we would be a little better equipped.
But then something amazing happened...
We bundled ourselves up, rain coats and buggy covers and umbrellas, all the requisite summer kit, and trudged through the muddy field masquerading as a car park in the rain, with a few other stalwart souls (those like us too stubborn to forsake the price of their tickets). At the ticket collection point, I handed in my printed sheet with the details and got our ticket. But when I said "We were meant to be here before 12" the guy behind the glass shrugged and went  "Don't worry about it".
This isn't the money grubbing Celtic Tiger Ireland I have come to know. Inside we found reasonable a lunch in the food market - Superb Cornish Pasties by Prue and Simon, hubbie had a hotdog from Hicks Hotdogs which was yum. I bought a gorgeous acer for a tenner. The gardens were beautiful, and raindrops glistening on everything made it all the more magical in places.
True, it was muddy and damp, and got more crowded as the day went on, but it was the type of days out I remember from my childhood. Before we got spoiled by sunshine and restaurant meals and lattes. It was wet and tiring.
And FUN.
We're all exhausted. I've even just about managed to get over the very nice story rejection I got this morning. As nice as a rejection can be. Sounds bizarre, but true. Very complimentary, personal notes on why the story wasn't accepted and a reminder that of 300 submissions it made it through to the last hurdle of this editors desk. Perhaps its just me. I really do appreciate that kind of feedback, honestly. It makes you believe you are actually getting somewhere. But this is the third in a row. *sigh*
Anyway, I will look at it tomorrow and get it out again. I promise. But not tonight.
Tonight I am going to curl up on the sofa, watch my beloved Dr. Who and try to dry out. Oh, and appreciate the uncommon moment when a stressy, potentially unpleasant day turns out to be just fine!


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