Monday, September 21, 2009

A Boot to the Head

Current Reading: Symir: The Drowning City, by Amanda Downum

Inspirational Quote: "Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

It's nice to have someone around to give you a kick when your thinking diverges too far from considerations of reality.

Take last week's post. I raised my points to Penelope and expressed my general discouragement with the state of short-story markets. She nodded and then said, "Well, yes, but what do you really want out of publishing them anyway? Recognition? Readership? Feedback? It can't be money, because you know nobody can make money writing short stories."

Um. Well, yeah, but... Um.

Okay, I hadn't been thinking like that. I hadn't been thinking sensibly. What I want out of my short work is to have them published and read. I want them to be out there as visible reminders to me that my efforts to string words together aren't hopeless. I want people to see them and think, "Hey, I liked that. I wonder what else this guy's done?" As measures of my ability, I want to see them pass editorial standards and succeed.

Note that, despite my assertion last week about wanting to be a "professional," there's no mention of money in the above. Nor should there be, although I'd welcome some negotiable currency in exchange for producing publishable material. For my short work, money isn't the primary motivator. I should stop thinking of it as such and just put my work out there in whatever venues are willing to publish it.

In related news:

I notice that Fantasy magazine is looking for slush readers. Now THAT would be an interesting (unpaid) job. I'd apply, but I'd need to add a few hours to my day because the standard 24 are already stuffed.

In closing, a clip from The Frantics (a Canadian comedy group from the '80s, headlined by the inestimable Rick Green) set to an animation of Transformers because everything is better with giant Japanese killer robots. Let it serve as a reminder that the Hand of Correction is not always a gentle one.

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