Ten years ago, I attended Viable Paradise 16, where I met many fine folks and learned a lot, especially how little I actually knew about writing. Up to that point, I’d been running on ideas, ego, and caffeine. (The official term is “pantsing” but you already knew that.) Sure, I’d attended a moderately competitive and stupidly expensive MFA program, but my primary advisor didn’t really grok “fantastic literature” and my utter lack of life experience didn’t help.
Since having my words dissected, inspected, and cheered on by 23 other students, 6 instructors, and 3 awesome house elves, I am happy to report (and a little surprised, honestly) that I’m still doing this thing. And I’ve made friends. Thank Buddha for the interwebs, for apart from a few cons and weekend writing get-togethers, most of my interaction has been online. Zoom, of course, is a game-changer (as was Google Hangouts before that). Most weeks I get to see at least a couple of friendly faces who understand what it means to grab a pick and shovel and head into the Word Mines.
Doing a very unscientific review of my fiction efforts (thanks, Submissions Grinder, you’re the best), here’s what I came up with:
- Stories accepted since VP: 25
- Total all submissions same period: 357 (approx)
- Fewest submissions to sale: 1 – Tie: “The Long View” and “Jizo Rides the Bus”
- Most submissions to sale: 23 – “The Astrologer of the 5th Floor”
- Most submissions without a sale: 44 (and counting) – “Schadenfreuders”
- Stories in submission as of today: 10
- Stories abandoned to the trunk/did not finish: 6
- Stories in progress: 8 (some of which will probably be trunked)
- Public readings: 5 (including podcasts)
- Total $$ to date: Don’t go there.
Next week is Worldcon in Chicago. It is my sincere hope that I sit down with some of my fellow Fire Wombats and raise a glass to 10 years of serious mining.