Sunday, March 11, 2007

Much ado about nothing

The news I alluded to in my previous post is nothing big. I'm sorry if y'all thought it was gonna knock your socks off. Just a couple of things I've decided lately that mean something to me, but which aren't likely to impact your lives at all.

The first piece of news is I have decided to return to London for a week in early May. This isn't exactly official yet, but I worked out a budget (factoring in how badly I'd like to return) and I think I can swing it. I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to last time, and just loved the city so much that I thought it would be a nice treat after all the work I've been putting in lately to take a small vacation (with my new camera) and wander those unfamiliar streets once more. For those of you who live there, I'll be the gloomy-looking American with the notebook and camera, sipping a cafe mocha in the sun or asking you if this is really the right tube to my destination. Or I'll be the one crouched down to get a close-up of something rusty or broken while 40 other tourists are taking a picture of something noteworthy.

Again, not exactly official. I should make my final decision by the end of the week, though.

The second bit of news concerns my writing, and the pursuit thereof. I feel like I've gotten my writing to an acceptable level overall, but think I still need work on my storytelling skills. To that end, and bearing in mind how difficult it has been to get any real work done on the novel lately (while working full time, and often nights as well) I have decided to concentrate on a couple of short stories. My plan is to polish a handful of tales into what I would consider worthy of publication, and submit them to some of the bigger fiction journals. I'm guessing I won't get anything published, but I thought it would be nice to find out, and possibly get some editorial feedback as well. And on the off chance that something is accepted, well, that's just a bonus.

This is a bit frightening for me. I've never submitted my writing anywhere. This more or less includes assigned work in school, which I tended to shirk unless absolutely necessary to avoid failing or when a rare assignment came along which captured my interest. I've written for publication before, but never without knowing my piece would be published (or not caring if it would be), and never fiction.

I think I'm up for the challenge. It's probably high time I started putting myself out there into the world at large to see what there is to see. I'm quite certain that I will share any successes or failures here.

The last bit of news involves your writing, Blogreader. I had initially planned to host a second fiction contest at the beginning of May, as that would put me on track to do about four a year. As I will likely be gone during that time (did I mention? to London!) I'm guessing I'll either do one later in May, or at the beginning of June. I was so happy with how you guys responded the first time that I know I want to do it again. There will be some changes to the rules for this one. I'm still working out the kinks and figuring out how to do this stuff.

Incidentally: we have two days left in our faux-spring before the needle dips back into the blue, and I was out enjoying the weather with my camera again. 22 new shots made the cut onto my Flickr page, if you wanna check it out. I appreciate the comments you guys gave me about the last round of pics. It's really a good feeling to be able to share my city (or my view of my city) with you.


Chris said...

That's great news all around.

Make/find time for travel. If more people travelled and experienced the world 'out there' we wouldn't have as much war. But I've posted my thoughts on this issue on my own blog so I won't waste your space with them again.

I'm loving your pictures and now I'm thinking I need to upgrade my camera. However, I do like the portability of my wee Nikon as I always have it stashed in my purse ready to take out at a moments notice for that great shot. Still, I'm thinking about it.

Good luck with the publishers. I look forward to seeing your title available on Amazon. Will you give us bloggers the chance to purchase direct from the author, cutting out the middle man?

Anonymous said...


I think that putting yourself out there is a good thing; I know how hard it can be. If you ever want a second set of myopic eyes to look over something before you submit it, let me know.

Also, have a meaningful trip to London. You might consider visiting cemeteries for interesting photographs--it is an atmosphere that just kind of puts you in a different place (and it's usually quiet...).


basest said...

it's about time! (re: the story submission thing. I'm not sure I care one way or another about the timing of your return to London) I'm relatively certain I wondered out loud to you many years ago why you weren't trying to get your writing out there.

Anonymous said...

London is pretty cool, well worth the trouble. I'm happy to hear that you're going to try to publish some things. Last night I just got my first official rejection notice, ever. It was a relief, because I knew the piece wouldn't be accepted, so it was like waiting for the axe to finally fall. Now I start the process of reshaping it and sending it somewhere else. Something new to learn.

The Moon Topples said...

Chris: I definitely miss the portability of my little camera, but find the control and quality worth the extra gear.

As to having a book on Amazon (or elsewhere) that's a long way off. And I'm pretty sure that publishers don't let authors sell their books directly, but if they do, I expect I would set something up here.

Minty: Thanks for the encouragement and the offer of help. As to myopia, one of the shots I took yesterday that didn't make the cut was of Myopic Books, one of my favorite bookstores. Great name, too.

I tried to visit the cemetery where Karl Marx is interred on my last visit, but they had all sorts of rules and a dress code, warnings of mud and limits as to what photographers were allowed to do.

Basest: I don't recall you urging me to get my writing out there, but I believe that you probably did. What can I say? I was a dilettante. Still am, in some ways, as is evident by taking a whole weekend of camera fun when I could have been writing.

CaveyB: I'm not sure if congratulations are appropriate, but first submissions (and rejections) are important markers on the writing road, I suppose. Way to put yourself out there.

Anonymous said...

Happy for you, Mr. T.

I know you have been aching to go back. Way to go.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Great news, all of it. Life is too short not to go to London again. I've noticed that usually when we want something enough, it works out.

As one who also lives in deadly terror of actually submitting fiction, I encourage you to do so. Your writing is quite fine, and there is the indisputable fact that it won't ever get published without that first, wee little step of sending it out in the world.

And I would like to have an autographed copy when it does, if you please.

Caroline said...

I'm so excited (what a surprise!)
So can we organise a blogmeet in London? ;-)
Follow your (note that it's correct) dreams.

Julia Buckley said...

Oh you're coming to London again! That's acer. I'll spread the news across town!

The Moon Topples said...

GT: Yes, I have. Thanks for the good wishes.

HinSF: I'll set aside an autograph for you, just in case...

Caroline: If you have a blogmeet while I'm there, I'd probably go. I'm generally awkward at social functions, though, especially if I don't know very many people. I imagine I'll be stunned into silence by how British you all will look and sound.

Julia: Yes, please tell people, especially at the customs desk, to treat me well. Maybe some sort of discounted hotel rate or food would come in handy as well. You know, if you can swing it.