The Barrel of a Shogun

For those of you who don’t know the story, “barrel of a shogun” was perhaps my single most infamous typos.  In part because it was so persistent.  It survived not just edits of the story that spawned it, but even the transition from a short story to a short teleplay.  The word was meant to be shotgun, but because I am my own worst editor, and Word never thought to mark it with one of the red squiggly lines I overuse as a crutch, it just kept thriving.

I tell that story not to provide a cautionary tale about editing, or warning about reliance on spell checkers that can’t necessarily understand context, but more as a distraction to myself as I realize what phase my writing career is about to enter.  It did so gradually, without me being aware of it, which is probably how it’s supposed to happen.  I realized this weekend that I already have two stories out for consideration, two in progress that will go out between now and July 15, and another story that just got rejected and will likely head back out again soon.

Depending on response times for the three stories for anthologies with June 30th deadlines, I may soon have five stories simultaneously out for consideration.  And all in the month when my first short story publication is supposed to drop.

Madness.  Absolute madness.  And yet, it’s a point where I needed to get to, that point where I get over the jitters of submitting and have a solid stable of stories ready to venture forth into the world.  Most of them even have secondary or tertiary destinations if they miss their primary targets.  But I will say with confidence: one of the five will hit.  I’ve been told for years that as an author one shouldn’t set goals that are outside of one’s influence.  Which is to say never set “publication” as a goal.  But I’m feeling just that good about where I am now that I see limbs and I want to walk out on them.  So that’s my limb.  One story.  20% success rate.  If it was a major league hitter he’d be sent down to the minors, but for a starting out writer it’s probably hoping for far too much.

But if it weren’t for optimism, I wouldn’t be sending out stories at all.

So out on the branch I go.  Just watch out for me, cause if I miss and go zero for five, this branch is just high enough for a noose.

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  1. avatar

    #1 by Day Al-Mohamed on June 21, 2011 - 10:15 pm

    No noose. I think you’re going to head out onto that limb and jump…and discover you can fly.

    Or at least glide.

    *images of DL_Thurston as some sort of sugar glider or other flying rodent*

    But seriously, you’re writing more, writing better and it isn’t just writing and calling it good. It’s editing and thinking, and practicing (#5MinuteFiction pays off as practice) and submitting.

    So…I don’t know if it is optimisim alone, but it is forward momentum in a writing career vs. the hobbyist who tells friends, “Oh me, yes, I’m a writer; working on a novel, you know” and you never hear anything from that person again.

    So whoo hoo! You rock. Let me cheer from the sidelines and feel just a wee bit of jealousy. *wink*

    Guess this means the rest of us need to “get it into gear.” Don’t want to be the only rodents left in the tree.

  2. avatar

    #2 by DLThurston on June 22, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    I think this is also a bit of a flurry, after which things may calm down a little. Heck, I’m thinking of actually taking a short break from short stories to give these five submissions a chance to settle down and maybe, gasp, working on Capsule.

  3. avatar

    #3 by Lucas on February 29, 2016 - 8:29 am

    Can get to MassMirror okay, but the d/l speeds are mminial. I’m experiencing massively reduced d/l speeds with all sites though.I’m not sure what you’re talking about. You’re not downloading the file from Mass Mirror, you’re downloading it from one of the hosts, such as Rapidshare, Megaupload, Badango, etc.So if the actual file downloading is slow, it’s one of those; not Mass Mirror. Or maybe your computer is not configured to download optimally.Jeff

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