The Hardest Part Isn’t Waiting for Word

It’s the waiting that follows after you receive word.

Currently I have five short stories hanging out in limbo. A couple are on their first submission, while others have been steadily making the rounds to this magazine or that anthology. One of the recently written ones I’m particularly anxious about, as I think it’s a good fit for the anthology I submitted it to. But, I’m sure it’s up against others that are equally good, if not better. So, we shall see.

It’s easy to get something written, fire it off, and then just sit on your laurels, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for word when you really should be working on the next story to submit, and then the next. Yet, in the past I’ve fallen into that trap of getting so caught up with the act of submitting something that I don’t do anything else. I focus on my day job, I piddle away my writing time with reading or brainstorming, but no actual outlining or writing. No real forward momentum at all.

I thought I had broken that habit a few years ago, and then I wrote a piece and submitted it to a big publisher for an anthology. A few months after that I received word that the publisher was very interested in the story and they were holding it for consideration. I thought, “Oh, wow, this is it!” And even though they said it would be some time before they would get back to me, I settled in and decided to wait.

And wait. And wait.

After a few months I realized it was going to be a bit longer than I had originally anticipated, so I arose from my stupor and stumbled back to the writer’s desk, but that eagerness still clung to me like a limpet mine from a VUX Intruder in Star Control 2. I spent more time brainstorming sequel ideas for an as-yet homeless story, and a way to expand that short story into a full length novel, or at least an episode in a greater work. And none of those are bad things in and of themselves, but I let it… if not paralyze me, then at least slow me down and keep me from doing the things that really mattered. Namely, writing new stories.

Maybe you don’t have this problem. Maybe you get something written, polish it up a little bit, then fire it off and get on to the next work. That’s the better way to be. That’s the way I strive for daily. It’s very easy for me to get dragged down by whatever is going on during a given day, and waiting with bated breath for word on a story I have out there is one such temptation. I’ve gotten better about letting the anticipation spur me on to write more, but it’s still a struggle.

(Oh, if anyone is interested in Star Control 2, there are two ways to go about getting it: from or the freeware remake The Ur-Quan Masters. Of the two, I’d recommend the second, and not because it’s free (The game is definitely worth the low price of $5.99 for admission, if you’re into space exploration, an epic good-vs-evil-vs-eviller battle, and you love a lot of humor). The freeware remake includes the voice-over that came with the game’s 3DO release back in the day, and for the most part it’s quite good. It helps with the immersion. But, I’ve played it multiples times either way, so you can’t go wrong no matter which you pick.)

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 03/16/2014

I had higher hopes for getting stories finished and submitted this week, but such things didn’t occur. I did finish and submit one new story, and that was “A Ningyo’s Pearls.” I also resubmitted four stories, listed below:

Summary: 1 New, 3 Resubmissions

New Submissions:

“A Ningyo’s Pearls” submitted to Spellbound Children’s E-Zine.



“Who Killed Zombie Robin?” resubmitted to Jamais Vu.

“Starting from Zeroth” resubmitted to Shimmer Magazine.

“Beneficent” resubmitted to Apex Magazine.

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 03/02/2014

Here are this week’s totals.  A couple of new stories finished, but mostly resubmissions:

Summary: 2 New, 5 Resubmissions

“Harmonious Bedlam” submitted to Crossed Genres.

“Unit Zero” submitted to Penumbra.


“Sand” resubmitted to Fablecroft’s “Insert Title Here” Anthology.

“A Necessary Sacrifice” resubmitted to Betwixt.

“Paper Planet” resubmitted to Asimov’s Science Fiction.

“The Heart of the Wendigo” resubmitted to Straeon.

“Who Killed Zombie Robin?” resubmitted to Nightmare Magazine.

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 02/23/2014

I spent more time this week writing rough drafts than I did getting salable material out the door.  That’s not necessarily a problem, but it will become one if that’s all I do is draft.

On the resubmission side of things, only one story was resubmitted.  That was “Starting From Zeroth.”  It was originally submitted to the Asimov-themed issue by Penumbra.  It made it to the final round of selections (Which I was pleased with) before ultimately being rejected (Which I was not pleased with).  Still, it says good things about the story that it made it so far into the selection process, so I fired it off immediately to somewhere else, and then somewhere else (More below).

One new story was finished and sent out this week.  That was the previously named “Ninja Mama” story that has now become known as “Amidst the Swirling Sakura Petals.”  I admit it sounds a lot more pretentious than “Ninja Mama” did, especially considering that the origin of the story idea came from a quote by Chief Arino of Game Center CX (Specifically when he was playing a game and said “Papa did this with a Ninja once”).  What started out as a lighthearted tale became a very serious one that explores revenge, salvation, and motherhood.  And Ninjas.

Can’t forget the Ninjas.

Summary: 1 New, 1 Resubmission

“Amidst the Swirling Sakura Petals” submitted to Flash Fiction Online.


“Starting From Zeroth” resubmitted first to Clarkesworld (They move fast!) and then to Strange Horizons.

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 02/16/2014

No new submissions this week, but that’s to be expected.  The stories written this week are still in the rough draft phase.  Next week should see a few new submissions, and possibly some resubmissions as word comes back from various publications.

Summary: 0 New, 3 Resubmissions


“A Matter of Upbringing” resubmitted to Fantasy Scroll Magazine.

“Familial Obligation” resubmitted to Horror D’oeuvres.

“Sand” resubmitted to Bastion Magazine.

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 02-09-14

Well, this past week hasn’t been very productive in terms of new writing. I’ve been working on some concepts, but no rough drafts have been written at all. This was a combination of work interference, snow interference, automobile interference, and general laziness. I have a bad habit of tacking one big thing and then being done for the day.

Anyway, today I spent a lot of time getting a bunch of stories resubmitted. Here we go:

Summary: 0 New, 9 Resubmissions


“False Light” resubmitted to Daily Science Fiction.

“Flickering Freedom” resubmitted to Flash Fiction Online.

“Sand” resubmitted to The Dark Magazine.

“Familial Obligation” resubmitted to Apex.

“A Necessary Sacrifice” resubmitted to Asimov’s.

“Water Cursed, Earth Atoned” resubmitted to Lightspeed.

“Subroutine” resubmitted to LORE.

“Beneficent” resubmitted to the Intergalactic Medicine Show.

“An Unquiet Peace” resubmitted to BuzzyMag.

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 02/02/14

Starting today and continuing each Sunday I will post a list of submissions completed for the previous week.  This will serve as a form of accountability for me, as when weeks go by where I submit nothing (Either new or resubmissions) I can now be publicly shamed over it!  Even with writing happening, if nothing is getting submitted it can’t be considered a productive week.  From a short story standpoint, anyway.

So, without further ado, here are my submissions for the week:

Summary: 4 New, 0 Resubmissions

New Submissions:

January 29th, “Starting from Zeroth” submitted to Penumbra Magazine.

January 31st, “Supply Chain Management” submitted to Crossed Genres.

January 31st, “False Light” submitted to On the Premises.

February 1st, “Paper Planet” submitted to Unlikely Story.