Tag Archives: collections

Permission to Take it Easy

blogpicWhy is it that the moment we give ourselves permission to take it easy, projects and possibilities seem to become easier themselves?

Yesterday, I posted about a new short fiction anthology, partly because I wanted you to know about it but also partly because I was starting to feel like I was overwhelmed and floundering. Three of the pieces I wanted to include seemed like they were going to take a lot more work than I’d initially thought, and I was letting that start to sidetrack the entire project.

Just before I wrote yesterday’s post, I had decided it wasn’t worth the stress to try and corral those three stories into the current collection. I’d edited one, but gotten bogged down in some of the bigger changes that were necessary, and to be honest it was starting to feel like the thread of the story was getting away from me. Within five minutes of writing yesterday’s blog, though, I suddenly felt like I had not only the energy I’d need to do those stories justice, but the knowledge of how to go about making them publication-ready.

Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves. I remember when I was working on my short story for HOT MESS, I wrote a throw-away short story before I got around to the two pieces that ended up in the anthology. Just writing something – anything – took the pressure to be perfect off me, and swept my mental desk clean enough to get some quality work done. Apparently, deciding that I didn’t need to include the three short stories I discounted yesterday morning was enough to give my brain the space it needed to start solving problems.

So who knows – SHORT FRICTIONS may include a few more pieces, after all. You’ll just have to wait till it’s published to find out.

In the meantime, check out your own to-do list. What on it can wait? What have you pressured yourself to take care of, when maybe you didn’t need to? Try crossing something off the list, and see how you feel. You might find that it energizes you enough to carry you through the rest of your tasks – and who knows, that x’d-off item might even find its way back onto the roster.

 

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SHORT FRICTIONS: Collecting a Collection of Short Stories

picI first started talking about publishing a collection of short stories shortly after HOT MESS went live. Initially, I had a set of about eight short stories on themes around artificial intelligence and robots – some written, some ideas – and the group of them should have been out for your reading pleasure about a year and a a half ago.

Obviously, that hasn’t happened.That isn’t to say I haven’t been writing. I have. A lot. And two weeks ago, I realized that what I thought were a couple of reader-ready stories were actually several more than that. Also that I have a tendency to forget when I’ve finished something if I don’t make a big deal of it right away.

Therefore, this post is an announcement of an upcoming publication from yours truly.

Some of the stories I wanted to write wound up not being the ideas I thought they were, others were far longer than I’d meant them to be, and in at least one case, a criticism from a friend crawled into my brain and died there – which isn’t to say that story will never be written, but there were enough flaws with the idea that it needs some serious time and attention before it’s ready for popular consumption. Others, which would have been timely if I’d managed to get them published 18 months ago, now feel a little stale and in need of a reworking that might not have mattered if so much time hadn’t gone by. Some of the stories in the collection will already have seen the light of day, and some are no longer available in their original publications.

Some of these shorts have been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time – in particular, a piece about a vampire during the Holocaust which I wrote over ten years ago and have been too self-conscious to share since then*.

Well, self, time to get over it.

It will likely be a few more weeks before the collection is ready to go, so consider this a heads-up. I have a new book coming out. It will be available both electronically (through Amazon and Smashwords) and in print (via Createspace, which also feeds into Amazon).

The title will be SHORT FRICTIONS, and I hope you will enjoy it.

Meanwhile, I am legitimately terrified, and once the finishing touches are on the publication file, I will be hiding under my quilt in bed.

 

*I still remember standing in Blackstone’s Book Shop on Charing Cross Road, back in 2002, staring at a book I wanted to buy and thinking, on my student budget, I can justify buying this if I write something about it afterwards, then it’s research and that’s totally okay. Since then I’ve shared it with a few friends, as well as an agent who said she’d be interested in reading the novel, should I ever choose to develop it into one, I just haven’t actually published it anywhere.