Publication and inspiration

I choo-choo-choose you!

Why did the writer reject the literary magazine?
It had issues.

Sorry about that. I need a place for my crazy sometimes, and well, this is my blog.

I mentioned earlier that I’m seeking publications that may be interested in taking a couple of my stories. At the moment, I’m most interested in getting The City of Destiny, Featuring Eric Lipschitz out the door. I’ve been trawling Duotrope. New to this, so I don’t want to limit my search too much. Hence, I have 600 publications to look through. Already skimmed about a hundred, and starting to get a better sense of them. I can now mostly identify at a glance which ones may be for me and which ones aren’t.

That said, if you are a writer, or a reader of literary journals, and have informed recommendations of publications—or better yet, personal contacts with editors at such—I’d love to hear them.

In other news, I’m trying to overcome the latest hurdle in writing. I already know about “shitty first drafts,” and now I am coming to accept the existence of “multiple false starts,” even with said shitty first drafts. Until I am more experienced and facile with elemental decisions of story, I necessarily have to plow into each new project with a best guess as to how it should be written. I might get a page into it or twenty pages before I realize it’s not working. I may even need someone else to point it out to me (wear protective gear). But that’s how I learn.

Meantime, I’ve also learned the benefit of have several projects in the hopper, so I can switch between them when I get stuck on one, rather than use the excuse to avoid writing altogether.

Finally, I am striving to find balance between reading and writing. More specifically, trying to balance reading as a writer in general (for breadth, awareness of authors, styles, and techniques); as a writer specifically (reading the books that resonate with my writing, with specific styles or techniques that I want to borrow from); and reading as a reader (just for the pure enjoyment of it). So I have growing stacks of books now on my nightstand and on the end table in my living room, and am less ashamed of picking one up without the obligation of finishing it. I am plowing through short story collections. Making note of stories I love. Trying to overcome my perceived limitations of time and attention span so I can re-read my favorites, as instructed by my writing coach.

So there’s my writerly update for this day, Valentine’s Day 2011.

Moving ahead, I hope to turbocharge the writing a bit in coming weeks by doing more of the writing exercises, and developing individual characters. I need to work on that (starting with characters rather than ideas, that is). Slow and steady, yo. Slow and steady. Don’t want to hurt you.

More to come. Happy Valentines Day. As Ralphie Wiggum would say: “I choo-choo-choose you.”

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  1. Zak,

    I have racked up over 250 rejections from journals and I have nine published stories to my credit (five print, four online) and I’m pretty familiar with the lit journal landscape from submissions/rejections/acceptances/etc. thanks to Duotrope. I tend to send a story out to maybe 20-25 places that I think would be a good fit (and even if they say they don’t accept simultaneous submissions, disregard that, and submit away). I’d be happy to read your story and help you pinpoint some journals that might be a good fit. Let me know, or just send away to bgkimzey[at]gmail[dot]com. Hope all is well, my man!


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