babarnett: (ash boomstick)

One more week of freedom before my fall semester starts. My brain is finally emerging from its state of denial over that fact. But, to look on the shiny side of the crazy busyness that fall will bring, this will be my final year of grad school. Two more semesters and I'm done, baby!

This summer was strong with the shiny side of the Force, so I'm going to miss it. Two stories that I had lots of fun writing ("The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen" and "Memories of Mirrored Worlds") were published. There was traveling awesomeness—France in July, several jaunts to the shore in August. When not gallivanting about on vacation, I took full advantage of my summer break from school and choir rehearsals to tackle lots of personal projects I had put off during the school year.

And there was writing time. Lots and lots of glorious writing time.

I went into this summer with a writing goal: there were several short stories I wanted to get revised and sent out, and once I did that, I could finally go back to the long-neglected novel revisions I've kept threatening to one day resume. It is with a proud wielding of the productivity stick that I declare that goal met. The short stories in question have all been prettied up and submitted, and last week, I blew the dust off the novel revisions.

And to add to the summer shininess, I can announce another sale! NewMyths.com (who previously published my story "The Cycle of the Sun") has accepted "The Perfect Instrument" for their March 2014 issue. "The Perfect Instrument" had originally sold to an anthology, but the project fell through before publication, so I'm happy the story has managed to find a new home.

babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
Life has been so amazingly nice to me lately that I'm expecting the other shoe to drop at any moment, complete with an army of cymbal-clapping demon monkeys. I'm a pessimist like that. But in the meantime, I shall revel in the shiny!

I just got back from a rather lovely trip to France with my husband's family. Much awesomeness was experienced. As an opera nerd, getting to see the Palais Garnier was the highlight for me during the few days we spent in Paris. After Paris, we took a barge cruise through Burgundy, which rocked on every level—the food, the wine, the weather, all the places visited, the amazing crew, and the chance to go bicycling along the canal route. But now, alas, I am re-adjusting to real life, where lunch sadly does not include wine and a ridiculous number of cheeses.

There has also been continuing writing-related shininess, most of it occurring while I was off learning just how rusty my French has gotten:

* My story "Memories of Mirrored Worlds" is now available online at Daily Science Fiction;

* Last week I got another acceptance from Daily Science Fiction for a flash piece called "The Perfect Coordinates to Raise a Child";

* And finally, "The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen" from issue 124 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies received some nice comments in reviews at Locus Online and Tangent Online. BCS will also be offering the story as a podcast sometime in the near future, which I'm quite looking forward to hearing.
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
Shiny #1: I'm thrilled to say that my story "The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen" is now out in issue 124 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies! Much happy dancing has ensued. Here's a snippet:

Adda looked up and down the snowy lane, but Grandma Marit had already disappeared into the darkness. The only movement came from flickers of firelight sneaking out of neighbors' windows. The darkness groaned in annoyance at the tittering flickers, who flitted up and down the sides of the box-like wooden homes. The flickers skipped over the ground and tickled Adda's feet, even through her heavy boots.


Shiny #2: I'm also happy to announce that a new story called “The Whole of His History” will be appearing in Stamps, Vamps, and Tramps, an anthology being published by Evil Girlfriend Media. It looks I will have some lovely company in TOC for this one.

On that note, things will likely go quiet here on the blog for the next few weeks as I go off and have some fabulous vacationy adventures. Not that I've been posting all that much anyway, so y'all probably won't even notice that I'm gone.
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
So, um, you may not remember me, but I used to blog here. I know it's hard to tell, what with the eerie silence and the dust and all. In fact, the dust bunnies have grown large enough to feast upon small mammals. And that huge one lurking over in the corner? He's got that "Why, hello there, lunch" look in his eyes.

But seriously, I need to stop pretending that I'm going to have the time and mental reserves necessary to maintain any kind of blogging routine when grad school's in full gear. So come fall, blog silence will probably resume. But in the meantime, summer break, baby! And only two more semesters left before I'm all masters-degree-ified!

So what's been going on during the two-plus months I haven't been blogging? Let me explain … no, there is too much. Let me sum up:

* School. Ridiculous workload. Fried brain.

* Awesomesauce story sale! Beneath Ceaseless Skies bought "The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen," a story inspired by the Norwegian town Longyearbyen, where you're not allowed to die. A story I absolutely adored writing + one of my favorite short fiction publications = squee!

* Lots of singing and piano. Even my clarinet got the dust blown off it a couple times.

* My writerly pal Krista Magrowski invited me to do a talk on "Turning Ideas Into Stories and Other Tales from Publishing" for the South Jersey Writers' Group last month, which was a lot of fun and involved much discussion of bunny wrangling.

* Day job. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here, but I've been doing a fellowship in an orchestra library, which has been (and continues to be) a great experience.

What hasn't been going on these last couple months, unfortunately, is fiction writing. I cranked out a bunch of flash pieces right before the start of the semester, but so far I've only been able to get one of them cleaned up and flung out into the submission void. But now that I'm done with school until the fall, fiction shall be accomplished!
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
The writing has been slow-going these last couple weeks, but there have at least been writing-related shiny things that I finally have time to post about:

* Shiny thing #1: My story "Notes on a Page" (along with some shiny pretty artwork by Nick Greenwood) is now out in issue 32 of Intergalactic Medicine Show.

* Shiny thing #2: I'm super late mentioning it, but a few weeks ago I got to babble over on my awesome Odyssey classmate Rebecca Roland's blog as part of her Thumbnail Thursday series.

* And last but certainly not least, shiny thing #3: I'm quite pleased to say that I recently received an acceptance from Daily Science Fiction for my story "Memories of Mirrored Worlds," to which I owe thanks to [livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored's orphaned first sentence contest for the inspiration.
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
My spring semester has begun, so I'll be spending a lot of time in the lack-of-blogging abyss once again, but for this brief moment, I emerge with three things, two of which are shiny, the third not so much:

1) I'm thrilled to announce that my short story "Notes on a Page" will be appearing in Intergalactic Medicine Show! Some squeeing may have ensued.

2) Today I'm babbling over at Penumbra's blog about turning an idea into a story--or, as I call it, bunny wrangling.

And finally...

3) It's way too fricken cold out!
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
As you may or may not have noticed, I've kind of disappeared from the blogosphere again. My fall semester began last month, and it has been kicking my ass workload-wise. But on the bright side, two shiny writerly things: 

1) First, pimpage: my story "Ghost Writer to the Dead" is now out in the October 2012 issue of Penumbra! It's the first anniversary for Penumbra and its publisher, Musa Publishing, so what better way to wish them a happy one than to consider buying an issue or subscription.

2) Because I kind of sucked about balancing writing and school last year, I promised myself this year that my train ride to and from work would be dedicated to fiction writing, no matter what. One month into the semester, and I'm pleased to say that I've stuck to that. It's not much writing time, but it's something, which is far more than I managed before.
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)

First, Izzy David's podcast of my story "The Little Things" is now up at Every Day Fiction. Please have a listen and rate it if you feel so moved.

Second, story sale! I'm pleased to say that my story "Ghost Writer to the Dead" has been accepted for Penumbra's October 2012 Edgar Allan Poe issue.

And finally, so it's not all about me, some pimpage for writerly compatriot [livejournal.com profile] marshallpayne1, who has recently released two novels, Petrol Queen and Jimmy-Don and the Texas Hill Country Ordeal. I haven't had a chance to read them myself just yet (because I'm a horribly slow reader with a very large to-read pile), but if they're anything like Marshall's short fiction, they'll make for a fun, quirky read. You can find links to them on his Amazon author page.

babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

* A story sale! My flash fiction piece "The Little Things" will be appearing in Every Day Fiction on July 9.

* I've added my short story "The Deepening" (from issue 37 of Aoife's Kiss) to those I have available on AnthologyBuilder.

* In a few weeks I'll be heading off once again to TNEO, a week-long workshop for alumni of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. As a result, I've been knee-deep in critique mode the last several weeks, but those are pretty much done now. I rewarded myself with new shoes. 

And now I must sleep and prepare for Monday, which is soon to assault me with its Mondayishness.

babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)
Three more weeks until the semester ends and I might actually have time to be an active blogger again. Emphasis on the might part given the way my crazy schedule goes.

In the meantime, I've briefly surfaced for two quick bits of cheery news:

1) My story "Sea of the Gods" was accepted by BayCon to appear in their next upcoming progress report. They were originally going to publish only one flash piece in a progress report, but lucky for me, they decided to publish a second one.

2) And my opera-singer-meets-the-zombie-apocalypse story "The Holy Spear" from Black Static 25 made Ellen Datlow's full list of honorable mentions for The Best Horror of the Year, volume 4

Now back to those looming end-of-semester deadlines.
babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
It seems I went AWOL on the posting front. Again. But now that I'm here, many things...

SIGNALS
First, a signal boost: Say Yes to Gay YA, where Rachel Manija Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija) and Sherwood Smith ([livejournal.com profile] sartorias) talk about an unfortunate instance of being asked to either make a gay character in their novel straight or remove the character's POV altogether. EDITED TO ADD: Some follow up. And this is where I bow out without further comment other than to say: must so many people resort to needing to cast a villain with a dastardly agenda in the matter instead of considering that it's more likely not so clearcut? 

STUDY
Busy grad school is busy! But despite some initial moments of panic (because that's what I do), I'm settling into the school routine just fine and have started to find a balance between class and everything else I need to squeeze into my days. You know, like writing. Speaking of...

STORIES
Appropriately enough for a writer, there are sevveral things going on in the story department:

* Now available for purchase is the 2011 Untied Shoelaces of the Mind Anthology, which includes my twisted little flash piece "Mr. Fluffy." The story should also be online soon in issue 5 of Untied Shoelaces of the Mind.

* My story "The Cycle of the Sun" was accepted for publication in the March 2012 issue of NewMyths.com! My Odyssey classmates will quite possibly remember this piece as "the orgy story."

* My steampunk lemurs on a dirigible story, "A Red One Cannot See" (originally published in Shimmer's Clockwork Jungle Book issue), has been added to my stories available at AnthologyBuilder  

* And I've finally gotten to work on the revisions for my story "The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen," which I got some great feedback on back in July at TNEO. Much like my daily schedule right now, these revisions are proving to be quite the balancing act. There are some changes to make that I think are going to really strengthen the story, but I feel like it would be easy to do too much and totally edit all the life and magic out the story.
babarnett: (Default)
Tomorrow I head off to the The Never-Ending Odyssey (aka TNEO), a week-long workshop for alumni of the six-week Odyssey Writing Workshop, so my current LJ scarcity will likely become even scarcer. But before I head out, an actual post!

Gearing up for TNEO over the last several weeks got me wondering: just how much have I really grown as a writer since attending Odyssey in 2007?

Writing workshops are most definitely not for everyone, but for some of us, they can be an amazing, inspiring, eye-opening experience. And contrary to what some would suggest, not all writing workshops result in cookie-cutter stories written to some kind of formula. I’m sure there are some that do, but my Odyssey classmates and I went into the program as very different writers, and we all came out of the program remaining very different writers.

Had I not attended Odyssey and just continued writing and seeking feedback on my work, I’m sure I would have still improved and grown as a writer over time. But I think Odyssey pushed me in the right direction harder and faster than I would have been able to do on my own. The question, though: how do you quantify that?

Writing success can be subjective and dependent on factors other than talent or the strength of a story. (Sure, you wrote a fantastic story about radioactive bunnies, but Magazine A just published a story about radioactive bunnies.) And of course, sales and artistic merit don’t always go hand in hand. (Repeat to self: I will not rant about sparkly vampires.) But because I’m someone who writes with the hope of achieving publication success, sales are probably the best measure I have to go with. That, and I'm one of those sick people who actually enjoys crunching numbers.

Crunching and analysis under the cut... )

I doubt my data will be all that interesting to anyone other than myself, but if you have your own stories of workshop experiences or realizations about your growth as a writer, please feel free to share in the comments.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
Holy crap, has it really been that long since I've been on LJ? Sorry not to have been keeping up with my lovely flisters lately, but life has continued to dance on the insane side of the fence. Hopefully come fall I'll be able to settle back into a blog reading and writing routine. Until then, I'll probably remain my current scattershot, occasionally resurfacing self.

In the meantime, here's the bullet points of what I've been up to in the writing department:

* My zombie apocalypse story "The Holy Spear" has been accepted by Black Static. This will be my second appearance in their pages, which I'm thrilled about.

* Speaking of Black Static, reviewer Peter Tennant wrote a nice post about my story "The Wounded House" from issue 20 on his blog.

* Received my shiny contributor copy of Aoife's Kiss (10th anniversary issue) this morning. Pretty.

* Gearing up for this summer's TNEO workshop for Odyssey alum. As of last night, all the critiques I had to do are officially done! I've still got a ton of other things to do, but it's nice to put a big fat check mark next to that beast of an item.

* Unfortunately, progress on the writing front has been mostly non-existent. I got in a good afternoon of revision work on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel a couple weeks ago, but otherwise, that's been kind of it. But now that TNEO critiques are out of the way, I can hopefully get back in gear. I've got some revisions to do on a short story, several flash pieces I should probably polish up and send out somewhere (anyone have suggestions on where to send an unabashedly liberal-leaning gay superhero flash story?), and then back to the novel grind.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
I'm happy to say that I've sold a twisted little flash piece of mine called "Mr. Fluffy" to the wonderfully named Untied Shoelaces of the Mind.

And on a non-pimpage note, I've now encountered the following situation enough that I'm curious to know if any of my fellow fantasy writers have as well: 

I'll be in a conversation with a non-writer and/or non-speculative fiction reader who finds out I'm a writer and asks, "What kind of stories do you write?" The "science fiction" and "horror" parts of my answer usually go over as expected, but saying "fantasy" often earns me awkward silence and a strange, questioning look. So, even though I've never written anything with an elf in it, I elaborate with, "Elves, magic, Lord of the Rings, that sort of thing." The person then laughs in relief and says, "Oh, when you said fantasy, I thought you meant like sexual fantasies."

Erm, no, I did not. At least not unless one of my characters has a sexual fantasy relevant to the plot.
babarnett: (pig weeee!)
I'm pleased to report that my short story "Unlucky Clover" has been accepted for the July 2011 issue of Beyond Centauri. "Unlucky Clover" is a sequel of sorts to my story "Lucky Clover" (Flash Fiction Online, March 2008), following the son of that story's leprechaun protagonist (who also makes an appearance in the sequel).
babarnett: (old spice guy horse)
As predicted, this week has continued to be strong with the FUBAR side of the Force, but not nearly at the levels of FUBAR that Monday and Tuesday achieved.  I've barely had time to breathe let alone read what's going on with my lovely flisters today, but there were at least some turns for the shiny and positive:

First, my story "Dumping the Dead" was selected for inclusion in The Best of Every Day Fiction Three.

Second, a review of "Mortis Persona" at Tangent Online says, among other things, "Barnett's lush prose does a fantastic job of building this world."  I don't think I've ever had my prose described as lush before, but it's a description I'll happily accept.

Third, I'm on a horse.
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
Sorry this LJ has been almost nothing but pimp central lately.  Hopefully I'll have time to resume talking about something other than myself soon, but in the meantime, it's more pimpage:

Daily Science Fiction has accepted my flash piece "God's Gift to Women"--my second sale there.  Aside from DSF being a market I've come to enjoy reading, I cannot tell you enough how happy I am to have finally found a good home for this story.  It's definitely a contender for the most "this came close, but" style rejections any of my stories have gotten.
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
1) The grad school applications are off! Still some pesky supporting documentation to take care of, but mostly I get to sit back now and play the waiting game, for which submitting fiction has very much prepared me.

2) You can check out the cover for the soon-to-be-released Black Static #20, which will have my story "The Wounded House" in it.  Squee!  I drew on my own life for this story more than for any other I've written, so I'm going to have a blog post about the story's background sometime in the near future. Because, you know, the world needs more self-indulgent writerly types.

3) My story "The Perfect Instrument" (also known as the Amazing Expanding and Contracting Story) was accepted for an anthology called Rockets, Swords and Rainbows: New Tales of Fantasy, so yay!

On a slight tangent from that, someone had mentioned wanting to see more in the same setting as my story "Mortis Persona."  While "The Perfect Instrument" isn't in the same setting, the world I placed it in is based on ancient Rome, so it likely has a similar vibe to it setting-wise, just without the magic ("The Perfect Instrument" is a secondary world setting sans magic; "Mortis Persona" is an alternate ancient Rome with magic).  And "The Perfect Instrument" has a musician protagonist while "Mortis Persona" has an actor, so they've both got the artsy protag thing going for them too.
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
I only have time to shoot off a quick post before I run out the door for work, but I received an acceptance from Black Static for my story "The Wounded House."  It's a ghost/haunted house story, so seeing that email was a rather nice and apropos way to launch into Halloween weekend!
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
Ok, so I really didn't intend to be posting now that I'm here at TNEO, but there is squee-age to report: I just got an acceptance from Aoife's Kiss for my story "The Deepening," a sword and sorcery-ish romance tale that will appear in the magazine's June 2011 10th anniversary issue.  I'm quite fond of this story, so I'm glad I'll get to see it in print in a nice home.

And now, time to get a little bit of yoga in before bed.  The idea of movement isn't appealing seeing as it's hot as all hell here in this lovely non-air conditioned dorm-style apartment I'll be staying in all week, but the six hour car ride has made my back in need of a good stretch.

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