Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The day job, or why I haven't been around

Two posts from me in one day! What next?

This one is mostly just a "this is why I'm not around as much." It's the day job. Now, listening to Mur Lafferty in ISBW, at one point she said that if she wants to be making her living 10 years down the road by writing fiction, she needs to make time to write it now, to make that a priority. I can see her point.

However, my mom raised me practical. First, I have to pay today's bills before I worry about how I'm going to be doing that a decade from now. And if I'm pushing myself -- staying up until 2 a.m., getting up at 5 a.m., and considering all-nighters -- trying to get those bills paid, I'm not going to take extra time to write. I've been exhausted, and anything I wrote would have been crap.

When I don't have time for my fiction writing, I sure don't have time to blog. Thus, my absence.

I'm almost finished with this one job, which is why I'm taking a breather. Then I have to dive in and finish the other mondo job. Small stuff lined up after that, nothing too intense. Yes, there will be writing on the horizon! Which is good, as I want to submit to both the PARSEC Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest and the Destination: Future anthology. Among other, more regular, markets.

One step at a time, though. First, I finish the paying work.

Where's my podcast review?

Lately, I've been trying to catch up on back episodes of several podcasts -- at the top of the list are I Should Be Writing, Tor Podcasting, and Odyssey SF/F Writing Workshop Podcasts. It takes a lot longer to catch up on a podcast than it does to keep up, so it may take another week or so before I get to another review. I did manage to listen to 7 of 19 episodes of the Tor podcast today what with errands and cooking and the like, so it's not hopeless. (On the other hand, I'm only up to episode 44 of 110 numbered episodes -- plus daily experiments, special editions, and video episodes -- of ISBW. That's going to take longer.)

Look for a review post next Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Vanishing markets

If you write short fiction in fantasy or science fiction (or both), you should be using Ralan.com to keep track of markets -- what's new, what's changed, and what's closed.

This morning, I got the monthly newsletter and discovered two things: Odyssey Workshop has a LiveJournal blog, and the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series has been canceled.

I went looking for more info on the YBFH and found Gavin Grant's original post, Ellen Datlow's comments, and Terri Windling's post. Honestly, the canceling of this series of year's best shook me more than the closing of Realms of Fantasy. Not that I was going to appear in either any too soon.

Between these closings and the news that the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is going bi-monthly, I'm realizing that short fiction print markets for science fiction and fantasy are dying out. I have no doubt that on-line markets, whether donation or subscription, will remain viable, but especially at the pro level, print is rapidly fading.

So if there is a print magazine that you enjoy -- it doesn't have to be pro -- get a subscription to it, even if you know you will not get around to reading it every time it comes in. If you don't know which magazine you might like, go to a bookstore (or better yet, a con, which will have all sorts of hard-to-find magazines in the dealers' room) and pick up a variety to decide among. I currently subscribe to Weird Tales and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. I'll probably add one or two others this year. Ones I'm considering: Fantasy, Interzone, Space & Time, and Talebones.

If you have a favorite print magazine, please let us know in the comments. And if you have some good news or other insights into the short fiction market, chime in with that, too.