Tag Archives: Ray Bradbury

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year — Again


Of course I’m doing NaNoWriMo. Sorry I didn’t blog about it before this. Has it really been three weeks since my last confession, er, blog post?

I’ve just been totally wrapped up in the planning and the writing involved in NaNoWriMo. However, instead of writing a novel this month, I decided to write a bunch of stories. Or, to be more precise, to start a bunch of stories. I had ideas for three or four novels and many more short stories, and I thought I’d get to work on a few of them. Part of this came about because I keep hearing from published science fiction and fantasy writers that an important component of learning to write well is finishing your work.

It’s hard to finish a novel, even if you have a first draft. I’ve got one novel I care enough about to keep working on. I started during November of 2012. It’s still not done. So I thought, heck. If short stories are good enough for Ray Bradbury, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Aliette de Bodard, maybe there’s something there.

Then I learned about Ray Bradbury’s 52 Week Short Story Challenge. Hmmm. That might be just what I need.

After November, in which I’m writing (actually, starting) #30Stories30Days, I hope to have plenty of material to mine for the entire following year. Then I’ll finish a story a week. Even if I take a few of weeks of vacation and/or get caught up in whatever drama life chooses to present, I should still be able to finish 45-50 stories. As Ray Bradbury would say, they won’t all be bad. Unless of course, you really have to write all 52 stories to end up with one good one. Then I’m screwed.

Still, I think I’ll learn a lot. I’m looking forward to it.


More on the Million Word Party

July 1, 2014

My latest streak on 750 words.com – 595 days
Total writing days – 1024
Total word count – 989,119

I’ve written other words, but that verifiable word count puts me within 10,881 words of the million words Ray Bradbury says you need for mastery. I’ve written about this before. I’m not saying mastery will magically appear on the day I’ve achieved that goal. I think the million words may well be a minimum requirement. Still, it feels like an accomplishment.

If I can manage to write an average of 800 words a day going forward, I can celebrate having written a million words in about 14 days. As of this writing, that makes it July 15th, or thereabouts. I’m going out on a limb to say the party is on. August 2, 2014: be there!


I’ve already started an evite. If you didn’t receive a link to it, here’s the short reason*: I either don’t have your email address or I’ve got it wrong. If you want to attend, please let me know by leaving a comment below, or messaging me via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+  to let me know. I’ll make sure you receive all the relevant information.

Seriously, I’d love to see you there.

* The answer may be more complicated, like you live thousands of miles away and I don’t think you’ll come. If I’m wrong (and you would indeed like to come) please let me know!

Scoreboard Update & Party!

wikimedia commons image, artist unknown

I suppose it’s no secret that I’d like to have a fabulous writing career. I haven’t figured out exactly what that means. I’ll probably flesh it out as I go along, kind of like an outline. Here’s what I do know: I want to write things that people are interested in reading and I’d like to be paid for doing so. I hope that will lead to more people discovering it, and enjoying it. Upshot: I’d like to be published in the traditional way, by folks who have been at it for a while and know what they’re doing.

There’s a whole discussion on the interwebs about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing (aka independent publishing). I don’t know what my entire writing career will look like by the time it’s all over. Independent publishing might figure in, but not until I’ve learned a hell of a lot more about it.

My plan for now is to submit my fiction to magazines when it’s short and agents/publishers when it’s long.

However. I don’t have total control over how soon anyone will be interested in publishing my fiction. One thing I can do is to improve my writing, and thus my odds. There are multiple ways to do that, and I’m trying a few, but the underlying tenet is this: I need to keep writing. That’s why I post ad nauseum about writing daily, with a heavy emphasis on 750words.com.

The other thing I can do is to submit stories. It does me no good to sit on a story, stew over it, or endlessly show it to various groups for critique. I’m still working on when to let a story go. I may blog about that some other day. For now, I’m trying to aim for sooner rather than later. I have one story that’s as ready as it’s going to be, and which has, in fact, been submitted to several markets. I have another story that’s close, I hope. It’s the one I submitted to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction a while back, and which I’m revising next week. I will be looking for new readers for it soon. It’s already been through alpha readers and beta readers. What’s next, gamma readers? Omega readers, since I hope this will be the last pass? Anyway, if you’d be willing to read a 6000-word story for me, please leave a comment below, or facebook message/tweet/email me to let me know, and we’ll work out how to get it to you.

Ahem. I promised scoreboards today, didn’t I? Here’s my progress report.

Updated Scoreboard 1: Submissions

March 7, 2014
Submissions: 3   Acceptances: 0   Rejections: 2

I win!

If that’s not immediately clear, let me explain. As I said above, I have limited control over how soon my writing will be published. Two things I do have control over are:

  1. my writing process (practice makes perfect) and
  2. my attempts to get it out there (it does me no good sitting on my hard drive)

As long as I keep writing daily, with an eye to reducing suckitude, I’m doing what I can for the first part of the puzzle. As far as the second part goes, here’s my goal:
#Submissions + #Acceptances > #Rejections.

Since 3 + 0 > 2, I win!

As long as #Submissions + #Acceptances > #Rejections, I’ve done what I can on my end.

Updated Scoreboard 2: Words Written

March 6, 2014
-885,494 words- from a 478 day streak (out of 907 total) on 750 words.com

That word count puts me within 115,000 words of the million words Ray Bradbury says you need for mastery.

Bradbury Image by Rev. Terry Canttel*

If I can manage to write an average of 800 words a day going forward, I can have my million-word party in about 143 days. As of this writing, that makes it July 25th, or thereabouts. I’ll firm up the date later.

So here’s the plan. If you want to come to my million-word party, leave a comment below, or message me via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+  to let me know. I’ll make sure you receive all the relevant information.

I don’t know what all will happen at this party, but there will definitely be singing and alcohol. And seriously, I’d love to see you there.

* Bradbury Picture Creative Commons License