Saturday, July 24

There isn't an easy way about it

Well, not normally, at any rate. Another of my stories has just been accepted a few days ago, a vampire short story that's not really about a vampire, but about an old woman reminiscing on her past, her youth. I wrote it for a fountain-of-youth-themed competition at (WDC) late last year, but it didn't place. Cleaned it up a bit, submitted the story elsewhere. Trust me, selling a vampire story is not easy, what with the multitude of stories written, and writers hoping to profit from the Twilight craze. Yes, I am aware that the 'saga' violates almost all aspects of accepted vampire lore, but the world in general is crazy about it -- well, crazy about Kristen Steward (Bella), Rob Pattinson (Edward), and Taylor Lautner (Jacob), but let's not get into technicalities. Anyway, Skive has accepted my vampire story, after 4 or 5 rejections, I think. One of my WDC group members, Ben, even suggested for me to use a water spirit instead of a vampire. Since I love the story, and I love vampire lore, I decided against it and remained adamant about placing/selling the story as it is. And persistence paid off. I can't exactly remember how much I'm getting paid, but it's not much. What's important is that it's a print-publication, so I'll be able to hold it in my hands and show people my name as one of the contributing authors. So, to date, I have sold 10 stories since the middle of last year, the first 4 to non-paying venues (so I don't know if I can consider them 'sold'). My major publication credit is still Aether Age, and it'll be published in various forms (looking forward to getting my hands on the book sometime later this year). I also haven't written anything new since May, when I was physically and mentally burnt out from my impossibly hectic work schedule. I'm working at Hospital Selayang until end of December, and since the surgical department is overflowing with house officers, I basically have nothing much to do, so I'm not supposed to have any excuses. Unfortunately, I started playing World of Warcraft (WoW) again -- plenty of articles out there say the same thing: you can stop playing WoW for a long time, but you can never really quit. People come back. They always do. And so did I. Was looking forward to this on-call-free weekend to level up my beloved druid, Suliyanna, but when I woke up this morning, I saw an email stamped at 06:00 stating that I recently changed my password. My account was hacked, again, and most of my characters are stripped naked and broke. Wrote a petition, received a reply some 2 hours later, and Blizzard promised to look into the matter and roll back my account so that I can get all my lost hard-earned gears. But it'll take about a week, more or less, which means that I can't play the game because without money and gear, I can't do anything much! So. back to writing, then. I have at least two calls for submission that I'm interested in:
  1. 2010 Blizzard Global Writing Contest. (deadline: August 23, 2010 -- I thank Reza for telling me about this contest)
  2. Fem-Fangs, an Anthology (Pill Hill Press). (deadline: August 15, 2010)
Those, plus a novella (20-30k words), a collaborative effort between my WDC goupmates, by the end of October. I'm currently stuck in my old pattern: I write a few paragraphs, and end up discarding whatever crap I've written. Some of my colleagues can trudge through blocks, and write crap that later on are polished into brilliant gems, but I can't seem to do it. Part of my personality, I guess. I want to get things right the first time. I'm not that good at repairing and correcting messes, though weirdly enough, at work I almost invariably get at least 1 repair-surgery case whenever I'm on-call. There really is not easy way about it. I can no longer procrastinate and avoid writing, since I can't WoW, though I can definitely take up reading books and anthologies that I keep on buying but never finish reading. I can't hope for my personal muse to strike me at the back of my head. I think she left me for someone else, since I'm so lazy about writing and drawing. I just. Have. To. Write. Bummer.