I hammered out 1,100 words, give or take, in “Summertime in the Void”, which is a new short story about a man left behind by the Singularity.
Here’s a sample, but be kind, it’s first draft material:
His dad, not long before he left, had told John that you can’t ever cross the same river twice, and John had asked why not and his dad had just smiled and told him “You’re smart, figure it out.”
Because the water’s never the same, he decided. Sometimes it’s swift and deep, and sometimes—like now, after a long, hot, dry summer—it was shallow, lazy, and muddy.
I’ve got about 3,900 more words to make this into a coherent story. I think I can make it work.
Last night I arrived at Minnedosa, to start the 2019 edition of my annual week-long writing retreat.
Goals this year:
- 2,000 words a day, or about 15,000 words, in the first draft of Translations.
- Sub-goal: Get to the ending.
- Photos of the Milky Way.
- Photos, generally; there are a few spots I’d like to get to. The Canadian prairie is photogenic, and I want to capture that.
- Ride my bike a lot, and also go kayaking a few times. The weather forecast seems to agree with this plan.
- Read at least a couple of the books I brought: Provenance by Ann Leckie (I’m about ¾ of the way through, so that should work out); The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro; Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer; and The Knight by Gene Wolfe (because it’s a tradition, apparently, that I read Wolfe while I’m at the cabin).
I’m also due in Winnipeg for my nephew’s birthday party, which means I’ll be able to pick up the copy of Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Mother that I pre-ordered in (checks notes) (…these notes are illegible) February? maybe. And a friend is camping at Clear Lake starting mid-week, so I’ll probably go bother him for an afternoon or something.
As my darling wife is wont to say, “Write faster, Johanneson.”
Header image: last night, reading Provenance on the deck with a glass of Writer’s Tears.
I really like my short story “The Overnight Shift”. I wrote it last summer, in a weekend, at the start of my 2016 writer’s retreat. It was originally written as a contest entry in the NYC Midnight flash fiction contest.
Since I wrote it, I’ve been trying to sell it. It’s right at the 1,000-word mark, making it what they term flash fiction. There are a decent number of paying markets for flash fiction, and I was starting to think I was going to have to try them all.
That is a screenshot of my Submission Grinder screen for “The Overnight Shift”. The numbers in the square brackets at the end? That’s [the number of current open submissions for a piece / the number of submissions this year / the number of all-time submissions]. Those 14 are all the times I’ve sent this piece out into the world. 13 times running, it was rejected (twice it made it to the second round, where it was then pruned).
And finally, this week, I sold it. It will appear sometime in November in The Arcanist, a relatively new online SF/F ’zine featuring flash fiction.
I’ll be sure to post here when it goes live. Trust me, you won’t be able to keep me quiet about it.