thrihyrne: (hand written letter writer)
So much has fallen into place since the darkness of mid-November, as well as me aggressively taking steps to ensure my long-term emotional and psychological health. One of the best things that happened recently is discovering that contrary to how I understood it, I'm not limited to 6 visits with my current psychiatrist— I can continue seeing her until my medications are all sorted out. It does mean that at some point I will need to find someone else, but it doesn't have to be at the front of the list right now. And she does what I want this person to do: work with me in support of the Sinclair Method as well as finding an effective anti-anxiety medication. She's starting me out on Effexor which has a lot going for it: it's an SNRI (which I haven't tried before- the SSRIs I've tried in the past did nothing) and it supposedly has a side benefit of counter-acting some menopausal symptoms. SCORE!! I'm in this for the long haul, so I'm going to start a kind of mood journal as I've done in the past to be able to see patterns and any new effects over weeks and months. It's all very positive.

This past Friday Evan and I went to the Airbnb holiday party and I had a successful, fun time. That's also a huge win for me. Appropriate amounts of alcohol were had, we stayed only as long as we wanted (and took our leave as the general volume in each room was becoming more than I could tolerate), and I was fully present for getting to see many friends and colleagues who'd come in from their 'remote' locations to join the festivities. This trend going to events and having a good time without being sloppy is one I'm very happy about.

I have a lot of reading and then beta'ing upcoming, plus finishing DotW. My totally manageable goal is to have the first rough draft done by the end of my week off around New Year's. At that point I'll reach out to a couple of people to read it and give just general feedback. Then I can decide whether or not to do more of an overhaul or to send it to a particular literary agent. Once that happens, I can think about writing the third and final novella with Reggie and Kelp, I suppose!
thrihyrne: (hand written letter writer)
I'll admit I was incredibly shocked that Dreamspinner opted not to publish "The Swan and the Seal," my sequel to "Surprised at Nothing." Especially since the storyline was stronger, and the world-building equally so. Due to word length, I submitted it as a novel according to their own word count guidelines, though perhaps that's part of what made it less desirable. This is what I received:
    While we felt your story had potential, it isn’t ready for publication at this time. The story just isn’t long enough, and we felt it read like a few chapters from a full-length novel. It needs the space to grow, both so readers can glean a greater understanding of the unique universe you’ve created, as well as to establish conflicts for the characters to face and then see them through to their logical conclusion. As is, issues are established but never allowed to find resolution. It reads as though a sequel will be coming, but it would be a much more successful story if readers are allowed to see at least some of the plot threads wrapped up. Many of the world building elements are unique and interesting, and they will be even more engaging in a longer work. The characters, while appealing, will also be able to reach their fullest potential within a story arc with a firmer beginning, middle, and end. If you ever expand this into a more developed novel with a stronger plot and greater conflict and resolution, please consider resubmitting it for our consideration.

This reads not only like generic boilerplate, but also as though whoever did read it somehow didn't recognize the fact that this was a second story in a series. I did note that, to be sure. Not only that, much less than the first story, this one has one main plot event that occurs and the resolution is presented at the end, pretty much with a bow tied on it. I'm quite baffled, but after a couple of days of wondering WTF, being angry, not eating or drinking healthfully, I got over it and self-published it anyway. I'm not in this for the money, but I would like the work to be out there for the 40 or so people who did read and enjoy the first one. Who knows- maybe there'll be some Reggie/Kelp fanfic someday! :)

So if any of you are interested, it's on Lulu and will (over time) appear on other e-book platforms like Amazon, B&N, etc.
E-book and print version form (which I went ahead and did since I know several people were interested in the first one being available beyond an e-book) is here: Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

I'm sorry it didn't get professional editor's eyes on it, but that's how it goes. I now feel free to start thinking seriously about the third and final story in this trilogy, which I suppose should have a name! My contract with Dreamspinner for 'Surprised at Nothing' lasts 3 years, after which I can have it back and may decide to put the three works together somewhere.

After all of that, today I finally have begun making edits to 'Defender of the Way' in the digital document from the printed out version in a 3-ring binder, which is what I've been working from since I printed it out in 2012. Well, I didn't start working on it again until about 6 weeks ago— but I'm excited with the new plot line and writing new material after so long.

May 2016

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