This weekly update on my own publishing attempt is seeming a little too quiet, so I'll start with someone else's GREAT news. One of our fellow blogging buddies just got a great agent yesterday! I don't want to give away anyone's name in case she or he prefers to keep it private, but keep your eyes open for an official announcement of the good news!
In my own world, I've been back to concentrating on the writing. Writing. One of my goals is to try and get into some better-known literary journals like McSweeney's or Zoetrope: All Story or Glimmer Train or that one magazine whose name I'm almost too scared to mention for fear that people will think I'm an idiot for even trying...The New Yorker. The fact is, yes, maybe I'm an idiot, but I'll never know unless I try and I shouldn't be ashamed of trying.
So, this last week I worked hard to finish the first draft of a personal short story I've had hanging around for two or three years. It's just an early draft, but I decided to let two of my friends read it. The results were lukewarm. But, I'm planning to revise it and flesh out one of the characters, and then I'll have to see if it stirs up some more excitement. I also finished the first draft of another short story based on a Mormon father who abandons his family but still wants to have a relationship with only his youngest son. I'm excited about this one because it feels new, it feels quirky, and I love the exploration of this strange behavior -- it's based on a true story.
Regarding my novel, I'm revising the first two chapters. I've been told that they are the weakest in the book, and I realize in my own mind that I'm not completely in love with them either. I kind of took a break in February, thinking that the novel was done. But, I have some renewed energy, so I saved the old draft and am playing around to see if I like the new one.
I'm writing and I'm blogging and critiquing and reading. Nothing on the query front for me so far. I'm realizing how much time everything is taking. After getting home from my job, I only have a few hours to critique or read or write or get out on cyberspace and find other writers. How does everyone handle it? What component of writing do you spend the most time on? What component of writing do you think you SHOULD spend the most time on?
I loved our discussion this week on description. Next week, I'm going to start a few talks on the action of stories to see what ideas we can come up with!