Thoughts on Creativity Over the Festive Period
Towards the end of December, the pages of my day-planner are whiter than the 4am snow. Every other week of the year is full of black scribbles, crossings-out, and attempts to do three different things in three different places during one Wednesday lunchtime.
But those December days! Blank and free; perfect for writing. I can finish my novel, write some new poems, start that screenplay I keep boring people with. I’ll get to it, right after I eat my turkey dinner and visit my parents and watch the latest Austen adaptation and have another nap and eat my Chocolate Orange and crunch my way through the park and read all those trashy-fun novels I received.
And then it’s January, and my belly is full of meat and sugar, and my days are full of black scrawls again.
Now it’s time for an early night, hot chocolate, and a trashy crime thriller. Damn, I’m so rock ‘n’ roll.
I’ve been very quiet lately, I know; blame NaNoWriMo. I was doing pretty well with my typing (at this speed I wouldn’t dare to call it ‘writing’), but then I got an upper respiratory tract infection and spent three days in bed. There’s still time!
I seem to have a mental block on making this weekly, so I think I should just give in and call it the fortnightly check-in.
Acceptances: 3 – and as I’m so tardy with my updates, they’ve all been published. Coffee Break at The Pygmy Giant is a quirky future-tense romance; The Last 3,600 Seconds at Circlet is apocalyptic erotica (apocarotica?); And The Devil Makes Three is a “poetic vampire story” which won an honourable mention in Oysters and Chocolate’s Vampire Lust contest.
Rejections: 9 – just the usual short fiction and personal essays. One was for a story I wrote specifically for an anthology, and now they’ve rejected it I don’t know what to do with it (romantic suburban fairytale erotica, anyone?). Also Diagram said they weren’t going to publish that particular poem but to send more, which is nice as rejections go.
Stories Submitted: 12 – a mixture of poems, erotic flash fiction, weird horror, personal essays, and some things that I don’t even know what they are.
Stories Started and Finished: Renfield at the Stereo Bar (horror flash about Renfield from Dracula working in a bar); Choosing A Toy (weird little anti-narrative about choosing sex toys); The Shaven Kiwi (an attempt at humour for Poor Mojo’s rant contest).
How do I keep missing the weekly check-in? Shameful.
Acceptances: 2 – Writers’ Bloc, who replied within an hour! Very friendly and the last issue contains many writers I like (and some we just accepted into Fractured West). Also Verbicide for that classic piece of literature, ‘Queer Zombie Disco‘.
Rejections: 8 – 3 from magazines I really like, 3 I’d forgotten I’d even submitted to, and a very nice one from Fiction Circus. And, of course, McSweeney’s. I have begun making my rejections list font size 4 so that I can’t see it.
Stories Submitted: 1 interview, 3 poems, 1 essay, 3 contests (one of which awards £20,000 – oh please please please…) and a bunch of erotica stories to anthologies.
Stories Started: 9
Stories Finished: 5 – Scars (a personal essay for the FFW contest), Baby Catalogue (a poem), a group of pieces for Abe’s Penny, a very short piece for Wigleaf, and In Our House By the Sea (an erotic romance about a couple who live by in a cottage on the coast and spend their days cooking eggs and jumping in the freezing sea).