Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'd live in a big marble building if I could.

Today Handsome and I stopped off at one of the libraries in our new town. Even though we're buying a house here, a library card for this county is just one of those things I need for it to feel like home. I am a library addict -- I grew up with what I think has to be one of the coolest small-town libraries in America:

When I was a kid, I wanted to live in that building, with its marble floors, sweeping staircases, and the artwork that depicted its namesake family's history. The lions out front and the fountain were an added draw. Although, of course, the real appeal of the library was its two stories' worth of wonderful books.

Anyway, back to the present day. The particular branch I stopped into was tiny, but in my quick browse through once I had card in hand, I happened across The Writer's Market, 2010. I've only ever seen this in libraries as a reference book, but this one had it available to check out. Swoon.

So I am now the proud borrower of the latest and greatest edition of The Writer's Market, which is already collecting post-it notes.

I also deserted Handsome for the evening to head to a local coffee shop. This is where I get the most work done writing-wise, and I really need to make it a habit to carve these blocks of time out at least once a week, ideally two or three times. My three hours were very productive:

1. Identified a dozen potential magazines to submit non-fic, fiction and poetry

2. Did preliminary research on a half dozen different new markets (checking writers' guidelines and content on websites)

3. Formatted two short stories and four poems for submission and organized them in their own folder, so I can select what I want to submit and dispatch it readily to the chosen market.

4. Wrote a brand spanking new short story from an idea that had been jiggling around in my head. It's short -- approximately 800 words -- and I have no idea if it's any good or not. In fact, at the time I wrote it I kept thinking, "Cliches! Cliches, you damn hack!" But that's my usual positive internal monologue, so I have to let it sit for a week or so before I go back, re-read, and decide if this requires editing or circular filing.

I may post aforementioned short story to see what y'all think. I have been going through a bit of a writer's identity crisis lately, where I do not think my writing sounds as mature as it should. My twenty-something-ness seems to show itself in occasionally confident, occasionally awkward, always self-conscious prose. But the only thing that will change my writing style is more reading, more study, and most importantly of all -- more writing. So I keep at it. Internal editors be damned.

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