In which I schmooze
Well, I’ve been thinking.
I am going to write about the Great Grand Glorious Five Year Plan, but that may be next week. First a bit of gloating, and then I’d like to take a few moments to talk about my own stupidity. I’ll try to keep it short.
First, the gloat. I have a story coming out in Aurealis. It’s in issue 42, it’s called Yellow Mary or Yellow Mary’s Lamp – to be honest, I’m still a bit too gleeful to recall. Aurealis is probably the best spec fic magazine in the country, I have been trying (see below) to get in for ten years. Very big news. They are sending me a cheque, I am taking Katy out to a fancy restaurant. Get your order in quick – I will probably buy pretty much all the copies.
Now – the stupidity. I want to be a professional writer. It’s not so much I want to make my living from it, it’s that I want to go to the bookshelf and be able to pull down my book. There are stories in me I want to get out.
If you look at professional writers, there are (sortof) three things they need to have.
They have talent – a love of language, stories running through them.
They work hard. That’s less of a worry for me.
They have – I don’t know what to call it. It’s the social aspect of the job, it’s the getting on with people, it’s the being professional, the being in and contributing to the community. Some people call it schmoozing (and more on that later), but it’s more than that. It’s the bit, I think, that trips most people up, and it’s the bit that’s been tripping me up.
I think some people think of the whole social side of it as some weird combination of Masonic handshakes and esoteric sexual practices. I haven’t seen a lot of that. But I have seen professional writers who are courteous, and hard working, and approachable, and reliable, and treat other people as if they are human beings. I’m not saying all of them are like that, but I am saying it’s sufficient.
There’s nothing wrong with Masonic handshakes, and I’m actually all for esoteric sexual practices, but I don’t know that that’ll get you published in Weird Tales.
If it does, of course, I would like to point out that I retain much of the flexibility of my younger years, I can roll, furl and oscillate my tongue and I can still fit into my chicken suit.
So – I’m going to find out as many of my previous publications as I can and list them.
I’m going to meet people in the field.
I’m going to read.
I’m going to write-revise-submit-write again, which is the one thing short story writers who succeed all do.
I’m going to excitify this blog – I’ll be posting here pretty much weekly. Also, pictures. I am setting my novel in England, 990 AD. Residents of England, 990 AD did not have access to refridgerators and would have been at risk of food poisoning, most often caused by Salmonella typhi, a Gram-negative enterobacterium commonly found in contaminated foodstuffs. It is important to be able to recognise the causative agent of salmonella poisoning, so I have included the following educational image:
I am also Facebookable – Brendan David Carson.
I’ve found an anthology I like and I’m going to write something for it – first time I’ve done this in years.
And I will schmooze. At Clarion I was terrified of schmoozing, preferring instead to get drunk and pullulate in the dark with other consenting adults and bang on about interesting things. It turns out this counts as schmoozing – who would have thought?
Anyway – more soon, either the conjoined Vendermeer twins or the Great Grand Glorious (by this rate) Four And A Bit Year Plan.
A list of publications soon.
Thanks for listening,