Giving Yourself Grace … For a While, and Other Market List Updates

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Thoughts in Passing

Giving Yourself Grace … For a Little While

Life happens. It’s a truism because it’s true. After the past couple of years, we all understand how quickly our lives can be disrupted. Some disruptions are predictable (summer vacation, a new baby), others are less so (sickness, a dying relative, job loss). In my household, the last couple of months have been a little of column A, a little of column B. We’re all fine now.

My writing schedule, however, is shot. My wordcount graph looks terrible. You can really see when my kids came home from school, followed quickly by our whole family getting sick and then having an activity-packed family reunion.

I am not good at giving myself grace. I’m a fairly slow writer, and if I don’t drive myself to write on a schedule, suddenly weeks have gone by without words on the page. And I don’t write well in short spurts. I really need a few uninterrupted hours to sink into deep work mode.

So, grace. Giving yourself grace is not the same thing as giving up. Grace can be saying, “I can’t do as much as I want while [current circumstances], but I will if [better conditions].” Then you do what you can, when you can, under the current circumstances. Sometimes that’s a little, sometimes that’s nothing. Then you can either wait or do what you can until your circumstances change. That might be because they are temporary and have a natural end date. Or it might be because you have worked to get your life closer to those better conditions.

For me, knowing that there is an end condition and planning for it makes all the difference. I can give myself grace, even if right now all I can do is make a list, or take a few notes, or add a reminder to my calendar for later.

(Do you have a writing question? Send it to me, either by replying to this email or by using the contact form on my website, and it may get answered in the next newsletter.)

What I’ve been up to lately, writing-wise:

I’ve tinkered with the way the new market listings table shows up on the website. It should be more responsive for cellphones and smaller screens (will still display best on a larger screen). And now it has a search function! Please do leave a comment in my contact form letting me know what you think.

Other than that, I’m getting snippets of writing done on my space opera novel, when I can. Trying not to wince at how far behind my chart thinks I am!

Things Shiny or Useful

Archive of all shiny or useful links:
🧵 indicates a useful thread on Twitter.

Purgatorial Stories: Hallmarks and Patterns:

Reflections on Writing Horror:

Here’s how to find your damn comps 🧵:
…with caveats🧵:

10 Swords Writing Exercise 🧵:

Guard Rails Around the Bottomless Pit:

Behind the Scenes:

Romancing SFF:

Publishing Checklist: Making Books:

Upcoming Virtual Conventions/Workshops

(Any registration fees are noted.)

ChiCon 8 / WorldCon ($30), Sept 1-5, 2022:

Can*Con (CAD$45), Oct 14-16, 2022:

World Fantasy Convention ($125), Nov 3-6, 2022:

The Nebula Conference ($150) is over for 2022, but purchasing a membership now still gets access to recorded panels and year-round special events:

Featured Market

The annual Unidentified Funny Objects anthology wants humorous SF/fantasy, due 8/25/22.

We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams.  We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.  The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume. You can buy them here and also read the online stories for free. WHAT WE DON’T WANT These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile.

You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.

Unidentified Funny Objects

Basics: humorous speculative fiction, 500 – 6,000 words, pays $.08/wd, no reprints, 2022 submissions close 8/25/22.


Market List Updates

To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, as well as hundreds of other listings, go to Aswiebe's Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet. Note: going forward, limited demographic market listings will be italicized.
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Keep writing, keep submitting, and good luck!

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Compiler of Lists
Aswiebe’s Market List
Abra Staffin-Wiebe’s Author Website

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