Wednesday Weelky Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 9K, but then, I had only three days for writing – with jetlag and cover rebranding. I more or less wrapped up the Lone Wolves and this week I’ll work on a Silvery Earth novella while I check files from the editor and prepare for next weekend’s publication. I probably won’t write too much either, since I have a few manuscripts to go through.

About the main event of the past two weeks that took me away from Day Job and COVID-19, well, it was a blast, as expected. Unlike 2017, I did make one sale, which means I’m moving forward! And I got to spend one week with awesome people who helped me overcome my latest lows.

Also, get ready for a new awesome magazine, Fantasy Quarterly. All fantasy stories for your reading pleasure, and I’ve read a few of them, they’re awesome. Eventually I might make it in there too, but for now get ready for my workshop buddies’ stories and some famous names to keep them company! 🙂

It was wonderful to see old friends again – virtual hugs to all if you’re reading this – and meeting a few new people. Some of them were luckier than me and sold at their very first Anthology Workshop, so kudos to them! 🙂 And I mean “lucky” in the sense they hit the Awesome Editors’ tastes better than me, but I don’t give my best when I have a theme and a deadline.

Sometimes I let deadlines for anthologies pass to make sure I give the topic a better shot! Anyhow, three of the rejected stories will be incorporated in novels, and one is out there again on submission. Not sure what to do with the other two, yet, probably stick them into the virtual drawer until next year. For now I’m happy just being back to writing every day.

Travelwise, I flew in via New York, where they only asked me if I’d been to China in the past 14 days. I watched Gully Boy and Crazy Rich Asians, but by the second flight I was too tired (and of course couldn’t sleep) so I only caught a glimpse of Ocean’s 8. By the time I got to Vegas, I’d been up 24 hours – I jumped into the first taxi and went straight to bed.

Then, during the workshop, Mom sent me a message about COVID-19 in Northern Italy, and my colleague copy-pasted a work email on FB Messenger (it was also a text message on my cell phone, I found it when I came back). The first masks appeared at LAX on my flight to Rome, half empty (more room to sleep, yay! As if I could, sigh…) and even landed earlier so I was home by the time it was supposed to land.

And nobody wants Italians anywhere anymore. Glad I left last week and came back before it spread or they would have sent me back as soon as I set foot at JFK!

Cartoomics (Milan’s comicon) has been postponed to October, which actually works better for me. As for the other travels, I guess I’ll stay at home in April and work on paperbacks, while waiting out COVID-19…

While at the workshop, I got word from the editor of Excalibur 2020: they have just launched the Excalibur Books Patreon.

The first goal is to assist with the formatting and cover of “Warriors of Olympia”, our Science Fiction & Fantasy Olympics anthology, and to build awareness of the writers involved. After that’s published and being promoted, we aim to provide future releases from a wide range of authors.

So go check it, I gave them permission to post excerpts of my story, give it a go! 🙂 I’ll also share a couple more Kickstarters for writing projects soon – not mine yet, unfortunately, since I still have to deal with a damn Day Job that complicates things, but I’ll give you a couple of projects to back up in the coming months!

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Go check the latest story, and that’s all for today! Have a great week!

I wanted to remind authors that the value of their writing transcends monetary measures. If your book has the potential to bring a smile to a single reader, your book is important. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your book has the potential to change lives and maybe even save lives. What can be more important than that?
Just because your sales suck doesn’t mean that you’re not worthy. Most writers’ sales suck, whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. Most writers will have good months and bad months, good years and bad years. If you only measure your success by money, you’ll probably burn out and quit, but if you develop other measures of success, like finding joy in the creative process or making your next book better than the last or finding joy in pressing the publish button when you’re finally ready to share your soul with the world, then you’re more likely to continue writing and publishing. Therefore, you’re more likely to eventually emerge from your obscurity to achieve the greatest commercial success.

Mark Coker

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5 Comments

  1. Glad the workshop went well, and YAY for the sale! Also, glad you made it over there before Italians leaving Italy became frowned upon.

    I was at the hospital for something yesterday, and got seen so early because of people cancelling because of virus fears that I was on my way home by the time of my actual appointment. The doctors were pleased I not only showed up rather than letting fear of catching something stop me, but came nice and early. I’ve never known the hospital to be so quiet, or been seen that much before my appointment time (especially when it’s an afternoon appointment… Those are known for running late usually).

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    • same here – went to the doctor because I almost ran out of tyroid medicines and need to de my yearly tests, and the place was half-empty. We were even sent out for fifteen minutes because of a gas leak somewhere in the building…
      I’m afraid I won’t be able to travel as much as I hoped to with this COVID-19 spreading so fast, but well… it’s still early. Currently I hope to make my first trip at the end of May, so hopefully things will have quieted down by then.
      Hope you’re feeling better, I read on FB of your post-hospital pains…
      Hugs

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      • Fingers crossed things have settled down in time for you to travel in May as planned.

        I’m still in some pain, but not quite so much today. Luckily mouth wounds heal quickly, so it’s already starting to get to the point where the only painkillers I’m not allergic to will actually do something more than take the edge off the pain. I hate needing to take them, but that bit of time between one lot wearing off and the other kicking in this morning tells me it’s definitely not time to stop just yet.

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  2. Angie Penrose

     /  05/03/2020

    It was great seeing you too! I’m glad you got home okay.

    I had empty seats next to me flying both ways for the workshop, so that’s always nice. And there’s Coronavirus up here in Washington too, so I empathize with that. :/ I worry for my husband; he goes out more than I do, and he’s 11 years older. He’s basically healthy, though, so keeping my fingers crossed.

    Best of luck with your books!

    Angie

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    • It’s just another flu… we’ll get through it! 🙂
      Thanks for the plug and it was a pleasure meeting your friend Suzan, hope she had a blast and will be back! I aim for 2023, and I know time can fly…
      Best
      Barb

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