This weekend was tough.
I just was tenatively invited to audition for a crit group up in Seattle with some pretty high-quality members. In order to get in I had to send them a sample of my work, unpublished, and ready for critique. I sent them "Voice of the Spoiler", which in the meantime has sold to Sword Review. While critting might have helped the story, once it is sold there is nothing you can do for it. It is like your 20 year old son who has left home. It has flown the nest and now must survive on its own merits.
So another story was needed, something not too embarrassing to submit to the critical view of other, more established writers, at least in the fiction field. I sent them "Night of Shadows, Night of Knives" both because I could bring it up to crit standards, and because it was similar in tone at least to "Voice."
So Saturday was spent in a frantic scramble to get it cleaned up in time. Also, I realized last week by selling three stories in a two week period, that I had far too little product in submission. I was down to three stories, and I am really not comfortable with less than five, if for no other reason than it becomes too much effort to focus on the long wait between sub and response when there are so many out there.
So I was able to get out another story, subbed to a magazine that has not yet bought, but held my last submission for an extra month because the editor liked it. Just not enough to buy it, I guess, but a hopeful sign. And I am most of the way done with another, humorous fantasy story that should be ready to submit tonight or tomorrow at latest. Mixed with all of my frantic scribbling was a lively e-mail conversation with Ann Scarborough about geese, science, politics, comedy, and changing markets for fiction.
It was productive, at least. We will see how well the product sells.