Writing Wednesday: Doing Research

We’ll keep it short and sweet.

Submission process: I’m still debating between the two suggested markets that I mentioned last week. The deadline is frustrating, even though the story is ready. I just have to pick the market I think the story is best suited for, right? But both have response times I’m not in love with, and while I’m definitely not in this to make money, the pay is rather meh. So I started hunting around on Ralan.com (thanks to Nancy at Picking Up the Pen for reminding me of this wonderful resource! I’d forgotten all about it!) and bookmarking markets I think would be potentially good: some are closed for submissions, which is fine, because I can read and do more research, but it makes me wonder: is it worth submitting to one of these two markets that I’m not sure about versus waiting for a submission window to a market that might actually fit? Heaven forbid that I don’t hear back from a previous submission and miss the window for a better-fitting market! I wish this story wasn’t so hard to place….

Writing: I didn’t fail quite so badly. I brainstormed my UF free-write with a novel idea I’d had a few years ago to see how things lined up and came up with some interesting ideas, but I’m still chewing on it. And after watching The Conjuring, I was struck with an idea that may work for a short story, so I spent Monday night chasing that particular rabbit and made notes for it on Tuesday. It’s promising, but I’m taking my time.

And that’s it this week!

Remembering Calico Reaction: 2005-2013

On May 24th of last year, I closed my book blog. It was both a sad and liberating day. Sad, because there was a part of me that really, really wanted to hit the ten-year mark, and liberating because I was so burdened by the responsibilities I’d placed on myself, my reading, and my blog that I just wasn’t happy doing it any more. I don’t regret that decision, and I even miss those book-blogging days. However, as book blogging and fandom evolves, I’m glad I’m out.

Last week, Nancy from Picking Up the Pen reached out and asked if I followed Tor.com’s Rocket Talk Podcast. I explained I did not, and she went on to tell me she was listening to the most recent episode on Gender Parity in the SFF Community and said that I was mentioned. Well, not me, but rather Calico Reaction.

I was flabbergasted, because it’s been a year since I’ve posted under that name, so I promptly downloaded the podcast to get the context and figure out why my blog–one that didn’t garner many nominations when the Hugos came around–was suddenly popping up on someone else’s radar.

The segment is about 45 minutes in, but I recommend listening to the whole podcast for the proper context. Gender parity in the SFF Community boils down to the annual Coverage of Women on SFF Blogs study that Renay @ Lady Business has been spearheading. It’s a great project, and it’s worth listening to the podcast and browsing through the studies to really get a sense of what’s being talked about and why, especially if you’re a blogger/reviewer in the SF/F community.

I won’t rehash the details, but I’ll say this: it’s nice to be remembered. More importantly, it’s nice to be remembered for something that I didn’t initially strive to do, which was feature mostly books written by women in my blog. But while I didn’t originally intend to become a showcase for women authors, it ended up happening anyway, because I wanted to have a firm grasp on the female voices writing in the genre I hope to one day debut in.

So here’s to Calico Reaction (the blog, not me) and whatever good it did for audiences it served. I was very lucky to have been able to blog for as long as I did, and I still consider myself incredibly lucky that it developed such an intelligent, engaging, and energetic following. I give many thanks to those who read it, those who helped me shape it, and to those who remember it even today.