My first review! Sort of…and NaNoWriMo

Got this off the Kaleidotrope blog:

“Sam Tomaino of SF Revu offers a quick overview of Kaleidotrope #3, as well as some nice words…”

I hopped on over and read this:

“The October 2007 issue of Kaleidotrope is another nice one with a fine mix of stories and poems. I liked all the stories in the issue.

The issue starts off with “Click” by LaShawn M. Wanak. The story start with the narrator typing words into a keyboard, “A little girl is crying” and seeing the effect this has on the reader. More details are supplied. How long can the narrator manipulate the reader?”

He then mentions the rest of the stories and winds up with:

“Kaleidotrope is a small press magazine that deserves your support.”

Well, gosh! My first review…sort of. Granted, it’s more part of the whole, but still, it makes me feel great that I contributed to that overall nice feeling.

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By the way, you probably noticed the distinct lack of NaNoWriMo at the Cafe.

Around this time last year, I had already churned at least 8500 words and having the time of my life in writing abundantly and with abandon. It was great.

A year later, I haven’t given much thought to doing NaNo at all.

It was something I knew would happen. I figured I would be waist deep in doing Willow edits that I wouldn’t have time to work on anything new. And I’m quite glad I didn’t plan to do it–right now, life is so crazy that if I had added NaNo to the mix, I would be literally tearing the locs out my hair. So this year, NaNo’s taking a back seat while I focus on edits.

Will I do it next year? Depends. Maybe Willow will be out making its rounds at agents next year. Maybe I’ll still be stuck in editing mode. Maybe I’ll totally trash Willow and write erotica instead….

Nahhh….I’m not gonna do that last bit.

I’ll wait until Willow’s done first. I do have priorities, ya know.

More thoughts on being published

So the reason why I haven’t been able to go to the Midwest Literary Festival was that our family spent a week up in Cedarville, MI at the Intervarsity Cedar Camp there. Naturally, this meant that once we got back home, we had a huge pile of mail waiting for us. And the first thing on top of the pile was two copies of Kaleidotrope. And right there, on page 3, was “Click”.

Very, very surreal.

I’m not talking about the story itself, which can be described as surreal, I guess. I’m talking about seeing the words that I have slaved over for several months not hovering on a LCD screen or in loose-leaf, double spaced printed format with red ink all over it. I’m talking about Times New Roman single spaced, two columned, italicized, bound in a book with several other stories. With a graphic: A gargoyle/demon/wraith thing that fits so well with the story…but also looks disturbingly cute. I want to take it home and call it Iggy. He shall sleep in the shed and I’ll throw it raw chicken bones for dinner…

Err…ahumm…sorry…got a little carried away there…

I had mentioned in my post for the Writer’s Block that there’s something different about seeing your work in print. That it’s tangible. You can trace your name with your fingers. You can even smell it (and yeah, how weird is that? For some bizarre reason, I’ve been taking to holding the zine up to my nose and sniffing it. It’s most disturbing…and yet…I just can’t help it. It smells real!)

But there something else I didn’t count on in seeing my story in print…and that was almost the strange disconnected feeling as I read it.

I know the words intimately. I can almost close my eyes and recite the beginning off the top of my head. But when I open it up and look at it, it’s almost as if I’m reading something that someone else wrote. And as I get drawn into what I wrote, I think: I wrote this? Me? That can’t be right. This is…good!

It’s not an ego-boosting thing. Trust me. Nor am I saying this with a boastful air. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m astonished to see a story of mine in print, and I’m humbled that this was printed at all…compared to the other stories within the zine. And trust me, there are some very good stories in this zine. I haven’t finished it yet (when you read a short story zine, it’s best to read it in bits, I’ve learned. That way, the stories stay with you more.) but I did take a look at the bios at the back, and was blown away by some of the writers’ creds. There’s this one story, “Guy, Sky High” by Edd Vick about a guy dying that brought tears to my eyes. And my story is published in the same zine as his?! That blows my mind.

I guess that’s why it looks so strange to me. I’m not used to seeing my work in print like this before. And you know what? I want more. I want to get more stuff printed. Just to see what my stuff will look like.

That’s not to say that I’m giving up on the net market too. I find that getting published on the Internet is just as important. In fact, it looks like that article I’ve been working on all September will be getting published after all…and that one will be on the web. More details coming as soon as I get them.

In the meantime, it’s back to the grindstone. I got more stories that need to be polished and sent on their way. Aaaaand, starting next week, it will be back to work on The Weeping of the Willows. Huh…I wonder what it will be like to see that in print?

Guess I better start working on it so I can find out.