I was bad this morning. Instead of cranking out the next thousand or so words on my current novel, I spent the morning in story-land.
Old story-land, that is. In an effort to get more stories into circulation and maybe make a little money off my past efforts, I dug into the fabled Trunk.
All writers have a Trunk, you see. It’s filled with old stories, ideas, partials, stalled stories, and more odds and ends. All stuff that you’ve given up on.
So I looked through the Trunk (luckily, my Trunk is virtual, so I didn’t get any dust or schmuck on my hands) and found about 18 stories that were finished. Beginning – middle – end. So I gave them a quick read-through, tossed out three that just weren’t usable (one was part of the baseball novel and incomplete as a standalone story, and the other two just didn’t hold together).
Out of the Trunk, then, I had 15 stories to send out. So I did a little something crazy — something I never would’ve done if I hadn’t gone to the Master Class last year — I just reformatted the story so it was in a more readable font, updated the address and contact information, and sent them out!
I was supposed to spell-check ’em too, but I forgot.
All told, it took over 3 hours to send them all out. And another hour or two to reformat them. But now I have thirty stories out to various editors (or I will, as soon as I run to the Post Office to drop off the four submissions that weren’t electronic, alas. I hate paper submissions!). Thirty! Very cool.
And some of those stories are old! One of them, called “Wim,” was probably the first story I wrote in college. Oh my. A bit embarrassing, but you never know. There’s a spark of something real and true in that story. It’ll find a home. It’s not going to do anything, sitting in my Trunk, ya know?
Now that I’ve finished that big task, I’m looking ahead to Monday, the 15th, a day I have off from work. That’s the day I’m tagging as Marketing Day — I’m going to get all my various novels fixed up and sent out that day, just like I did for the stories. Except novels carry more baggage — you need cover letters, synopses, and opening chapters. And more editors to research, to find just the right one who’ll welcome my book with open and loving arms.
Heh. More like an editor who welcomes my manuscripts with red pens or a big stamp saying NOT FOR US. But you gotta keep trying.