Sunday, October 20, 2013

Assembling the Minions

This week has been rather exhausting, but progress was made and enjoyment was had.

The first half was spent writing and drafting two short stories. Additional ideas have materialized and I will begin on those at the earliest opportunity. The objective for last week was to assemble a group of beta readers who would be willing to read my work and give me their initial impressions. The group is made of about a dozen individuals with various tastes and a broad age range. I sent them a 1,500 word story called "Inside Voice." So far, only three have replied. Two "yays" against one "meh." Further comments forthcoming.

I've also spent the week compiling a list of magazines to submit my work to when the time comes. My favorite resource, Predators and Editors, couldn't provide me with a lot of "recommended" listings. Those that were labeled as such have defunct links. No matter.

I noticed that a good number of the magazines charge fees for submissions, even electronic ones. I thought this was a bit strange. In the world of agents and book publishers, most people don't charge the author a fee to read their work. It's considered unorthodox. You can get around the fees by using snail mail, but sending a manilla envelope and including a SASE can add up quickly. The word count of all the magazines I looked at ranges between 1,500-8,000. Some accepted novellas up to 15,000 and some listed preferences within their range (i.e. we accept short stories up to 8,000 words but prefer 4,000).

I've found the practice of writing short stories to be very liberating. It'll take some getting used to. Lots of rewriting and revising.

Speaking of rewriting, my Remington Rand Model 1 is starting to show signs of...something. The carriage is skipping whenever I use the characters "c", "e", "b" and "p". Not sure what the problem is, but to put my mind at ease I decided to purchase a backup machine.

Say hello to my newest friend. The Remington Rand De Luxe Model 5

I never intended to purchase another typewriter. One was enough. But over time the Model 1 has developed a few kinks that make it hard to write without having to go back and correct an error. I still love that machine dearly, but I'm overly cautious about mechanical devices. I change my oil every 3,000 miles on the dot (or as close as possible). The Model 1 will be put away until I can take it to a qualified repairman. Sadly, there are none within 3 hours distance of my house, so it'll have to wait until the semester is over with.

My new partner is an interesting machine. Built at some point in the 1940s, I haven't been able to find a lot of information on the De Luxe Model 5. It has all the makings of a wartime product. Not a lot of glossy, flashy features or paint. It's all about function, baby. For $60, it was a real bargain. All of the parts function flawlessly, even the tab button! It has a touch regulator that increases or decreases the resistance on the keys themselves. I can lightly peck on these keys like I am doing with my laptop keyboard, and the text still prints clearly!

The second half of the week was spent with my wonderful girlfriend and her family. I'd talk about it here, but frankly, that's none of your business. ;)

This week's post is a bit short. Hopefully, I'll have more updates later as the stories continue to flow.

Power to the pen.

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