A Week of Writing: 7/12/21 to 7/18/21

Midway through July. Here are all my writing endeavors for the week, warts and all. 🙂

Words to Write By

This week’s quote comes from William Zinsser.

“I almost always urge people to write in the first person. … Writing is an act of ego and you might as well admit it.”

—William Zinsser

I unabashedly LOVE writing in first person. I even commit the mortal sin of writing in first person present tense. Do I like this POV because it’s an ego flex, like William Zinsser said? Maybe a little. I think it’s more that there’s something about the pronoun I that lets me get right down into a character’s brain and really relate to them. It’s so damn intimate, and I rarely feel more connected to my characters than when I’m writing in first person. Of course, first person is fraught with danger and pitfalls. It can be limiting, voice-y, self-indulgent, and, well, some folks just don’t like it no matter how well it’s done. Still, for me, the siren song of first person is hard to resist.

I’ll put my money on the table and point you at a story of mine I think is among my best works AND is written in first-person present. Check it out: “Night Games” at Pseudopod. 

Short Story Submissions

Yeah, not awesome.

  • Submissions Sent: 1
  • Rejections: 0
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Pending: 10
  • 2021 Total Subs: 57

Just one submission last week and not much else. No rejections, no acceptances, no publications, nada. Need 6 more subs for the month to stay on pace for 100. Interestingly, when I have few rejections, I have few submissions. The reason for this is simple. Rejected stories are immediately resubmitted elsewhere. I do have a brand spanking new story that’ll go out this week, but it’s a crime piece, so my market options are limited.

The Novella

The bright spot last week was the work I got done on Effectively Wild. I added another 6,000 words to the novella, pushing it up and over the 20,000-word mark. I’m right in the middle of the big climax of the story, and I figure I need another 5,000 words or so to hit all the right notes and wrap things up. I’m guessing I might end up close to 30,000 words. That said, I have already identified a few places where the novella could use some tightening. I’m hoping for a final, submittable piece in the 25k range. As I mentioned previously, I’m mostly pantsing this novella, and writing without safety rails has been fun and led me to some interesting plot developments.

Night Walk

My flash fiction anthology Night Walk & Other Dark Paths features 40 of my best stories. Here are some of the nice things folks have said about it. 🙂

“I’ve been a fan of his stories for years, and now they’ve been collected in Night Walk it’s possible to fully appreciate the many wounded landscapes of his imagination, the harrowing beauty of his prose, and the consistency with which he weaves his tales of despair.”

— Christopher Stanley

“Aeryn has proven with this dark anthology, that he is truly one of the very best flash fiction writers around. At times, you have to pinch yourself to remember these terrifying tales are the work of just one mind.”

— Andrew J. Anderson

“The tales are short, snappy, well-paced, often witty, and always satisfying. I had to force myself to limit myself to a couple of tales a day–to savor them like rich and bitter dark chocolates.”

— MM Schreier 


The usual: finish the novella, send out more submissions.

That’s my week. How was yours?

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