Well, I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
I'm going to tell the bad news first. "Cat and Mouse" was rejected by Emerald Tales. I really like the editor, Diana Lyles, and I understand what she told me in the rejection letter. Here is what she said:
Thank you for submitting your story for consideration in Emerald Tales magazine. I regret that I must pass on your story.
Cherie, you're a very talented writer. The reason that I am passing on this story is because the MC of the story wasn't sympathetic to me. I didn't care what happened to her. This story reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair. I think that it's a good idea, but needs somethingat the beginning of it to make the reader care about the MC.
Also, there's an interesting dynamic going on between the husband and wife. She completely changes her appearance three times, but he catches her anyway. How does that work? Then there's the whole thing with her spending more time with him now that she is stealing paintings, than she did while she was a housewife.
I think you could expand this into a longer work.
The next theme for Emerald Tales is "It was a bright and sunny day". That should be the first line of the story. The deadline is March 1,2010.
Looking back at the story, I can see why the protagonist might not be sympathetic to the reader. As the writer, I know her background, but I didn't convey that quite as well to the reader. I must admit that I was thinking a lot of the Thomas Crown Affair when I wrote the story, but I added the twist at the end, so it wasn't exactly like it either. Eventually, I plan to take Diana's advice and fix the problems in the story, thus making it a longer work.
On the bright side of the rejection letter, she said that I'm a very talented writer. It means so much to me that she thinks so. I feel like I'm still in my infancy when it comes to writing, especially since I've only been doing this for a year. I've been crawling along, and I want to get up and run with it, but I'm still going to fall down sometimes. I do get better with each story, and I hope to continue to grow as a writer.
The next short story I write will be for Emerald Tales "It was a bright and sunny day" issue. I am hoping to get to it next week.
In good news, I am ready to begin writing book two of the Phoenix trilogy. I plan to start writing the first chapter this week. I still have to do rewrites for book one, but I know where I am heading with them, so I can start the second book.
I've been thinking about future projects. One of the things I'm considering is adding some steampunk to my Moonlight Murders mystery novel. I need to read some steampunk before I completely decide, but I think it could be fun.
I've started researching literary agencies. I've found a lot where I could send Moonlight Murders, but it's harder to find ones for fantasy for my Riverwood Trilogy and Phoenix Trilogy. I still have a lot more work to be done before I even submit to agents, of course.
I still have a list of places I want to submit new short stories to. February's short story will be for Pill Hill Press's Atlantis anthology. The tenative title of my short story is "The Staff of Zeus."
As for the short stories already written, I plan to just leave them be for now. I have three submissions out there. I would like to have more, but I feel that my previous stories need more work, and I don't want to take away from new works to go back to the old ones yet. When I have more time, I'll pick a story and fix it. The only plans right now that I have for the old ones that will require any real length is "Bella's Battle." I plan to eventually revise and add on to it. I would like to get it to novella length (20,000-40,000 words) and submit it to an epublisher. Of course, these things will take time.
Right now, I'm going to focus on writing The Phoenix Sorceress, rewrites/edits for The Phoenix Prophetess, and new short stories.
Otherwise, I hope everyone has a nice Monday, even though it is Monday. It's going to be a long six-day work week for me.