I talked with a new acquaintance recently about my quest for new experiences. Or rather, my acceptance that new experiences will work to my advantage as an author and my half-hearted attempts at seeking them out. As it turned out, the topic of conversation came right around the time that one of my email accounts was hacked. Or perhaps phished, I'm not sure which. I'd heard about the phenomenon before, and seen the towers of rage people became over the occurrence. But I was a bit senseless about the whole affair. I was sad, and deflated that it had happened to me, and felt pretty low about being misrepresented. I even went so far as to be curious as to why someone would spend their time burrowing into other people's lives. I do have that experience though, piled on top of all the others, so I guess it can't all be bad.
I also was finally rejected by a quarterly contest I've had the habit of entering repeatedly over the past year. It took longer than usual, and just to make sure I even asked the submissions director about that being some sort of indication at progress. She didn't confirm or deny, but did give me a tip mentioned to her by one of the main people that reads the stories. And apparently, on many occasions, the person couldn't decipher if the story was fantasy or science fiction. Which boggled my mind. Inwardly, my response was "does it matter?" and I even replied truthfully that I worked harder at making good stories and less at shaping them so they fit better into categories. I guess that made me a little sad, too. But, I don't have the luxury at this point in my career to write what I think is good, knowing that it will be accepted and then classified later. First it has to classify and thereby appeal to the judges of whatever peg hole I sent it through. So to that end, the next submission (yes I will probably be trying yet again) will be "harder." I thought science fiction just had facets of the imagined or yet to be; apparently there is a requirement for more... lasers?
A friend from the writer's group went out of his way to offer to give me a ride to the convention, which he seemed pretty excited about. I'm not sure if it was the fanfare or the costuming or the writer's panels I'd heard so much about, but ultimately I turned him down as is my way. I had been feeling a little down since last week, but I resolved to take the extra time to be more productive. And so the novel is finally drafted. I went through about six chapters in four days and used one of them to read the items through after a good night's sleep. I was happy, even impressed, with what I had accomplished. I still plan on having that celebratory dinner as well, and I've begun brainstorming on the next story. Some edits of a previous one given to me by the group need to be applied, and the grossly ignored screen play needs some attention, too. And at some point in the upcoming months, I will begin the monstrous undertaking of the sci fi novel. The initial chapters I'll be sending to the big publishers, the print book folks. I guess this time I'll be starting at what some folks think of as the top. And I guess it implies that I'm fully prepared to be thrown off the mountain, as if there were no question about my already planning how to get back up.