I’m a slow writer. It takes me a long time to grind out a first draft. When that’s done, that’s when the fun–no, seriously, fun–starts for me: doing the editing to shape a garbage fire first draft into something that I’m first willing to show other people, and then start submitting to story markets.
Drabbles are a type of micro-fiction, i.e. very short stories. In the case of a drabble, a story that is told in exactly one hundred words. I wrote and sold my first one in 2018 to Martian Magazine. There are two characteristics of drabbles that really draw me to them. The first is…they’re short. Which means it takes me a lot less time to crank out that first draft than it does to write a short story. And second is that because they’re so short, every single word has to be carefully selected; so it’s editing nirvana for me!
I decided to spend some time this year focusing on drabbles, and ended up with about sixty. (A few started as drabbles, but the draft went so far past the hundred word limit that I opted to convert them to a flash story instead.) I may self-publish a collection at some point, but along the way I’d also submit them to story and anthology markets when I saw there was a good fit.
As a result of this prolific drabbling, fifteen of my stories–eleven drabbles and four original short stories–were published in 2022, far more than in any other year since I started writing. And there were some very nice reviews!
While Martian Magazine is the premier SF drabble publication and the majority appeared there and in anthologies produced by its publisher, Shacklebound Books, I was happy to place drabbles in other publications as well. These other markets included Sylvia, where one of my favorite drabbles, Daffodil Ghosts, appeared this last summer; and two in Julia Rios’ “Worlds of Possibility” project and podcast. I’d submitted a drabble, Fencepost, which Julia accepted, and they suggested I write a complementary story, which I was happy to do–noting also that it was my first-ever solicited story. Another favorite story, Robot Coal, is the subject of a painting I’ve commissioned by local Huntsville artist Chris Wade. I’ve seen the concept sketch, and am eager to see the completed work, hopefully early in the new year.
I was also quite delighted with the other stories of mine that appeared in 2022, some of which had been banging around for quite a while. You can check out my entire list of publications for 2022 (and prior years) on my Bibliography page.
I’m hoping everyone has a solid, successful (or at least less stressful) new year. And to the writers: Keep writing! Keep submitting!