I've been spending a lot of the last couple of months in a nebulous space between creation and publication -- closer to publication than sometimes, but not quite there yet. For some reason I've gotten rewrite requests on five submissions this year, and I also got feedback from my critique group on a couple of recent stories that prompted extensive revisions. So I've been doing a lot of rewriting and not a lot of drafting, which is not as satisfying to me and also not terribly conducive to blogging-about.
I've made a couple of sales, too, but even there things are kind of nebulous. I got a rejection from an anthology, but it was accompanied by a request to use the story on the anthology's website (for five cents a word). I would rather have been in the print antho, but it's a decent pay rate and online publication means I don't have to ask my friends to shell out money to read my stuff. So that's a sale, sort of. I also got paid for the Wild Cards story, but there might still be a few revisions requested, depending on exactly what happens with the other stories in the book. So that's another sale, again sort of.
Anyway, I just finished and mailed... let's see, that's the fourth revision in a row, and I'm nearly done with another piece, a nonfiction essay based on the talk I gave at the Library of Congress back in July, which isn't exactly new writing either. Next up -- and I should start that today -- is a project somewhere between drafting and revision: a YA novel proposal based on the three stories I wrote for Esther Friesner's fantastical-suburbia anthologies. I've been asked to write about half of it (~40,000 words) plus an outline.
The original short stories were set in the 1970s, because that's when I was in intermediate school and I have no idea what life is like for Kids Today. It worked well but I've been asked to bring it up to the present day for the novel. I started off with one of the original stories but it was just too finished... trying to revise it was like trying to reshape a marble statue with a butterknife. So I'm going to tackle the project as a completely new novel with the same characters (well, with people based on the same characters) and then, once I have a good solid idea of the setting, characters, and voice, maybe revise the existing stories to fit in the new present-day world.
Now I have a research problem: how to find out what life is like for Kids Today, ages 13-14? I don't know any kids that age well enough to talk to, and I can't go down to the local middle school and just hang out... that's creepy, and probably illegal these days. Any recommendations of books, magazines, movies, TV shows, or websites?