Avatar has been sent out now. I supposed I should be happy about that, but I know it's going to take months before I get a reply, and it's going to be a rejection. I know for a fact it's not material Asimov's is looking for - it's too immature. I sent it because, well, I need to send it. Writing without publishing is like shouting into a canyon. The hardest part is asking the postal guy for the postage, because it's a neatly complicated order - weigh this envelope and then put the postage on it, and this one I'm going to stick inside. I couldn't figure out how I was supposed to say that.
The small magazines should be what I'm looking for, but logically, I might as well try for the big magazines first. Why not? What's the worst that can happen, besides a few more dollars spent on postage? After Asimov's I plan to try F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales, based on this Scalzi blog entry. The nice thing about Avatar is it can fit into SF or Fantasy as far as a genre, which opens up my options.
The other bad thing that happened was that work basically gave me an ultimatum (with a lot of corporate puffery and niceties) - stop working on your story, or we'll fire you. I'm a bit of a red mage, I am skilled at two totally different occupations, but neither can I do exceptionally well (Chinese proverb: better to be proficient in one art, than a smatterer in a hundred).
I'm not going to get into a big thing about how they're hypocritical bastards, because the result's the same. Now I have even less time in the day to write. Here's a list of things I do when I get home from work currently:
-Progress through Guitar Hero
-Play Zelda with wife
-Play other video games with wife
-Exercise with DDR
-Make CDs for car
-Make anime DVDs so we can watch them and relax before we go to bed
-Watch Netflix movie(s)
-Make & eat dinner
-Watch "Kid Nation", "Kitchen Disasters", and "Beauty & the Geek"
-Write in "A Father's Legacy"
-Watch "Heroes" (not so much a priority these days, you'd understand if you're watching Season 2)
-Play any other video games
Now add all the miscellaneous stuff that comes up - hockey games, parent visits, housecleaning, store visits, and anything my wife needs me to do. And only one more thing needs to be said: I have a kid on the way. So you tell me when I'm supposed to write? I was able to write Gatecrash, Baby Blocks, and Blood 2, all at work. I use my time at lunch to walk, because I sorely need the exercise, especially with all the food they keep feeding us. I haven't been under 200 lbs. since before my wedding.
I have to write. It's no longer a fun activity, it's a compulsion. I have to get the story out of me, or else I'll feel like a failure. I've only not finished one novel-length story - Mortal Kombat II. That was my second. Ever. In High School. So you can't blame me for not finishing it. So I've completed every major work I've intended to write so far (before Blood 2, I couldn't have said that).
The only way I can write, is if I don't have some one bugging me. That's why work was good, because I'm not in a position where someone needs something from me all the time (it's often the other way around). At home, no. My wife always wants to talk to me or wants to do something together. If I'm going to write at home, I need a set place, space, and time to get something done. Or I'm going to be distracted by one of those things mentioned above. They're just too tempting to do.
Things I can still do at work that are writing related are read stories/novels, do Critters critiques, and during lunches when it's too cold to walk I'll have time to stay inside and write, but I can't rely on that. It'd be great if I could set aside one hour a day to write and do nothing else. Think of the writing I could get done in that time.
Well, tonight I'll be alone, so I'll be able to write. And this weekend is a big baby shower hoopla, so that time's out. But beyond that, I'm going to have to think of something, somehow to delegate time away, some way to say that I need this time alone per day or two days so I don't go mad.