I currently have two short stories out on submission, and I'm working on revising a third, which I'd like to get out by Thanksgiving, possibly. This is highly unusual, because I don't generally write short fiction. Also, it's distracting me from finishing my current novel in progress, so I want to get it out of the way.
People who don't understand the difference between forms of to be as linking verbs, as past continuous, and as passive voice need to learn their grammar again. "was" does not mean "OMG PASSIVE VOICE! DELETE! DELETE!" I've run into people pontificating about the perils of the passive and how "was" is a terrible verb recently who clearly have no idea what they're talking about, so here's a little help.
For example, "The sky was a beautiful, brilliant blue the morning the world ended" does not contain passive voice, despite the presence of "was." It connects the sky (subject) to a predicate adjective (blue). Not passive! Yay!
"I was sitting at the table, drinking coffee and reading the paper, when the world ended" also does not contain passive voice. This is an example of the past continuous (aka past progressive), which indicates two things that happen simultaneously or one that is interrupted by the other. Not passive! Yay!
"When the world was invaded, billions of people were killed" is passive voice! Twice! Yay! If you can follow the verb with "by zombies" or "by aliens" or "by a swarm of killer bees" and have it make sense, then you have passive voice. Otherwise, you have either a linking verb or past progressive.
The world was invaded by aliens == makes sense == passive voice.
The sky was a beautiful blue by aliens == wtf? == not passive voice.
I was sitting at the table by aliens == wtf? == not passive voice.
This has been your grammar rant of the day.