Monday, May 23, 2011

It's been one week... (Also titled Very, Very)

I have been missing in action for the last week.  I am very, very sorry.  I wish I could tell great tales of how I've been working on the Great American Novel.  Alas, I haven't.  I've been pulling wicked mad over time.  We had an art show last week, and guess who is in charge of 1/3 of it.  ME!  Writing has been mostly on hold.
But now I'm back into it.  I've submitted three stories for the Memory Eater tonight.  Starting tomorrow, I'm working on a horror story that's been on the back burner.  It's time to get back into the game.
I missed you all and I will be out there commenting again.  Very, very soon!

Monday, May 16, 2011

50th post!

It was a dark and stormy night (seriously, it is) and Rebecca was just sitting down to get some writing submissions ready to send out when... she opened blogger and facebook!  Ahhhh!!!

Joking aside, this is my 50th post.  Once I saw that, I had to write.  The fact I haven't given up on my blog is amazing. 

One rejection today through snail mail.  When I'm done scribbling on here, I am getting four more submissions ready to go out.  Then I'm going to go fall asleep on a pile of clean laundry.

House cleaning tip for my writing buddies:  1.) Put A &E Hoarders on TV.  2.) Watch for a few minutes.  3.) Get up and look around.  4.) Instantly you have a much cleaner house than you realized!  :D

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blooger? Are you messing with me?

My last blog post had 4 comments and now they've disappeared.  Unless I'm crazy, I think blogger deleted my comments.  I suppose it could have been me by accident, but I don't think I would have done it without knowing it... Hmmm, note to self:  lay off the hard liquor while posting. 

(Just kidding.  I don't drink.)

This weekend will be great for writing.  It's raining AGAIN so we aren't putting in the garden.  I wasn't kidding when I said I like to grow pumpkins. 

I've been rejected from The First Line for my story "The Present".  This makes 3 rejections from this magazine. I will not give up!  I have convinced myself I will get into this journal.  It's the goal I'm working towards.  It was the first literary journal I found when searching to publish, so I have this soft spot in my heart for it.  Getting into The First Line is at the top of my writing bucket list. 

When I wrote that last sentence I never realized I even had a writing bucket list.  What a great concept.  I have the subject of my next post: My Writing Bucket List.  I'm sure every writer has one.  What is yours?

If you haven't signed up for A Story for Every Season, there is still time!  As of now, I have 43 people on the list to receive their exclusive story about one month from now.  June 21st will be a great day: the start of summer and new fiction to read! 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm not even going to think about it

                About a month ago, I found this fiction magazine I wanted to submit to.  I went to their website, read their material, and was completely enthralled with their stuff.  It excited me so much because the values of their work matched my own.  I had just written a story I thought would be a perfect fit with the magazine.  It was a little longer than what they wanted. (I wrote a story that was 7,000 words, they were looking for about 4,000.)  So I said, fine, someday I will edited the story down and send it in. 

                May is a busy month for me.  I have a million other things on my mind, but I could not stop thinking about that magazine.  I had to send my story in!  They would love it!  It would be another publishing credit!  I think we all know where this is going, but I will finish my tale anyway…

                So, I took one night and really worked on it.  I whittled it down to 4,000 words.  Anyone who edits knows that cutting a story in half can be a big job.  But, I did it.  Next, Editor sat down and went over every single word with me.  (He corrects.  I fold laundry until he has a question, comment, or suggestion on the piece.)  We spent two hours working.  I was so excited about finishing it; I e-mailed it out right away. 

                I get up from the computer.  I put folded laundry away.  We get some food.  We take turns kicking each other’s butt in Tetris for Wii.  It’s just about bedtime.  I go to shut down the hatches for the night.  Oh… the computer’s still on…

                I have an e-mail waiting for me.  “Thank you.  Although I enjoyed your writing, we only take stories about ….., and this story was about ….., not exactly what we have in mind.  If you have other work, I would love to see it.” 

                I was heartbroken.  All that work just for the editor not to understand what I was writing about!  I feel like he didn’t even think about my story, just rejected it.  Now I know the drill before anyone can tell me.  If he didn’t get what I was saying, I must have said it wrong.  He’s the editor, and he’ll print what he wants to.  Don’t take it personally.  I’m still feeling defeated.  Hours of work… for an hour of anticipation and then a big fat rejection!  GRAHHHH!  I don’t usually get that worked up over rejections, but GRAHHHH!

                It’s time to move on.  On the bright side of this, I now have a story that’s 100% ready to fly.  I just have to find other places for that story to go.  It will find a home, it’s just a matter of time.  You hear me, writing buddies?  Positive thinking works.

                I’m waiting for my story to come back from The First Line. This is my golden ticket, the one I’m really hoping to make it into.  I’m trying very hard to get published in this magazine.   The wait continues.

                On a personal note, we set up the pool yesterday.    Yee haw!  We also had two pipes burst in the basement, but lucky for me Editor is not only an editor, he’s also a plumber too.  J

Monday, May 9, 2011

Something new!

                I’m starting something new today and I think it’s a nifty idea.  It’s a cross between a gift and a one-person magazine.  I call it “A Story for Every Season.”  I’m putting a link on the top of my blog with the complete description.  See it here.  I hope you all join and enjoy every story I send your way.

                If you would like to sign up, do so, and I’ll send you some stories.  They will be fantastic and you’ll love each and every one of them.  J 

                Here’s your daily dose of cuteness.  Last night, when I was writing late at night, something fell on my hand.  It was a ladybug!  Super cute!  It crawled off my hand and sat on my keyboard for two hours while I typed away. 

I named him Charlie and felt a little less lonely while working.

I’ve updated my “Publications” page at the top of the blog.  This is my complete publication resume.  Check it out. 

Last blurb for today: I got another “well, we’re not going to publish your story” letter, but it wasn’t quite a rejection.  The magazine is taking a break from printing for “at least a year.”  Oh well.  I try to research this information before I send my work out, but a few still slip through my detection.  Plus, two rejection letters came in the mail this morning.  One was for “Eleven,” which is fine by me because it’s been published elsewhere.

                Until tomorrow! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Joseph's Sailboat

                “This your sailboat?”

                “Yeah,” Joseph said.  “I know she’s not great…”

                “Is she even legal?” Paul laughed. 

                “Wear these,” Joseph replied, throwing them lifejackets.  “I’ve taken it out before.  Erin, we’ve gone, remember?”

                “You took me for my birthday.  We were on your parent’s pond.  Not the lake.  I don’t even think the boat was finished.”

                Joseph’s fiancĂ©e, Kim, snapped the buckle of her lifejacket.  “You’re just a chicken.  Get in the boat!”

                The sail flapped viciously in the sun.  More ropes hung from the top of the sail than wires hung from the back of Paul’s computer.  Paul eyed it.  Erin reached over and gave his hand a reassuring squeeze.

                Joseph was in his element.  He worked the sail with exaggerated movements.  The lake around them was rough.  Little sprays of water reached up and slapped the boaters the in the face. 

“You have no sense of adventure,” Joseph declared.  “This is great sailing weather.”

“How did you make the boat?” Paul asked. 

“Junkyard parts,” Erin said.  “When we were dating, he drove me around for hours, looking for stuff.  He’s been working on it since high school.”

Kim rubbed sunscreen on her legs.  “When Joseph and I get married, we’re going sailing every day.  I’m excited.  We’re saving for a real boat.”

“Hey!” Joseph said, “This is a real boat!”

They all laughed.  Then, a strong gust hit the sail.

Nobody saw it coming.  They heard a loud smack when the boom struck Joseph’s head.  It swung around wildly.  Paul felt Erin’s fingers rip from his own hand.

Silence.  Erin heard nothing around her.

When she surfaced, the boat was tipped over, like a child’s toy in the bathtub.  Kim screamed in the background.  Paul was tangled in the sail, but was above water. 

Erin didn’t see Joseph.

Kim’s scream made sense now.  The ropes, Erin thought.  He’s caught in them.

Paul disappeared under the water, looking for Joseph. 

Suddenly, the boat flipped over, slamming down on the water.  Both Paul and Joseph surfaced behind it. 

“Get in the boat, Erin!” Joseph screamed. 

“What?” Erin was confused.

“Into the boat!” He screamed again.  Joseph pushed Erin into the vessel.  He scrambled in behind her. 

The water reached her calves inside the boat.  Kim and Paul treaded water outside the craft.

“Start bailing!”  Joseph cried.   He cupped his hands and frantically tossed water over the side.  Kim and Paul were forgotten in the lake. 

A sputtering noise rose out of the breeze.  A motorboat came over the horizon.  It dwarfed Joseph’s creation.

The driver grinned at them.  “You guys need help?” he asked, throwing them a hitch.  “Come on, you two, get out of the water.” 

Kim and Paul climbed aboard the man’s boat.  Joseph and Erin stayed where they were.

Traveling to shore, Erin sat beside Joseph.  “They look drier than we do,” she remarked.  “Let’s wave to them.” 

Joseph and Erin waved.  Paul waved back.

Kim stood stoic.  She stared out, somewhere beyond the broken sail boat. 

I wrote this story for the May 2011 Flash Fiction Blogfest.  I hope you enjoy!  On another note, I've update my Current Work section at the top of my page.  Check it out!  
Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Talk about a major plot hole!

               So yesterday’s post had a glaring omission—I was published twice during the month of April!!!  Squeeeee!  Talk about an oversight!  My story, Eleven, is featured in the May edition of the on-line journal Foliate Oak.  I wrote this as part of my short story book called Almost Midnight.  I’m hoping to have this book out by this summer.  (This was the short romantic story I talked about here and here.) 

                The other story I had published is titled The Subsequent Existence Corporation and will be published in issue #71 of The Nocturnal Lyric, coming out in late November 2011.  And, no, I do not have a link to their website.  I don’t think they have one. 

                The odd thing about this—I got both acceptance letters on the same day.  It was a wonderful, surreal day for me as an author.  I kept walking around saying, Hey, I might have a chance at this!  This was the boost I needed.  The last time I had gotten anything accepted was back in January, so I was feeling pretty low.  This was a super-duper boost.

                Now, looking forward.  I finished two stories for this call to submissions.  Editor has corrected one of them and has to look at the other.  There is no limit to how many stories you can submit, so I’m pretty excited.  I like the concept and I have four solid ideas, so I’m going to write them all!!!  Two down, two to go.

                I also started working on something very cool today.  I don’t want to go into it too much, but I’m thinking about having a contest on my blog very shortly, as in mid-June.  I started making the prize today, but I can’t say what it is just yet.  It’s a secret.  Shhhh!

                So, to all my writing buddies out there… happy writing!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So what else happened in April???

·         I made my blog pretty.  I drew the picture above with colored pencils and then scanned it.  I am in love with this picture!  I wished I wrote in a place that looked like that.  I usually write in my living room, with a pile of unfolded laundry at my feet and something sticky on the keyboard.  I also added several pages to the top of my blog.  Now I just have to fill them in.

·         I wrote a 17 page story about working class women.  I had an idea kicking around for a few months, and when I sat down to finally write it, I got this monster.  It is so long, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  I also wrote it two endings for it: one happy, the other, not so much.  When I decide what to do with it, I’ll let you know.  I think I might send it to a journal called The Long Story.    I’m also thinking about cutting several thousand words off it and submit it to Struggle.

·         I got eight rejection letters in the mail. 

·         I wrote for “Write to win!”  I submitted a 1,497 word story titled, “The House at the End of the Road.”

·         I wrote and submitted to The First Line.  The story was called “The Present.”

·         I sent out 15 submissions to different journals.  Always exciting!

·         I made business cards.  So now, whenever people ask me, “What do you do?”  I can hand them a business card, complete with my website address.  Free advertising!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review of the A to Z challenge

           Greetings!  We survived the A to Z challenge.  Wipe the sweat off your brow.  I, for one, am very proud of what I accomplished in a month.  I wasn’t going to do this at first.  I wasn’t really sure what it was.  Then I saw over a thousand people were doing it, so the conformist in me said, “I want to do that too!”  I signed up to do it at 7:00 PM, March 31st.

I now have 26 flash fiction pieces (plus a few extra) to add to my ever growing writing portfolio.  I’m not going to lie—some of these stories were a struggle to write.  Some of them are not that good.  There were nights where I was up until 11:30, posting my story at 11:57.  But I did it.  I made sure I posted for each day, even if I was a few days late.

                Through the struggles came real insights for my writing.  I learned how to tell a story in short, concise sentences.  I got rid of all the fluff.  I had to think about each and every word I put down on paper.  By day six, the process was easier.  Now at the end, I feel I’ve learned way more than I would have taking a flash fiction writing class.  Practice (especially daily practice) is the only thing that makes your writing better.  Plus, there were some real gems in this story collection.  My personal favorites (T, V, S, G, and A) are a fun look into my work.  I’m hoping it will spark some interest for my longer pieces. 

                I also enjoyed connecting with new writing peers.  I found several people who have the same interests as me.  It was fun to find more like minded people out there.  I visited over 160 blogs, and I wish I would have had time to visit more!  Several people visited me too.  My blog followers went from eleven to a hundred and five.  I also found several places which I want to write for, like the 5x5 magazine and the Memory Eaters Anthology.  So many possibilities are out there in the blogosphere for a writer.  It was very exciting to have the opportunity to learn about some of them.  I have the A to Z challenge to thank for it.

On a way over ambitious note, I’m totally excited to write for the A to Z challenge next year.  I think in 2012, I will do 26 character profiles.  Or maybe I’ll write a serial story.  Can I drag out a story into 26 parts?  Why not?  The soap operas can!

But for now, it’s back to regular scheduled blog posts.  I’m thinking about setting up days, like a post every Tuesday and Thursday.  I’m not sure yet.  I know the month of May will be sparse for postings.  It is the last few weeks of work for me (and I have lots of overtime on the calendar), I have a garden to put in, and quite a bit of writing I want to work on.  But, I’ll be around!