I recently had a piece of poetry accepted by The Verse Marauder, at http://www.theversemarauder.com/

I’m especially delighted by this because this has been one of my favorite online poetry journals of late and the application process is simple, and based on the work itself–not on your bio.

Check this site out–it’s great.

The responsibility!

March 28, 2007

Do you feel it? The responsibility, and yes–the burden of blogging!

Are you like me? Do you worry when too many days go by and you haven’t blogged? Do you think of your readers (for me, all 2 of them) are depending on you and you’ll be letting them down if you don’t post something. Anything! Talk about the weather, remark on the price of gas—POST something!

I’m kind of going through this phase right now. Are you?

Submission guidelines.

March 26, 2007

I need to have at least twenty submissions out at any given time in order to feel that I am producing, I’ve realized.  This does not mean 20 stories, this may mean 5 stories submitted to 4 places, etc.

Because when the rejections (and the acceptances, Thank God) come in, I need to feel that there is still something to wait for…to hope for.

My own personal submission guideline, you see.

Still here!

March 26, 2007

Several days since my last post, but indeed I am still here.  I just finished (finally) the letters of John Steinbeck…which he wrote during his authorship of East of Eden.  I am so inspired by him!

Writers, get this: he actually had to hold his word count down.  He was afraid of going too fast, of not being thoughtful and thorough.  I love that he had to slow himself down.  It makes my 250 words a day seem a-ok.

 storySouth’s Million Writers Award is now open to nominations!  Editors can and do nominate their favorites, but one of the cool things about this award is that writers can nominate, too!

The award is given to fiction writers whose online stories have been nominated, reviewed, and chosen for their excellence.

If you’ve read a story in the last year (online) that has impressed you, nominate it!

Go here: http://www.storysouth.com/million_writers_award/2007/03/reader_nominations_for_2007_mi.html 

Putting it off.

March 19, 2007

I had to giggle today when I was at critiquecircle.com. This is the online writing critique site I use with some of my short stories. There are a lot of very good writers there who can help with dead-ends, plot problems, grammar, dialogue, all that sort of thing.

I noticed a little tab in the corner that said “Tools” and thought I’d check it out. There was a submissions tracker, so you could track where you might be sending stories. There’s a name generator to help you find common or obscure names based on Census data. And then…there is what Critique Circle dubs The Ultimate Procrastination Tool:

Hangman.

Check it out: http://www.critiquecircle.com/tools.asp?page=hangman

So I got tired of my own face staring back at me when I’d go onto my blog, so I’ve put up a new header.

Yep–that really is my hand.  Fascinating, huh?

On publishing.

March 18, 2007

I am a member of an online critique group that has done me a lot of good: you send your work in, and you have access to hundreds of readers who will critique your work (the catch–you have to critique theirs!).

On one of the forums, I read that placing your short stories in publications with little monetary pay is considered (to some) a mistake. But, in the short-fiction world, professional short-story rates can be a whopping $100, and sometimes even much less.

So, I’ve decided that placing stories in journals where there is the chance (no matter how minute!) of exposure and/or nominations to prizes such as the prestigious Pushcart or O.Henry are worth more in the end that a few bucks. And, one gets savvy to the ways of the publishing world through practice, so if you are indeed placing stories to non-paying markets, chin up. In my experience, these markets are not easy (at all!) to get into and their acceptance rates are not significantly higher than paying markets. You’d be surprised how many rejections one can rack up from non-paying markets alone. Lots.

Now, when it comes to a novel…that’s a whole different animal.

Literally.

March 14, 2007

My three year old caught me by surprise yesterday morning. He charmed me, really.

He said: “Mommy, I’m growing up!”

I felt conflicted, and thought “my baby is growing up, changing…already establishing an independence, moving away from me. Waaahhhh!”

I didn’t respond at first, too busy mourning.

So he said: “Mommy, I said I’m growing up!”

And I said: “I know, sweetie!” You are getting to be a big boy.”

And then…the best. He said: “Yep! I’m NOT growing down!”

He’s still my baby. For a little while, at least.

Of a certain age.

March 12, 2007

I got the news this morning that my grandfather has passed away.  He was the last of my four grandparents…all of whom have died within the last six months.  They were all of an age…all in their 80’s.  Still, eighty-odd years is not all that long a time, is it?

I remember each of these people as vivacious persons…individuals with opinions and hopes and goals.  It is difficult to understand at times that they are all gone, off of the earth, away.

Death always reminds us of how fleeting our time really is.  It makes me hope to leave a lasting imprint on others while I can.  And, as cliche as it may seem, it beckons me to share my affections outwardly with those in my life, to say you are special to me while I can.

Thanks for reading my blog, dear reader.  I hope your day is lovely.