Friday, February 23, 2007

Tinkled pink, purple....and ultraviolet....

Someone recently mentioned that subbing was making her blue - the same things we all go through and think: "Why's is taking so long?" (13 hrs, 24 minutes and 42 seconds after the fact)

I think that what takes the fun out of it is the fact we are
a) not sending to the right markets or
b) not sending enough simultaneous submissions/enough pieces out.

Impatiens found on Flickr
Writers are an "impatient" sort, eh?!!


I recently became distracted waiting on one piece for over 10 months. Finally, I took it off my duotrope radar, and already feel better, but I'll say hanging out at the mailbox for that SASE has been exhausting.

I contend it's the waiting that is making us crazy, and we should be out there writing like mad divas. BUT I also think part of the fun is getting loads of work out there; it's so nice to get that occasional 'yes' and with loads of subs out, one little 'no' doesn't mean diddly!

I belonged to a group that used to focus for half the month on subbing, half on writing and I had (I think) thirteen pieces published during that time and at least three or four of the things I wrote during that time were accepted later. I miss that energy and that "in it together" feeling. (*sniff*) The sharing of what works for one magazine or another also helped to focus and target the right markets, i.e. help reduce those pesky rejections because we hadn't sent the right piece. [Upon a rejection, we'd also immediately send the piece out again, AND send the rejector another piece]

Aw well; here's to successful subbing and processing info as we go!


Places to check out...

Does anyone know about this one? Or am I just attracted to it because I used to study fluorescent spectral characteristics of proteins when hit with UV?

Ultraviolet Publishing - seeking short stories for an anthology.

This is such a funny place to go when you're pulling hair out. Get a few chuckles at The Onion

A new (to me) humor mag: The American Drivel Review. Looks pretty fun.


I've also finally finished Ellen Meister's audiobook. It was a great listen. I laughed out loud and cried. Dangerous to driving, but good for the soul :)
Now, I'm missing listening to lit in the car, so I got Alice Hoffman's "The Ice Queen" for my back and forth.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Start your engines.

Today was indeed, the opening day of racing season, featuring the Daytona 500. Can't help it. I do love racing.

It also makes me wanna get my own engine in gear. I'm definitely getting my applications ready, signed and sealed today, for Breadloaf and Sewanee. If I don't apply, I certainly won't get in, and will have no options.

Photo from Rogergw at Creative Commons.

I was also looking at AWP, in Atlanta. I had NO IDEA it was $200 to go (and apparently there aren't any "day rate" only fees). I'll be going anyway, to the book fair on Saturday, which is free and open to the public. What a shame.

That's really about it. Unproductive week, although the new elimae did come out, and I've gotten some great compliments so that was very nice. I'm going to have a great week or die trying. (okay, I'll drop the theatrics now :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mojo rising

Major idea!

Having trouble getting my mojo to rise...pondering workshops and gurus and magic charms.

What if rather than plunging my money into more workshops/whatnots, I arrange a private secluded trip (with internet access, hehe!) to go get my motivation, my momentum going.

Is it not true that I've learned the basics? Why not go apply them?

The reason, in terms of everyday life, is that everyday life consumes a person to the extent that even reading/writing become chore-like. Why do I need a retreat with other people? I tend to be someone who, in order to get things done, needs a proper amount of time to focus and then I'm obsessive. My job is highly energy-draining, and at the end of the day, most of the time I can't even focus enough to cook. This is bad.

This is definitely a question for me to ponder. Has anyone else ever had that thought, or am I a recluse trying to find her excuse?


While I think about this epiphany, I need to get all my good stuff subbed and applications in to the structured things.

Picture from Codeworm at Flickr


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Focus and shoot

OK, my honey is a photographer and the best advice he's ever given me is to focus and shoot. Get the picture.

If it doesn't work, oh well. And I can't go back and grab that moment.

This is what I'm thinking as I'm trying to iron out my semi-green phase, and remember I took shots that didn't work.

Picture from:

What are you ranting about?

Recently a couple of writerly-type friends have gotten accepted into mags I would have given my left hoof for two years ago. Now, I think, damn I'm jealous. Then I think, wait....I'm not really void of persistence or willingness to work for what I want, but realize, my focus has simply shifted. Getting into those journals would be nice (even now), but they aren't my holy grail anymore.

Sometimes I joke, and say those mags didn't/don't like my style of writing. This may or may not be true, because I never even got a personal rejection. What's important though, is that as my writing grows, and obviously other well-respected places do enjoy my work, it becomes less important to get that particular publication credit. Now, I'm writing to say what I want to, in the way I enjoy, and if it suits any given publication, then off it goes.

Now, I don't even know what my holy grail is - and not sure it's important. I think it's unrealistic to shoot for the New Yorker, as they deal largely with agented novelists/writers and aren't known for slush pile selection. I know my main focus now is writing a novel that lets my little heart pour and bleed all over the pages, and have that sold. Then maybe the other fringe benefits will fall into place, huh?

There are a couple of magazines I have targeted now, because I like them, and would be proud to be published in them. I think as well, that I'm targeting better than I used to, and these are magazines that currently publish in my style. These are the types I'm planning on putting my focus, my persistence into.

Pent-up energy over supposed failure can't be good for productivity, huh?!


Now, it's time to go put in applications for those conferences! Gak!

I found another that might be of interest:
Algonkian. In particular, I'm considering the Harper's Ferry one.

Anyone have experience/knowledge of this? I know of one person that I've been trying to round-up, but haven't gotten her input yet.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Book reports


I just got my copy of Amy Guth's Three Fallen Women . Take a look.

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this one. Reportedly, her style is offbeat and the themes are dark (even though she started out in stand-up comedy!). I'm a sucker for such.

In a completely different vein, I'm also still listening to Ellen Meister's Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA. I've been listening for some time, but found I'm quite dyslexic when it comes to listening, driving and actually absorbing information at the same time. I'm getting better though.

I like to "listen" the same way I read - I want to not only enjoy the story, but also explore the style. It's light and funny. The last few chapters were terrific, starting with a frenzied kitchen painting scene to a crazy group scene (dare I say too much?) with almost the entire cast of characters. It's a very filmic story - I definitely can see this as a movie. If Ellen checks in here, maybe she'll let us know if it's heading that way? Ellen's blog is here!


I have a new piece that will appear in February at elimae. I love that zine.


My main project, Songs of Cicadas, has finally undergone its last set of revisions and was sent to the Ohio State University Fiction Prize contest. I fear it still needs more, but I'll wait for a little bit before I pick it back up. Now, I'm going to work on my novel.


Finally, there's a new ezine that you should check out. The talented Stefani Nellan is coeditor for Steel City Review. The first ish is up, and looks great with super writers as well including: Marc Lowe, Maggie Shearon and Claudia Smith.