Writing Wednesday: Yes, I Cut the Words!

It’s Writing Wednesday! On Thursday! It happens.

I was going to skip this week, but I wanted to share the amount of butt that was kicked by me. Worst. sentence. ever.

 

So here’s the deal. I’ve been on a quest to submit my short story to an online publication willing to accept something not only hella long, but also with a portion previously published. I’ve managed to find three. Yay! (Well…two were “yes” and one was more of a case-by-case basis kind of thing.)

About twenty days ago, I got the go-ahead from two of the three. (One of them said yes about a month ago.) So what have I been doing? I didn’t start the epic trim until about three days ago. And before that, I spent many hours trying to wake up my writer brain. First, I had to find it, then basically beat it into submission. I watched too many YouTube videos to count from different AuthorTube people I like. I needed inspiration. But the good news is, I’ve managed to cut a grand total of…2,101 words! That is major for me. My story is now sitting at 9k, which is still pretty long for a short story, and it may pretty much send me directly to the slush puppy pile. But that’s ok! I still consider this a victory. A) I actually did what I set out to do! and B) Cutting words is so hard for me! I hate it. I thought there was no way.

So, despite what happens with my story, I look at this as good practice for when I tackle my novel revision. That’s my next project. Oy vey.

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Side note: did you know you have to have a cover letter with a short story submission? Yeah, you probably did. I did not. So there was another hour of my life trying to figure out how to write one.

For most people, sharing how you cut 2k words is far from blog-worthy. For me, this represents the first step of my return to the writing world!

The real return this time. Not like last month. False start–something like that. I mean it this time. I’m ready! Finally.

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Also, sticking with what I said last week, I’m still going to avoid goals and stick with wishes. There are things I hope to accomplish. Hope to. We’ll see what the next few months bring.


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

 

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Music Channels Worth Watching: Lost in Vegas

It’s Music Monday again, and I’m back with another YouTube channel you should check out.

This week: Lost in Vegas.

There are so many reaction channels. Too many. But there’s something about these two guys that seems genuine. Most reaction channels are pretty much over-reaction channels. They dramatize so much that they just come across as fake.

I like these guys, and I wanted to share them with you. Here are a few of their videos:

Continue reading

Writing Wishes, Not Writing Goals

Hello, writers! A writing post? But it’s not Wednesday. Yes, I’m aware. I’m late, as usual.

I’m back with another unpopular opinion that I’m currently embracing. Much like the “don’t write when you don’t want to” mentality, this topic might be seen as horribly unproductive advice. But hear me out.

As the title suggests, I’ve decided to have writing wishes this month. No goals for me. Nope. Maybe it’s self preservation. I’m not sure.

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The problem with goals is that they come with overwhelming feelings of failure when you don’t meet them. You start the month with these grandiose ideas of all the writing you’re going to do, knocking out the revisions you’ve been putting off, diving back into the Twitterness of it all. But the first week goes by. Then the second. And when you hit day 15 or thereabouts, you think, well, I can’t start now. I’ll try again next month. You failed. (This may have something to do with the lack of a panic monster in this situation. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go here –>Procrastination Explained. But not (perfectly) solved.)

But imagine if you had made wishes instead. If you fail to make a wish come true, well, that’s to be expected, right? It’s not a failure at all, and you can approach the next month without feeling like you’re an unsuccessful, lazy wannabe. And just think. If you do happen to finish a writing wish, then you, my friend, are doing amazingly well this month. Wishes rarely come true, after all.

Not sure if I’ve lost you yet. It all makes sense to me.  Continue reading

VIPKID Vibes: Another Month Finished!

Happy Teacher Tuesday! I can’t believe it’s October. Then again, I say that every month.

Here are my stats:

Classes: 577

Students: 208

Days: 167

I thought I’d use this week to share five thoughts as I begin my sixth month with this company.

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-At this point, my schedule is pretty solid. I’m teaching six classes a day, 7 AM, EST to 10 AM. Most days are full. If I have an open slot, chances are it’s 9:30. I’m sharing these stats because I want people to know the importance of patience. Yes, my numbers are good, but it took me SIX MONTHS to get here. “Here” meaning, a consistent schedule that I’m comfortable with. If you’re new, give it time. And always remember, everyone’s journey is different. So amazingly different.


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-I’m still trying to decide whether or not to take Sundays off. I was all set to do this, and then they offered that incentive for opening slots every day. I wasn’t about to pass up an extra fifty bucks. But still, my ultimate goal is to take Sundays off.  Continue reading

Music Channels Worth Watching: Rick Beato

Happy October!

Last month, I highlighted some bands/artists I think everyone should hear. For October, I’m posting some music related YouTube channels worth a look. Up first, Rick Beato.

I love people who love music. And this guy loves music.

The cool part about his video series (“What Makes This Song Great?”) is how he isolates different tracks, so you can hear each part. This is what I love about music, how all the parts fit together. That’s why I love listening to instrumentals. And isolated tracks too, when I can find them. I used to watch that show, Behind the Music. It was awesome when they’d play just the bass, or just the drums, or drums and vocals together. I always thought that would be a cool job. A record producer. Or as I used to call it, “the guys who moves the knobs.”

It’s amazing to hear something you’ve never noticed in a song you’ve heard a million times. Take “Everlong” for instance. Did you know there’s a female vocalist doing harmonies??? Yeah, me either.

I’ve already binged a lot of his videos. He knows all my favorite songs. It’s pretty weird. I’ll post a few here.

I’ll be honest. Most of the time, I don’t know what he’s talking about. When he starts getting into chord names, and he’s throwing out words like “sus,” he’s over my head. But it’s still fascinating.

Go check out his channel: Rick Beato

“Everlong” Foo Fighters


“Been Caught Stealing” Jane’s Addiction


“Paranoid Android” Radiohead


“Them Bones” Alice in Chains


“Vaseline” Stone Temple Pilots


Thanks for spending some time here. Rock on!

VIPKID Vibes: 500 Classes and an Unexpected Problem

By the time this is posted, I will have taught 542 classes. It is day 160.

I am very fortunate. And I don’t take my numbers for granted. Everyone’s journey is different with this company, and while I started pretty slowly–by my own standards–these days I’m pretty much fully booked. And fully grateful.

So what is this unexpected problem?

Too many classes.

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Mocha’s New Video for Fall

Happy Caturday!

Watch as Mocha attempts to resist the most alluring of all leaves. I had fun with this one.

Have you subscribed to Mocha’s channel yet? What are you waiting for?

Do you have a YouTube channel? Let me know!

Adobe Spark (20)


Thanks for spending some time here. Cats rule.

Writing is Hard: A Random Writing Rant for Your Writing Wednesday

 

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Writing. Is. Hard. I don’t mean the actual writing. That’s hard too. But I mean everything that goes along with it.

There are two kinds of writers–and plenty of sub groups and variations, but we’ll stick with two. 1) The good ones. The ones who write lots of stuff. Whether successfully or unsuccessfully, they’re writing. All the time. Daily? Perhaps. They have a portfolio full of stories, poems, novels, scripts, all of the above. I don’t know. Some finished, some not. 2) The ones who were great that one time. These are the people who write very little, but what they write becomes super famous and sends them on this incredible journey–but without the talking animals.

And then there’s me. The ones who write one thing, obsess over it for a decade, and fail to move past it.

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Let me explain. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have written one novel. One. I started it in 2007…08? Crap. A long time ago. I don’t have drawers full of other stories. Partial stories. I don’t even have a second idea for a novel, let alone something worth reading. I just don’t know ifI could write another novel. So instead, I obsess over what I do have. Granted, I haven’t looked at my novel in months. Many months. I need to query. But I’m starting to think I’m running out of agents. Can you run out of agents? Can enough time pass when it’s acceptable to re-query agents in the hope they have forgotten you? My goal was is to see what shape this novel is in, now that some time has passed, and attempt to make it so amazing, people will lose their freaking minds when they read it. Dream big.

So there’s that.

Plus. I have one short story to my name. One. (I have this other thing…but it’s depressing and so NOT ME, and I would not feel comfortable sending it anywhere. At least, not with my name on it.) So I’ve spent the better part of not one but two afternoons scouring the net for a place to submit this story.

Yes, my story was recently published. ( Available here. :D) However, I would be forever living in the clouds if I could get the entire story published somewhere. Ideally get paid for it. Ideally something in print. But I’ve come to find that’s hard to come by. I’ll take what I can get. I have two roadblocks here. 1–the word count is hella long. Though I am considering a sizable trim. Lord help me. 2–no one wants published work.

But I decided to just go for it and email several places to ask if they would consider a story that has an excerpt published. I’m pretty sure published is published whether it be a sentence or 500 pages, but it can’t hurt to check, right? In fact, a few months ago, I emailed three magazines, and one of them said to send it in. Even though their guidelines specifically say “no published work.” So there. I had to try. Next week, I’ll let you know how I faired.

ETA: One said no.

Not to mention there’s this whole other part of the equation. Actually being accepted. But one thing at a time.

Why not write something else? I’ve come to realize something. Similar to having one novel and one short story, I have one voice. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone does. But no. Although one narrator is a 26-year-old woman and the other is a 12-year-old-boy, they have the same voice. A sarcastic one. A bit of a naive one.

Pretty much my voice.

So if I were to write something else–anything else–that person would have the same voice.

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You know what I just remembered? Of course you don’t. I’ll tell you. I, in fact, did start writing another “thing” a few years back. And if there were ever a sarcastic character, it’d be Susan. See what I mean? It’s just hard not to write me. Or some version of me.

Enough rambling for one post. I’ll leave you with this. I have a super awesome day calendar that you may or may not have seen in one of my popular posts: Motivational Word Wall, Anyone? I’m not one for signs/things-happen-for-a-reason, but having this quote pop up yesterday was not lost on me.

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If you’re still reading, know this. I’ve always seen this writing life as having peaks and valleys. Right now, I’m in a valley. But considering just last week, I was at a hella high peak, I have hope I won’t be in this valley too long.


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

Yes, I Used My Cat’s Cuteness to Show Off My Pub Credit

Here’s the thing. It is highly likely I will never again see my name in print–I’m still dreaming big, don’t worry–but in the meantime, I’m milking this for all its worth.

So, yeah. I made an ever-popular unboxing video (why are these so popular?) of my anthology. With my cat as the star. #noshame

Self-Promotion Saturday: Click here to buy a copy of this book. That I just so happen to be in. Like, I’m in it. Page fifty-four. My name and everything. And a bio. A bio. #notanounceofshame

If I ever do get my novel published, I will most likely have to be institutionalized. There is no way I will be able to handle it, if this is any indication.

Have a good weekend!


Thanks for spending some time here. Isn’t Mocha the cutest?

You Need to Listen to Sick Puppies

Yeah, yeah. I’ve talked about this band in several other posts already. But. I’m choosing to feature them because they fit the unofficial criteria. Awesome. Bingeworthy. And tragically, unknown to many.

My Sick Puppies origin story is a simple one. No need for popcorn or anything. That awesome sauce local radio station–you know, the one they killed to make yet another oldies station–played Sick Puppies’ current, at the time, single, “There’s No Going Back.”  And what an appropriate title. A YouTube binge and Pandora playlist later, I was hooked.

Not so much to buy any of their albums, but anyway. The lead singer has left the band; I went with him. I don’t know what they’re up to now, but Shim’s voice is what I liked most. So…sorry, other puppies.

So here are my favorite tracks from Sick Puppies:

There’s No Going Back

This song is five years old. No way. These lyrics are everything.


All the Same

My favorite. By a gazillion and four.

This is the song on my novel playlist–because it’s freaking perfect for my characters/situation. I became obsessed with this song. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If I ever make a “My Favorite Songs Ever” list, this will be pretty high on the list.

I’ll post my favorite acoustic, live, etc. versions at the end. 🙂


Maybe

Summer of 2016. This was my jam. In case you were wondering, that’s when I quit my soul-sucking, rage-inducing, Lord-help-me middle school teaching job. This track was therapeutic. And motivating. And all-around awesome sauce.  Continue reading