Finding My Story a New Home: Part 3

I got accepted!

Just kidding.

Image result for why would you say that gif

Look. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions today. I guess I’m at the sarcastic stage.

I’ve been devastated (when I first saw the email), disappointed (when I read the email), bitter (when I vented for some comfort and found little–Thanks, Twitter), confused (when I couldn’t understand why I was rejected), resilient (when I spent four hours trying to find a new place to submit), and now sarcastic (when I realized it’s pretty hopeless and there’s nothing I can do about it).

I saw the email last night actually, but I didn’t want to open it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep–or teach in the morning–so I waited. I knew it was a rejection though, because it was way too soon.

Maybe I was crazy to even entertain the idea I could get in, but, you know what, I thought I had a fighting chance. I really did. And that’s why I’m going to keep fighting for this story, because I love it so much.

Image result for i won't give up gif

As a side note, I can’t help but feel my novel will have a similar, albeit more devastating, fate as this doomed short story.

Basically, I have one long shot, an even longer shot, and a “why did you send us this” shot left. Then, I’ll… start my own magazine? I don’t know.

Posts like this one really show off my newbie status in the literary mag submission world. Rejections happen all the time. To everyone. Lots of rejections. I get that. It doesn’t make it sting any less. What would be different is if I had a list of alternative places to submit. As it is… it’s bleaker than bleak.

Part Four of this riveting series will be how I had to CUT ANOTHER 3k WORDS for these new submissions. Man, I wish I was joking. I mean, are kids incapable of reading anything longer than a tweet?! What’s with these word counts?

My brain hurts.

Related image

To add insult to injury, my washing machine broke, so my clothes have been sitting in sudsy water all day because I just don’t want to deal with it. And I was finally hooking up a hand-me-down dvd player to an old TV I had. But it’s so old, it doesn’t even have the option of connecting anything to it, aside from a cable. So, nevermind. *sigh*

I hope tomorrow turns out better. And I hope your day was a good one. 🙂


The Saga:

Finding My Story a New Home

Finding My Story a New Home: Part 2


Thanks for spending some time here. Staying hopeful is insanely difficult. Please send me your tips. #forevergrateful
Advertisements

Surviving the Slush

Well. Not sure if I’m up for this, but I’m going to try. I have some thoughts…

Image result for tired gif

Here’s the thing. Querying is hell. It’s an absolute nightmare. So you write this novel, and you’re proud of it–the story of your heart, to throw that cliche in here. You do your research to find agents looking for your kind of story. And they’re out there. You prepare your query letter, agonizing over every word and obsessing over comma usage. Does a comma go there? Gah!

You send it out and wait to hear back. Meanwhile your inbox becomes the single scariest page on the internet.

Image result for scared gif

And… Rejection. But that’s OK. That agent was out of your league. It was a long shot. It was expected. Whatever.

Then another rejection comes. Yes, it hurts, but you press on.

This cycle continues until you’ve run out of agents, patience, or self-worth.

I know agents know this, but they have so much power. With one email, they can change lives. That’s what I’m thinking when I hit send. To the writer, you’re sending out the result of more work, heartache, and dedication than anything you’ve created in your life. But on the other end, it’s more of an ever-growing list that must be sifted through before the pile is too overwhelming. I don’t fault agents for this, and I mean no disrespect. It’s just the way it is. Reading through queries is only part of agent life. So what took you possibly years to prepare can turn to a “no, thanks” with a skim and a simple click.

Image result for no thanks gif

But. Continue reading

Finding My Story a New Home

I’ve spent days–no, literally days–researching different literary magazines. Let me just say… whoa.

First of all, who knew there were so many? Well, probably everyone.

There are many factors to consider when you’re looking to submit your writing: print vs. online, word count limits, reading periods, reading fees, accepts reprints or not, circulation size. It’s exhausting.

Image result for there are so many gif

Short version:

I have three short stories I’m trying to see in print. One of them is new, so I have virtually no restrictions and many places to chose from. I sent my first attempt last week. Fingers crossed.

My second story is a reprint, but it’s average length and “literary” so I have some options here as well. Sending my first attempt this week. Fingers and toes crossed.

The third one… you have no idea. #thestruggleisreal

Related image

Continue reading

The Query Queazies

On this wonderful Writing Wednesday, I’d like to document the following:

I sent two queries today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to vomit.

Related image

Coming Soon: Part 2 — The Indomitable Inbox


Thanks for spending some time here. #dreambig #makeithappen

If You Want an Agent, Write YA?

Any underlying snark you may pick up on while reading is completely unintentional.

Listen. There’s something that’s been bothering me, and now’s the time to talk about it.

Why is it that every person who shares a “How I Got My Agent” story is a YA writer???

Image result for it's insane gif

Before you think I’m exaggerating, I did a simple google search: how I got an agent. Nine out of the first ten results were from YA/MG writers. NINE! (Not to mention, one of those results was a post highlighting the agent stories of 10 YA/MG authors. So, yeah.)

The only result that offered any hope to me was a Writer’s Digest article with a list of author stories. You know how many of those were YA/MG? Guess. Out of the first thirteen I read (I had to stop out of frustration), eight, one of which being a picture book.

And there’s so much sci-fi/fantasy stuff! Where are the normal people doing normal things? That’s my jam. Why isn’t there a place for these books? Agents, hello? Continue reading

Writing Wednesday: I’m Waist Deep in the WIP Love-Hate

Well.

I started. I’ve been dreading looking at my novel again. (Why? Find out: Writing Wishes, Not Writing Goals). I’m in the process of listening to it. It’s just better that way. And I’m on chapter 20, which is about halfway.

It’s been interesting, for sure.

I think I’m going to write a post about dealing with first chapters–not advice, just venting–but for now, I’ll just say, my first chapter is pretty bad. Why didn’t anyone tell me this? Oy. I mean, at least it’s not like it’s the first thing an agent sees. OY.

Related image

Luckily, things got a little better and I could listen to this thing without cringing. For a few chapters… Continue reading

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.

Related image

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.

Image result for it's about time gif

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!

 

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.

Related image

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

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

 

Image result for writing is hard gif

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.

Image result for addiction gif

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.

Related image

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.

20180919_145628

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!

Motivational Monday: Can I buy some?

You know, it’s funny. I started these Motivational Monday posts with a clear purpose in mind: to find inspiring quotes, videos, etc. to share and to hopefully help give anyone reading a little boost in the creative department (or the just-plain-living department).

But on this particular Monday, I’m feeling as if the motivational well is dry. Like drought dry. Spitting dust dry. Yeah, it’s dry.

I’m faced with yet another set of changes to my manuscript that wouldn’t be much work necessarily, but would be emotionally draining. Cutting lines, although still painful, has gotten easier over time. And maybe losing a description or two is no big deal. But I’m contemplating a massive restructuring of the beginning chapters. Yikes. And crap. And really? REALLY?

Image result for sloth motivation meme

Continue reading