Finding My Story a New Home: Part 3

I got accepted!

Just kidding.

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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.

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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.

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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
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My Short Story is Officially Published!

And here’s how I feel about it:

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It’s not every day you see your name in a book, let alone alongside something you wrote! I’m pretty stoked about it.

Anyway… here she is:

And if you’d like your own copy–because yours truly is in it–here’s the link:

America’s Emerging Literary Fiction Writers

My story is called “Dad’s Room” and writing it was quite an experience. In the wake of writing a different short story (one that I’m hoping to see in print at some point), I thought I’d try another one. “Dad’s Room” was what I ended up with. I wrote the first draft-of-sorts in one day. The only reason I’m sharing this is because I’m a turtle writer. My novel took years before I could say it’s finished. Maybe it’s because I had a due date for this story, I don’t know. But I cranked it out.

I thought the first version was pretty good, but a few awesome folks at Scribophile showed me the error of my ways. 🙂 So the third version is what I submitted. It’s a different tone from my normal writing. Maybe. Most of the time, I think everything I write sounds the same. (My blog posts are like a Lily-Tyler combo. It’s weird.) It’s not as funny. I’ll put it that way.

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If you end up reading my story, I hope you enjoy it. It’s such an honor to have anything I’ve written chosen for publication. Thanks to Z Publishing for the opportunity, thanks to my writing buddies for helping me fix Dad, and thanks to the other writers featured in this anthology for deciding to submit your writing–without you, there wouldn’t be a book in the first place. Congrats to you as well! You’re published! 🙂

My previous Z Publishing reaction: I Have Writing News!


Thanks for spending some time here. Have a great week!

I’m an Emerging Writer Again! Pub Credit #2

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement.

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My story, “Dad’s Room,” will be published in Maryland’s Emerging Writers. This is my second pub credit and my second year in this anthology! I’m super proud of myself. This story took a lot out of me and was certainly a departure from what I usually write. Plus, it was one of those, “I don’t know where this is going” kind of stories, but apparently, I made it work.

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While my first short story acceptance remains one of the coolest moments in my life, this time is just as sweet. Speaking of, either this week or next, I’m submitting my first short story (my first pub credit) to an online magazine. I’d love to see that one in its entirety. I feel like I owe it to my MC, Seth. That’s weird, but I don’t care.

More details about the 2019 Maryland’s Emerging Writers Anthology to come!

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EDIT:

It’s here! My Short Story is Officially Published!


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

If An Agent Called Me, I Would Die

Happy Writing Wednesday! Here’s a glimpse into the insanity that is my writing life.

If you’ve spent some time here, you know I’m querying a novel. The process is so slow I’m not going to remember where I saved the document if an agent requests it. Know what I mean?

I get that agents are busy, but since I’ve been stalking querytracker.net like it’s my job, there’s one agent I submitted to with an average of 100 days to respond to a query. Um.

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I’ve been pretty lucky so far with my wait time. And although rejections sting, it’s nice to get it over with. For the sake of my pride, I’ve decided not to share my exact numbers with you, but when something worth sharing happens, I’ll be sure to post it. I will say, my first rejection this round hurt like hell, but they’ve gotten so much easier. #thebrightsideofrejection

I have a problem I’m trying to convince myself is not a problem. My book is too normal. When I started it, #ownvoices wasn’t a thing. At least it didn’t have hashtag. But now that’s all you see. My cast isn’t the most diverse–because the setting isn’t. It’s a small town, not NYC. And no one has any defining disability or anything. Had I known when I started writing this that I would try to get it published, I would’ve thrown something in there. But that’s the thing. I feel like so much media now is just checking off boxes. Like, let’s see, Asian? Check. Interracial couple? Check. Homosexual? Check. Anxiety disorder? Check. #forshame

The other problem I may have is the heat level. I mean, it’s probably PG-13 at the most. Sexy time scenes are not in my arsenal. I know there are agents out there who would like my book, but I don’t know where they are! I just wish I could send them a collection of Matt Bomer gifs, and say, “By the way, this is Mark Peterson.”

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Wait. What was I doing? I’ve been looking at gifs for the past 20 minutes. Continue reading

Writing a Story After a Long Break

2/25/19

I’m writing again! Woot!

And let me tell you, I forgot how hard it is to write a story. Wowzers. Yesterday, I had a brainstorm and came up with an idea. I had a beginning and an end. Everything in the middle was a giant, crushing question mark, but since I had my last sentence, I was committed.

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This is the first story I’ve ever written that I’ve known the ending ahead of time. And it’s so much easier that way. Man, I wish I would’ve known the ending of my novel when I started it. That would’ve saved me so much time and heartache. Continue reading

January 2019 Writing Update

I’m wondering if the way I feel about what I write is how parents feel for their children. You love them. But they also make you question your life choices.

I swear, depending on the day, I either think, you know, this is pretty good or why did I write this?

Yesterday, I was super pumped because while agent stalking, I found two agents that seem perfect. I was reading one #MSWL, and my story has all the things!

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Then today, I remembered I am one of a gazillion people with the same dream. *sigh* There’s such a fine line between being pessimistic and realistic. Know what I mean?

I’m about 95% finished with this current WIP dissection. By current, I mean, final. Because it has to be. However, I’ve already returned to chapter one because I’m obsessed and can’t leave it alone. My biggest obstacle I’m facing? My opening pages. I’ve managed to cut out some crap from earlier drafts, but I wish my chapter one was as good as say, chapter 12, for example? 😀 The beginning of my book has always been my least favorite part. If I could send an agent something from the middle, I’d feel so much more confident. Grrr. Continue reading

Extremely Impractical Writing Advice

I will flat out tell you that I’m not a writer to emulate. Granted, I think I’ve shared a few worthy tips throughout this blog. But as far as my own process, I’d never suggest it. (I’ve been working on the same WIP for 10+ years and have only written two short stories in the meantime. #goals) Thing is, it has worked for me. That’s what I tell myself.

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Previous Writing Advice Some May Deem Impractical:

-don’t set word count goals. ever.

-don’t set writing goals

-stay far away from NaNoWriMo

-don’t write when you don’t feel like it

-adverbs are absolutely necessary

-never give up on a project

Which leads me to my most impractical writing advice to date.

There is no such thing as spending too long on a single project.

 

If you’re already saying, “Yes, there is” hear me out. Continue reading

“Music” for Writers

Think of this as a Music Monday/Writing Wednesday mash-up.

I’m sure you’re already aware of these ambient sound videos, but I figured I’d share anyway. Somehow–honestly, sometimes I have no clue how YouTube recommends videos to me–the video below showed up on my YouTube home page thing. And while a tavern isn’t my go-to writing location, it’s still a cool idea.

*There are so many of these kind of videos, but all of these are from the same YouTube channel: The Guild of Ambience

Continue reading

For the Procrastinating Writer: Font Match

Yes, fonts.

I’m assuming since you’re here, you’re already procrastinating and most likely avoiding your NaNaWriMo project, right? Well, I’m here to help give you something to do, which, in the long run, will benefit your novel and make your characters rounder. At the very least, it’s something to do that’s actually related to the world of your novel.

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I was online–shocking–and I came across a particular font and thought Whoa, that’s exactly how Tyler would write!

And just like that, my afternoon was shot.

You may know of this website, but it was new to me:

www.dafonts.com

a magical place with a gazillion fonts to download

So many fonts, people! I decided I’d try to match a font to each one of my characters. Why? Why not?! Listen, my characters in particular are more real to me than actual people, but if that’s not the case with yours, you may want to try this out. A person’s handwriting says something about them.

Do they write in all caps? Do they use a dark, thin line or a skinny one? Does it have loopy, swirly letters? Does it slant one way or the other? How large are the letters–in relation to each other? Is it neat or sloppy? Do they dot their i’s with hearts?

I managed to find fonts that match my characters pretty well. I actually mention two of my characters’ handwritings in the novel itself, so for Mark and Tyler, I already knew what to look for.

Here’s what I’ve found:

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So if you need something to procrastinate with, there you go! Or if you think knowing how your characters write could flesh them out, there you go! Either way, have fun! It’s strangely addicting.

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11/12/18


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy font matching!

Don’t Like NaNoWriMo? Try LaNoRevMo!

November 6, 2018

Last year around this time, I posted about how I don’t understand NaNoWriMo or why anyone would put themselves through such a masochistic exercise. And while I still feel this way, I’ve decided to use the writing buzz in the online air to my advantage.

As you know, the writer in me has been in hiding, and it’s been difficult to coax her out. But lately, I’ve been feeling inspired, namely because of everyone talking about writing, and word counts, and outlining, and coffee shop sitting, etc. So, I made up my own little exercise for this month.

Presenting: LaNoRevMo

which obviously stands for Lauren’s November Revision Month.

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While everyone else is writing, I’ll be deleting, rearranging, and condensing. I’m giving my novel an overhaul, in a last ditch effort to make it into something worthy of an agent’s eyes. I’ve already started this process, and I’ve made some headway. Continue reading