June 28, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #30

Have you tried Flash! Fiction Fridays yet? No time like the present! This week's prompt requires 200 words, +/- 10, on this image:
Capbreton. Photo by Makunin, @ Pixabay

June 27, 2013

One Down

It's official.  Early this morning, I received my very first form rejection letter.

Many writers consider this to be a badge of honor – an inevitable milestone on this path we chose.  Me? Honestly, I spent a few hours upset.  This had been an agent with whom I believed I would genuinely want to work.  She, or an intern, rejected my query in less than 24 hours. On the plus side, that is a wonderfully fast turnaround time.  On the other side, I spent some time reviewing the submission guidelines and such, making sure I hadn't received the form rejection simply because I had somehow done something wrong.  Perhaps sending a query later in the evening brought it to the top of her inbox in the morning.

A few hours (away from the computer) later, the Twitterverse offered me a productive distraction: #MSWL, which decodes into "Manuscript Wish List."  Basically, editors and agents from all over were posting throughout the day what exactly they would like to see right now.  I found a few agents whose wish lists, I believe, include stories like mine.  Moving past my first rejection, I submitted 5 more queries. 

In a sense, every published author has a "magic number" – the query or pitch that turned into an offer of representation or a sale.  For many, that number is at least in the double-digits.  For some – in the triples.  I'd like to believe that each rejection – silent, form, or otherwise – is ticking down until my magic number.  

Here's hoping that magic is real.

June 25, 2013

Virtual Etiquette: Who's Doing It Right

It's been about a week since the release of my poetry collection, and it has certainly already been an uphill climb.  One of the results of choosing to publish independently is that, once the book itself is complete, the work is really just beginning – which seems silly to us writers who have already spent countless hours, even years, slaving over the content.  Still, I have been very lucky to have the support of Donna L Sadd, with whom I did an interview, and Sherry Fundin, who quickly pulled together a promotional post for me. Patience is the name of the game now, as I wait for the major promotional boost that participating in the Blogger Book Fair should turn out to be and hope that my efforts will eventually turn into readers and sales. (That isn't to say I won't be promoting in the meanwhile – don't forget to enter my launch giveaway!)

This will be my first experience participating in the Blogger Book Fair [BBF], but it looks like it's shaping up to be a huge event, and I'm excited!  

June 22, 2013

Giveaway!

The last few days have been superbly exciting, what with publishing my first collection, reaching 2,500 page views, and doing this fun interview with author Donna L Sadd!  What better way to celebrate than with a giveaway?!

The Prizes:
  • A professionally hand-bound, autographed copy of my recently released poetry collection, Life Under Examination
  • A wonderful, all-natural Tension Relief Crème from Marina Kodi™ to help relieve the physical and emotional stress of slaving over our computers


June 21, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #29

No matter what else is going on, Fridays are all about Flash! Friday fiction.  This week's prompt steps up the game, challenging us with an iconic image.  150 words, +/- 25 on this masterpiece:

For once, I was tempted to read others' takes on this prompt before writing my own, somewhat at a loss. Nevertheless, I have refrained.  Here's my story:



June 19, 2013

Diving Into Self-Publishing

My poetry collection officially became available to the public yesterday which is at once incredibly exciting and superbly overwhelming.  Writing, selecting, editing, and organizing the poetry wasn't enough.  Books require front matter (unique for each distributor) and quality covers, not to mention formatting for each individual distributor. 

Formatting, if done attentively and meticulously did not actually turn out to be that difficult.  Granted, I'm more comfortable with basic computer usage than many people out there, but Smashwords has a very helpful and free guide which can assist anyone with Microsoft Word to format their work appropriately.  From there, following the basic Kindle Direct Publishing guidelines to create an HTML file took me less than 5 minutes!  

June 18, 2013

Exciting News!

My poetry collection, Life Under Examination, is officially available for purchase!! (For details, visit the dedicated page for this project.)

This is my first time self-publishing, and it has been both simpler and more complex than expected.  I am sure there are undiscovered, and therefore unresolved, problems which will arise, but hopefully those interested in reading my work will be understanding with any technical glitches which may occur.

I am still reeling from the disbelief associated with finally having published my own work (Ah!!!), so a more in-depth post will have to wait.  Nevertheless, I do have an exciting offer for all of you:

The first 5 people to comment on this post (must include a reasonable way to contact you) will receive a FREE copy of this collection! (PDF or a coupon code for Smashwords)

June 15, 2013

Start of Summer

Summer is officially here, or so it seems to me after my time away and return to a season of graduations, picnics, and sunshine.  Honestly, I'm a bit behind in my goals for this year, but all that can be done about that is catching up. Of course, one of my biggest problems is my tendency to bite off more than I can chew.  Still, here is what I am planning to do and considering doing in the near future:
  • Publishing my poetry collection, Life Under Examination.  This will hopefully happen within the next week.

June 14, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #28

I've just returned and am diving back into the worlds of writing and blogging and social media by participating in today's Flash! Friday contest.  I'm quite nervous, as it's been 3 weeks with no writing (though a bit of outlining and plenty of ideas), not to mention the current jet lag.  Regardless, here goes: 

100 words exactly on this picture:
The Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse (1888)

June 7, 2013

Scripting Change Seeks Submissions

I've written about Scripting Change before, but I'm doing it again, because this is a wonderful project, based entirely on the work of volunteers, that nevertheless will offer significant exposure to all accepted writers.  The theme for the inaugural project is: Determination & Hope Through Pain.  The deadline is August 16th.  Have you written your piece?

The overview: 
  • All proceeds from the inaugural project will go to the MSTR Scholarship Foundation which offers scholarships to students affected by the cost of chronic illness. 
  • Writers will receive exposure on the website and promotional materials, and in the e-book.
  • No admin or oversight or editing costs – 100% of money raised from the sale of the e-book will be donated!
So what are you waiting for? Go!  Write!  Let's Script the Change we want to see in our world!

June 4, 2013

Friendly Reminder

While writers should absolutely use editors and proofreaders, we should also know the basic rules of grammar, though unfortunately many don't.  Luckily, I found this infographic explaining how to avoid 15 common grammar mistakes.  Learn 'em, live 'em, love 'em – and feel free to share! (Get the code here.)

My Extra Tip:

Although "affect" is most commonly used as a verb, and "effect" is most commonly used as a noun, they can both be used as both a noun and a verb (so #4 is only almost right).