Archive | December 2018

2018 Year-End Reflection – Menu Style – Let’s Start Celebrating!

Pixabay Free Images

First, thank you for visiting! 🙂 It’s good to be back! Lately, I’ve been spending more time with my family, settling myself in a new-ish job, polishing a YA novel I’ve been working on for months (getting ready for #PitchWars), and writing the first draft of an adult fantasy with an erotic slant! Uh oh!

Yes, I still teach, but due to moving to a new school and teaching a new grade, I feel like a first-year teacher! Hee hee hee. Juggling! That’s what it’s kind of like, except I’m tossing around a flamethrower, a chainsaw, while trying to herd mosquitoes — with my toes! 😀

As most of you know, I’m a full-time school teacher, (part-time tutor — yes, I have more than one job to pay those bills– eeeeek!) and the proud dragon mommy of three sons. It’s no wonder that writing time often slips through my fists like water. If only juggling these tasks could be THIS easy:

juggling

Oh what FUN, FUN, FUN::grits teeth and bares a smile::

terries_froggy

Thankfully, I have a supportive husband who understands what could befall the universe if I don’t write.

universe exploding

It’s absolutely necessary that I passionately pursue my writing goals!

Let’s order some wine, (red for me, please) get comfortable, and delve into some more . . .

Small Talk

So, in 2017 I had promised myself that 2018 would be better. And in several ways it has been. I’m grateful for my health and the accomplishments I’ve pursued and scored during this soon-to-be-over year. Regarding writing, I’ve noticed that some of my short stories are actually larvae-stage novellas! Luckily, there’s a growing market for novellas! And I have three in the cue that I need to share with Wordsmiths (my writing pals) to prepare these works for submissions!

Entrée

I submitted a handful of short stories and poems to twenty different markets, grants, and/or contests for writers and sold . . . two stories.

Uh huh. You heard that right: just two stories.

I had initially sent Souls Within, a short story to a literary magazine and it had been rejected. So, I waited a couple months before trying another venue. It was for a writing contest. So, I decided to revise and edit the piece — molding it into a story-in-verse. Lo and behold — it was accepted and published in a lovingly made book of essays and poems edited by the fabulous Dr. Sarah L. Webb. Please do check it out!

colorism healing_volume 2

The second story I sold is called Hide Your Love Away and you can read or listen to it here! Oh yes! Tonia Thompson is absolutely amazing at channeling different voices and accents! Her Nightlight Podcast is new, exciting, and creepy! Horror Fans rejoice, then hurry on over and enjoy! 🙂

Well, two stories may not seem like a lot, but the other markets that I submitted to, I’m pleased to say that most of the feedback I received wasn’t a “Dear John” form letter! And one short story was sooooo close to being accepted by Fireside! It had made a second round of consideration! Was I crushed that they didn’t finally buy it. You betcha! But, I’m so glad they took the time to email me the reasons why. And when they re-open for submissions, I’ll be ready!

Now, keep in mind, I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts that in order to be successful, you have to take risks. And boy, have I!

So, on to the . . .

Prensipal Kou

Don’t laugh, but until this year, I hadn’t stepped foot on a plane in almost thirteen years. Being mommy often comes first and if my little ones couldn’t come with me, then I would stay at home. The last time I boarded a plane was when I traveled to Japan in 2006 as a Clearwater-Nagano Sister Cities Ambassador! Anyway, while I was spending time clicking around on Twitter, I noticed an opportunity that I had to try!

Highlights Foundation was hosting a workshop for Responsible Representation: Writing Diverse Commercial Fiction for Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers in August! The problem was I didn’t have enough money. I applied for one of their grants and received partial funding. $500 worth. However, I still needed money for the other half and the cost of a plane ticket!

Our oldest son had just started attending University in the summer and was continuing his education through the fall. Money was, to say the least, tight. 😦 So, I did something I never did. I asked my friends and followers for help! Being an introvert is downright paralyzing, but I forced myself out of my shell and used crowdfunding to help spread the word.

I was both amazed and humbled by the incredible outpouring of love and support I received!

In August, I kissed my family and my students (yup, Florida starts school really early) good-bye and headed to Pennsylvania for writing, relaxing, reading, researching, studying, learning, talking, eating, networking, and more and more delicious eating! The chefs at Highlights are AMAZING!

I was able to meet Linda Camacho, Patrice Caldwell, Sona Charaipotra, and Linda Sue Park. Unfortunately, Dhonielle Clayton wasn’t able to attend. Buuut, she provided copies of her YA novel, The Belles! In fact, all of the authors provided copies of their most recent novels. I was able to get autographs, too! Woo hoo!

Here are some photos of my trip to Pennsylvania.

Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_11
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_9
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_8
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_7
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_5
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_4
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018_3
Highlights Foundation Photo_2018

Dessert

Something incredibly sweet happened yesterday! I received an email from Rivière Blanche, small publisher in France. They requested to reprint one of my short stories, Bondye Bon, in one of their anthologies. It’s to be translated into French, (duh — redundant, much, but I’m TOTALLY psyched — LOL) and published by the end of 2019! I’m especially surprised and delighted regarding this news and will keep you posted with anthology cover reveals and any other upcoming news!

Last year’s year-end reflection can be found here.

Happy New Year_Haitian Creole
Haitian Creole — psst . . . which one of the headings is not like the others . . .
Advertisements

My 2018 recommended reading list

Woo hoo! One of my short stories made it to this list! 😀

Maria Haskins

First of all, a disclaimer. This list, like all my roundups and lists and reading recommendations here and elsewhere, is a selection of what I had time to read. It’s just a slice of what’s available, and no doubt I have missed stories that are awesome, because nobody can read everything.

Second, if you want to see all the stories I read and loved in 2018, check out my roundups and blog posts from this past year. This list is a selection drawn from those roundups and other things I’ve read, and the most complete account of the short fiction that impressed me this year is in all of those roundups and reviews.

recommendedreading

(Note: I will add stories to this through December…

View original post 1,449 more words

How Cancer Cells Communicate — And How We Can Slow Them Down

ScienceSwitch

Cancer cells communicate with each other and coordinate their movement throughout the body. But this process can be interrupted. In this TED Talk, Hasini Jayatilaka, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, shares her work on an innovative method to stop cancer cells from communicating — and halt their fatal ability to spread.

THIS IS COOL. I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING ELSE, TOO!

Video via – TED Talks

View original post

My 2018 Awards Eligibility Post

Clark is an amazing writer and dominated 2018. I look forward to see what he does in 2019. Check him out!

Phenderson Djèlí Clark

BLACKGODSDRUM_Full

Have I really hemmed and hawed and procrastinated until the waning days of 2018 to do one of those SF/F award-y list-y things for the Hugos, Nebulas, and what-not? Absolutely and of course! Hopefully I caught ya’ll at a good time….

View original post 1,098 more words

Is Fire A Solid, A Liquid, Or A Gas?

ScienceSwitch

Fire is not a solid, a liquid, a gas, or even a plasma. It is our sensory experience of a chemical reaction called combustion. Fire engages a lot of our senses at the same time, creating the kind of vivid experience we expect to come from a physical thing. Combustion creates that sensory experience using fuel, heat, and oxygen.

THIS IS COOL. I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING ELSE, TOO!

Video via – TED-Ed
Further Readings And References @ Sparkonit, MIT, and Britannica

View original post

How to Write a Graphic Novel

the nymphs of springfield

Have you ever dreamed of becoming the next Alan Moore, Frank Miller or Will Eisner?

If you’re like, me I’m sure you have.

And you probably also thought that making graphic novels, or comic books, is a slow and difficult task that you won’t be able to do alone. Especially if you can’t draw.

You have to find someone who will illustrate it (and that sometimes includes someone else who will color and letter it), you will need an editor, and most important, a publisher. It’s a lot of work, but you can’t take care of any of those things if you can’t write a proper comic book script.

So, first things first: in this post, I’ll cover everything related to the writing of a comic book script. I hope I can show you a clear, easy to follow structure you can use if you never wrote a graphic novel…

View original post 3,139 more words

Graphic Novel Script Format

Tim Stout

Last summer, I worked as an Editorial Intern at First Second Books. One of my responsibilities was to read spec script submissions and I was floored by how many different formats were used for graphic novel scripts: screenplay format from a screenwriting software, stage play format written in Microsoft Word, prose outlines with sample pages of finished work…

I love reading scripts but sometimes the writer seemed to be making up the format as they went. I often found it difficult to make out what information was describing the action, what was a line of dialogue, who was saying which lines, what was background information unnecessary for the reader but potentially interesting for the artist, what was direction for the artist, etcetera.

Needless to say, reading those scripts was not fun.

A script is not just words on paper. A script is a visual experience for the reader.

A…

View original post 928 more words