A writer that lacks self-confidence is a bird with a clipped wing.
–C’est Moi/Se mwen menm
Nerd Fact: Why not merely clipped wings? Well, because most birds can fly with this clip, which eliminates its usefulness. One Wing Clip. …Clipping the feathers on only one wing will certainly prevent your bird from flying, but it will also throw off her balance, increasing the likelihood she’ll injure herself (source found here).
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:
Oh what FUN, FUN, FUN::grits teeth and bares a smile::
Thankfully, I have a supportive husband who understands what could befall the universe if I don’t write.
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 . . .
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!
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!
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 . . .
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!
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.
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.
Haitian Creole — psst . . . which one of the headings is not like the others . . .
In order to finish up The Novel I’ve been dropping hints about, I need to prioritize and reschedule a few things.
I won’t be posting new content on here much — if at all.
I will most likely reblog your posts. I’m a reblogging superstar! 🙂
And last, but not least, I plan on adding new content by late May.
Just this morning, I finished submitting an application for an artist grant. I hope to share more information about that at a later date.
One of my goals is to continue researching agents, publishers, and small press magazine markets in order to publish more and more of my work.
Being a mommy, wifey, and full-time teacher doesn’t leave me with enough quality time to write as much as I’d like.
Last week, I was able to write 1,073 words total. 😦 That’s all. For the whole bleeping week.
And that’s just not enough words.
Regarding submissions, I was able to submit three stories this month to a couple of markets. A lot of them don’t accept simultaneous submissions and that’s fine. It’s just that the turnaround time is tight.
Starting today, I want to write at least 1500 words a day (of The Novel) and find a home for at least two of my short stories. I’ve been reading 5000 Words Per Hour in little chunks and I may have to settle for 5000 words per day instead.
By April, I want to double that amount and finally finish the first draft of The Novel. 🙂
At this present time, I don’t consider myself an “active Indie Author”. To clarify any confusion, let me explain. Yes, I do have two books out in the world. Yes, you can find them on Amazon. Yes, you can purchase them on Amazon. Please do. Sometimes, you may have the vampire novel, due to KDP land, for free.
And I had planned on independently publishing more books, but life didn’t only happen– it Dragon Punched me in such a way that I wouldn’t wish these circumstances on my worst enemy.
Life kicking my a$$.
So, for now, I won’t be putting money (that I don’t have) into marketing these books. Why? Please read what’s within the parentheses above. For example, my oldest son will be going to college soon, driving, and continuing to make my husband and I proud.
Needless to say, my answer to the question “can you afford to be indie author?” is No. Not Yet.
And the not yet is a much better response than no, not ever.
Now, with that said, I simply had to share this post from Angela J. Ford, an Indie author who has the right stuff.
Can you afford to be an indie author? As independent authors, we have to be aware of the way cost plays into self-publishing. Cost can mean the difference between turning book publishing into a business versus having a very expensive hobby. The question is, how much is too much? When do you know if your books are bringing in a positive return on investment?
Truth be told, some authors make back the investment they made into their books, while the percentage of authors who don’t make back their money is larger. As I enter my 4th year of writing and publishing, I’m taking a hard look at the cost of book publishing versus what I can recoup back. While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I do want to break down expenses a bit and help you figure out when too much is too much.
You can enjoy the remainder of this thought-provoking post here.
Music is an art form that I hold close to my heart. When I was a child, I loved singing and modulating my voice to match the tone and pitch of various artists. Whether it was Prince (Joy in Repetition), Annie Lennox (Love Song For A Vampire), Mariah Carey (Someday), or Stevie Wonder (Signed, Sealed, Delivered) I’d listen to their unique style, intonations, pitch, and then to the delighted horror of my siblings imitate singers (especially Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid). I’ve grown up and though I don’t sing as much as I used to, I still enjoy it. I especially love listening to music while I write.
When Fiyah Literary Magazine asked what favorite songs I’d like to contribute for Issue #5 Ahistorical Blackness, I knew exactly what songs matched the mood of Bondye Bon(in this link I received some wonderful accolades along with other authors — thank you, Maria Haskins!) Do click and read.
I chose three songs for Fiyah’s Issue Five Spotify Playlist, which you can find here: Do click and listen:
A Child With the Blues by Erykah Badu
No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Just Fine by Mary J. Blige (I love Mary J. and initially I had chosen Jill Scott’s Golden, but it was a favorite for another author. Great minds think alike, y’know! 🙂
Below is Badu’s emotionally resonating song marvelously paired with Terence Blanchard’s ethereal trumpeting skills, which I discovered while watching Eve’s Bayou (over twenty years ago). It’s an awesome movie that EVERY speculative fiction fan should watch at least once! 🙂
My favorite line (well one of them – heh) from the song:
“Baby, check yourself. Brace yourself. Protect yourself. Face yourself.”
I teach reading and the title of this post reminds me of a math equation. My oldest son is a Math Wonder and he smirks when I admit to him that the mere mention of mathematical equations makes me break out in hives.
5 (Out)+ 5 (Ready) X Patience = SUCCESS!
So, what’s with that weird equation? In my defense, it looks less intimidating than this:
*Whips out bottle of Calamine and applies it generously*
Ah, that’s ever so much better.
I’ve been learning a lot in my local critique group. One of the members shared that writers should have five pieces of work submitted while preparing another five for the submission process. Why? Because some markets despise and will NOT allow simultaneous submissions, which occurs when a writer submits a given work to more than one market (literary agents, editors, magazines, etc) at one time.
Wow. Five pieces of work sent out, huh? Plus, another five waiting in the wings? I thought about this tip and realized that this practical tip requires a lot of patience, a lot of writing. A whole lot of writing.
And selective forgetting. Why? Because there will be times that the rejection you receive as a writer can seem daunting and you may feel like giving up. But, remember:
Consider the feedback
Consider revising based on the feedback
Work on that short story, query letter, or whatever and
Submit it AGAIN!
And lately, I’ve made it a habit to write something every day.
Yes, every day.
My new goal is to add new content to this blog twice a week (setting aside no more than fifteen minutes to write the blog and preparing it for sharing via social media) so that way I can dedicate the remainder of my time to completing stories and submitting them to markets. #NewYear #NewYou #BillsToPay #DreamsToBeMade #GetItGirl
Even if it’s a sentence, a paragraph, or a string of conversation (I happened to overhear #I’mAWriter, #YesIEavesDrop #NoShame) that will help me to complete more of my works for submission. Likewise, writers, the more writing we do and the more we’re sharing, the more likely our work will be noticed and accepted for publication!
At this time, I’ve sent out two stories and am waiting for either rejection or acceptance so I can move onto the next market . . . or break out the wine and celebrate.