3 Things Writers Hate About You (jk)

You don’t have to be a psychic to know there are things writers have in common. Some love them, some hate them. But, if you’re a writer and they haven’t happened to you yet, they will!

  1. Every writer runs into multiple people who, upon find out they’re a writer, says, “I have this story I want to write…” the conversation then progresses in a few ways. The person will tell them they’re story, will ask them to write it for them (for free), or will suddenly be afraid their story will be stolen.
  2. Every writer has someone ask them for free copies. Writers get a limited number of copies, unless, of course, they are Stephen King or someone like that. And sometimes the copies aren’t exactly free.
  3. Almost every writer who has a social media account has had some amateur plug their own book on the writer’s page by dropping a link, comparing it, or other. This is rude, distasteful, and will not win the person friends. I’ve deleted and blocked people who’ve done that.

Now, given this is my page – I’ll plug my own book – released this week. Get it here!

psych cover for kdp

 

Publishing in Literary Journals

A number of literary journals have given up, so to speak; in other words, gone out of business. They are either publishing online only or not publishing at all. I’ve received a number of emails or notifications from literary journals and, in some cases, well known or otherwise recognized and considered successful literary journals like Tin House that they will no longer publish.

The main reason is the cost or publication vs sales. Many literary journals operate in the red, a few may break even. I don’t think any of them are rolling in the dough.

Even the writers they publish accept their free copies and don’t purchase other copies. I understand; how many subscriptions can one writer – being paid in free copies – have?

This leaves us writers with fewer places to submit.

There are a number of online journals looking for work, and more forming every day. Although some of them are quality, I personally want more information than just a description of a new and upcoming online journal accepting submissions.

Duotrope and Poets and Writers offer more information on many of them – that’s a good resource.

I, however, think I’ll donate my time to finishing novels and fewer short stories. The shorter fiction may or may not be submitted, may or may not find a home.

 

Successful Writing

Okay, so not bragging, but….. I’ve been hard at work….

voices of eve

The Healer’s Daughter in The Ear

The Healer’s Daughter is a departure for me. It marks a turns in my writing that came about just this year. It’s more mystical. Risky, maybe. A woman’s daughter describes her mother’s gift and discovers she has her very own gift, but will she actually use it?

The Healer’s Daughter will be featured in my summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party. It’s a book of short stories, all of which have a special or surprising twist.

 

voices of eve.png

Friends, Lovers, and Liars in Home Renovation

Originally titled Deception, it didn’t find a home. In fact, the topic of lies and cheating offended one editor. I think it may have hit too close to home.  It, too, will be released in the summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.

 

 

 

voices of eve

How to Throw a Psychic Surprise Party in The Electric Press Magazine

The title story for the book of short stories. Inspired by a show in which I saw a television host throw a “surprise” party for a psychic. It struck me – How do you throw a psychic a surprise party?

This story may answer that question. Maybe not. How much empathy can you muster?

 

 

voices of eve

Hunger and other poems as well as some photography in Voices of Eve

 

Not in the book of short stories. But well worth the read. Hunger is one of my favorite poems.

 

 

psychic cover front

 

Also in the book of short stories –

The Crier: In a time when emotions are unheard of, people need a release.

The Mirror People: Ever wondered what’s inside the mirror? You know there’s something, right? Here’s a woman who collects them – she knows.

Bowie and the Basket Case: Anna’s things keep disappearing and reappearing. At first she thinks she’s misplaced them, but then she’s sure she hasn’t!

How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party is available for Pre-order!

 

 

No One Likes a Braggart…

This was texted to me recently; however, it was about the southern California weather. But the sentence struck a cord.

I was brought up not to brag, not to boast, crow, or grandstand. Therefore, when I’ve won an achievement, accomplished a goal, I didn’t even know how to act when congratulated.

At some point, in college, I read a quote that stated – If you don’t toot your own horn, who will?

So began the long, arduous process of learning to reveal my accomplishments without blustering.

Sometimes, I may shift into a swagger, but mostly I try to announce my triumphs with pride.

Recently someone said to me, “aren’t you lucky?” upon hearing of my success. And I said – it’s hard work. That’s the truth. Perhaps there’s a bit of fortuitousness involved, but fortune does not favor the unprepared.

So I say – work hard and shout success from the rooftops!

Sometimes, You Have to Laugh

I received a few rejections recently which made me sort of giggle.

One story was called “Friends, Lovers, and Liars” and it’s about all of the above. I originally submitted it to a journal who had a call for “Deception of all types.”

In the response I received, it seemed I’d offended the editor. “This isn’t about Deception. I don’t know how you think it was. It doesn’t fit our call at all….”  And he went on for a few more lines.

giggleThe story, later published in Pilcrow and Dagger, follows a main character who lies to the husband who is cheating on her, she helps a friend get a job by fudging some truths as reference, and discovers her sister can’t keep her stories straight. It’s all about deception. But something in it struck a nerve with the editor and it was rejected.

The next story is “Mirrors” and is about two sisters and their family; however, it does carry a supernatural element.

It was suggested that I make it more terrifying because it wasn’t frightening enough. Fair enough critique if I indeed was attempting to write horror, but I wasn’t.

I do appreciate the more personalized responses, but when we read others’ works we should make certain not to put our own issues or agendas into their work. That is what makes us good readers, good critique partners, and good editors.

stay-present-and-enjoy-the-journey-1068x712.jpgThe story belongs to the author, and while we can offer suggestions for improvement it should be to better the story they want to accomplish – not change it to suit our own preferences.

Rejections need to be appreciated. Sometimes they offer valuable information and tell us we need to do more work, and sometimes they miss the mark and we thank the editors – appreciating the time they took to respond at all! – then sit back and enjoy this crazy writing journal we’ve chosen.

 

When I’m Not Writing

the-incredible-hulk-tv-best-episodesConjure images of the old David Banner/Incredible Hulk, “You won’t like me angry.” That’s the way I feel when I’m not writing. Not that I’m angry – I just feel, “you won’t like me when I’m not writing.”

When I’m not writing, I’m fidgety, distracted, and I don’t sleep well. There’s too much going on my head for me to relax.

Do other writers feel the same?

 

 

When they believe it’s about you….

cover of west endI’ve written so many stories from first person point of view. At first, I was nervous because people did ask – is that real? is that you? and even contacted me and said – I know that’s about you.

So, it does make a person nervous about what they write and publish.

But at some point, you’ve got to let people think what they want to think. None of it will affect you in the long run.

I had an editor refuse a fictional story because, he said, it’s memoir and ultimately we didn’t ask for your personal story.

I thought – it must be good if he thought it was me! But I didn’t bother to correct him. It was a fiction call and I’d submitted fiction. If the editor didn’t realize the “I” didn’t necessarily represent the author, but the character, he is probably not the editor I need to work with nor the journal I want to be published in.

I worried about this with West End – my first big publication. One of the big criticisms girl on train tracks.jpgfrom someone who believed they knew me thought it wasn’t a realistic portrayal of me. I had to tell him because the character was not me! While the same story convinced another person that I’d led a secret life prior to moving to California.

Possibly, one of the convincing elements of the story is the setting. The place, the west side of Cleveland, where I grew up, is real. You can trace the steps of my characters who walked the path passed the baseball field and lost themselves on the train tracks, or those who played in the abandoned buildings. The streets are still there, the houses still stand, except the one which burned to the ground – a vacant lot interrupts the landscape of the neighborhood.

West End was a passion project. It was for the kids who I’d known and those I didn’t who never made it out. But it wasn’t me. Maybe parts of me live there in the pages and parts of me live on those streets.

Ultimately, you can’t allow another person’s possible opinion of you affect your writing.