Moving Forward

Genesis

It’s always a great feeling to wake up to a notification that one of my stories has been published!

I first started writing Genesis in December of 2015. I had just read a short story by the fabulous Maria Dahvana Headley, And the Winners Will Be Swept Out to Sea, and I was entranced by the style she used to tell the story. I wanted to see if I could do something similar.

The result was a rough draft of a story I titled Goodnight Nobody. After having some Beta readers take a look at it and a couple rounds of revisions, I started sending it out to various magazines. And it got rejected. A lot.

I finally enlisted the help of an editor, Kat Howard, and she gave me some really wonderful, insightful suggestions. Another few revisions later and I was still getting rejected. I submitted it for an apocalypse anthology, but it was going to be six months or more before they would make a decision. So, I waited and moved on to other projects.

Then I heard of Twisted Sister Lit Mag and thought I’d give it a shot. And they liked it! They really liked it! They weren’t thrilled with the title, though, so after a lot of thinking and brainstorming, I renamed the piece Genesis, which is actually a lot more fitting anyway.

Genesis was published today in Twisted Sister’s SURVIVAL issue. This is my first publication for this year, because I’ve been so focused on the book, I haven’t really been doing smaller pieces. I need to remedy that.

Happy reading!

It’s May Already

I can’t believe it’s May!

As I previously mentioned, I had entered the NYCMidnight 2017 Short Story Challenge earlier this years, making it into the second heat where I was tasked with writing a 2,000 word maximum story in 72 hours with assignment of comedy/rookie police officer/foot race. Those results came out last night and, unfortunately, my story ‘Sebastian the Safety Squirrel’ did not make it through to the final round. I admit that I’m bummed by this as I thought it was a really strong story, but it’s probably better this way as the next round of the contest happens this weekend while I’m going to be attending my first writing conference.

I’ll be at the Seattle Writing Workshop and I am nervously excited. Excitedly nervous? Something like that. I had originally planned to pitch BAD RIVER to a couple of agents, but . . . After getting feedback from my Beta readers and doing additional research on the time and setting of the book, I have decided to completely restructure it. Complete overhaul. From the beginning. All the changes. ALL. THE. CHANGES.

So, yeah, I won’t be pitching the book in, oh, three days time. Instead, I’m hoping to use my time with the agents to discuss the path I’m planning on taking with the book, to see if they think it’s a viable option, or if I just need to scrap the entire damn thing. *sob*

In other news, a short story of mine that I’ve been trying to get placed for over a year now has been accepted by an online literary magazine and will be published. I don’t know when it will be up yet, so I’m going to stay vague on those details until I know more. However, this is one of my favorite pieces, so I’m very thrilled to finally find it a home.

Have a good May, y’all!

Mini-Update

It’s been a busy year so far.

I entered the NYCMidnight Short Story Challenge which began in January. It consists of three rounds: in the first round, I was given a genre, character, and setting prompt, and had a week to write a 2,500 word story; in the second round, it’s a 2,000 word story in 72 hours, and the third round is a 1,500 word story in just 24 hours.

My first round assignment was horror genre with a substitute teacher and a surprise party. To my delight, my story, “I Haven’t Forgotten” placed fourth in my heat and have advanced on to the second round. I don’t know if it’s going to be published as part of the contest, so I don’t have a link for it yet.

My second round assignment was a comedy with a rookie police officer and a running race. I am very pleased with how “Sebastian the Safety Squirrel” came out. I’ll have the results of the round in early May.

Also in early May, I will be attending my first ever writing conference. I am very excited about it, not to mention completely stressing about what I’m going to wear.

In preparation for the conference, I have been working very hard at getting BAD RIVER to my Beta readers and making the needed changes.

Time to get back to work! I’ll see you all again sometime in May.

This Judging Thing I Did

Last year, I entered a short story contest sponsored by Short Fiction Break and The Writing Practice. My story, The Cicatrix, was awarded 4th Place out of more than 200 entries. I was pretty stoked.

A few months ago, one of the editors for Short Fiction Break approached me and asked if I would be interested in being a judge for their Winter Writing Contest. Of course I said ‘yes’.

Judging took place over several week and three rounds of reading and discussion with my fellow judges. It also involved writing critiques for the stories if it was requested by the author.

I learned so much by judging this contest. On a basic level, if I saw repetitive grammar or punctuation errors that bugged me, I would research them to make sure I was correct, and on more than one occasion, I learned that, actually, I was the one in error. Also, in collaboration with my fellow judges, I learned to see stories from others’ point of view and to listen to what they felt a story’s strength or weaknesses were.

The winners of the contest were announced earlier today and I wanted to share them with you. The required them was ‘Two Worlds’, so the stories all had to show or connect somehow to that theme. There are some excellent stories and you can read them here: http://shortfictionbreak.com/winter16/.

I have a contest of my own starting later this week, as well as continuing to work on BAD RIVER. I’m hoping to send BAD RIVER out to Beta readers next month in preparation for a writing workshop I’m attending in May (more on that later).

I hope the New Year is treating you well!

Moving Forward

**I originally posted this weeks ago, but it got lost earlier today when I was trying to fix something else. So here it is again. The formatting is all wonky now. Fun times.**

I think many of us can agree that 2016 was an utterly terrifying year for a lot of reasons, and we’ll likely be glad to be done with it. However, 2016 was also a fairly active year for my writing and I hope that continues into the new year.

I have been asked to help judge the Short Fiction Break/The Writing Practice Winter Writing Contest starting in December 2016. Additionally, I am entering a writing contest myself starting in January. In between all of this, I will also be continuing to revise my novel, BAD RIVER, in preparation for beta readers and professional editing later in 2017. And, of course, any other projects that come my way.

Whew.