award winning poetry found here?

Dear Largely Silent and Possibly Non-existent Audience:

My poem has been nominated by the Rose and Thorn magazine for a Best of The Web award! Dang. If chosen, the poem would appear in the Best of The Web anthology put out by Sundress Press found at http://sundress.net/. They have also invited me to record a podcast of the poem, "Letter to Steven, from a Blizzard" for their poetry podcast archives.

This is the link to the poem in question, which has appeared in this space before, under the post name Cool Breeze.


Just thought I'd whisper this good news into the quiet night.



Stuart Appears in Frame Lines Edition #5

Beloved story Stuart appears in Frame Lines! Check it out. You need to download the magazine to read the whole story.




Quotable Quotes on "Stuart"

My friend and colleague James Tipton, author of the best-selling historical fiction novel "Annette Vallon", subtitled "a novel of the French Revolution", is set to read "Stuart" and hopefully A: like it and B: laud it, in writing. The idea here is to get quotes from notable authors to plaster all over a cover letter to an agent. This feels like progress!


We've Set the Date

August 1st is it! "Stuart" will appear in Frame Lines magazine's issue #5. You can see it then at www.framelines.org. Stay tuned for more news on failing at rejection, or successes in that endeavor.


newsflash: failing at rejection

Believe it if you dare...my beloved story "Stuart, a fable" is set for publication! Yes, the waters of sweet acceptance have finally lapped their froth onto these parched shores. But not because of sentences like that last one. Just saying.

Frame Lines, an Australian publication, will soon announce to me so I can announce to you when the story will be appearing on their website.

But wait, there's more: the editor of Frame Lines has been sneakily spreading the word about the story to other editor types, so we have a possible American publication interested in publishing "Stuart, a fable" as well.

I know. I know. AWESOME.

I'm pretty much walking about 4 inches above said ground about now, people.

And not feel too too bad about failing at rejection. I can, and will, keep trying.


How Much I Want to be Rejected: A 2008 Goal

Big News: Taking a page from Chris Offutt, my goal for 2008 (yes, March is when I get around to making my resolutions) is to collect 100 rejections.

I'm not into punishment, but if I send out 100 submissions between now and the end of the year, what I'll get is not punished, but rewarded. As in: 100 submissions requires time and energy put into existing unfinished pieces, existing pieces in limbo, and pieces that are nary more than a twinkle in my eye or scribbles in my notebook.

And that is rewarding, since writing is what I want and need to do, period.

Rejection-weary readers may argue: 100 submissions does not 100 rejections make. IOW, some folks just don't get back to you. For, like maaaany months. It might be 2009 before some of these chickens come home to roost.

True, true. My fave portal for submissions, Duotrope.com, tracks the response times of all its many magazines, both print and online, and it ain't pretty. "390 days average" and like that. So, I'll weigh in that factor.

The optimists among you may argue: well, what if you get some acceptances, then what, huh? You'll have failed. Yes, it's true, some acceptances will put me off my ultimate goal of 100 rejections. But I'll weather the storm of publication well, I trust, and keep sending work out.

So far, the number is TWO. Stay tuned for news of my continued rejection.


ugly, baby: the pleasure of your company

Two things: one, besides people looking for me directly, the greatest source of visitors to this blog are people looking for pictures of ugly babies.

What does this say about us as a culture?

(Don't look at me, I'm not answering that one.) (Except to say: don't these people know that there ARE no ugly babies?)

Also, and this is a big also, there are a lot of people reading this blog who I'll never meet, and who I've never met, and who live in places like Valley Village and Receda and Australia and Brooklyn. I know this because I look at the Google Analytics thingie and I can seeee you.

I can see the trail of crumbs left by the readers of this blog, and because I don't know what most of the data mean, I look at the geographical overlay, because even a data comprehension challenged gal like myself can get what that all means. And it means that I can see the countries and the states and the cities where the clicks come from. And it gives one a strange fluttery stomach feeling to know that non-self and non-friends and non-family have been here, read here.

I get that this is the point of the blog. But still the stomach thing happens when I see the dots-across-the-globe. Surely hardened bloggers (whose fingertips are like iron from their steadfast posting) no longer get the stomach flutter, and have tales to tell about the pitfalls of their vast readerships, but for myself I like it and I'm sort of proud of it, and because only I can see the real numbers, I'll tell you confidentially that they're HUGE.

I always look at the cities too, to see if certain friends of the long lost variety are checking up on me, remotely or shyly or whimsically, but they never are. It's always you, stranger, it's always you, ugly-baby photo seeker. It's always you and me, out here in the weird digital desert where nothing much is recognizable, nothing much seems real, and things you see on the horizon which wouldn't normally look promising do, and you walk over to see what they are, and most of the time they're just a rock, but sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're more.


reading makes practice makes future imperfect

I had an idea for a story the other day.

That last sentence should not shock, being that this is a blog on writing fiction. Yet, it does. It shocks.

I have been so filled right up to the brim of the brain with everythingelse but writing. All that lifestuff: workkidsmarriagehousebills(You know: You have your own version of it) that my brain hasn't even caught its breath to turn to writing. To think about character. To imagine scenes.

This thinking of writing is a habit, and one we can lose, running the marathon we sometimes run to meet our obligations.

That's not okay with me. I don't want to be out of the habit. The habit of thinking of stories, thinking about stories, is what leads to writing stories. And that, despite all appearances, is what I'm ought to be doing.

What lead to this tiny door of fiction opening in the jam-packed trainstation of my thoughts? This tiny red door, only four feet high, with a solid red handle, warm to the touch?

Well, the answer is reading. I had been wrinkling the pages of The Best American Mystery Stories in the bathtub, as is my wont, after a long day of everythingelse. A storm raged outside the window (really, it did). The water in the bath was near-painfully hot, like I like it. I looked out from my steamy repose, into the living room, and through the windows there out at the storm, and I imagined a plot. Or the start of a plot. A pl. Not quite the ot.

The door had opened! Incredible. Quicklike I stuck my foot in before it slammed shut again. I made my brain take that breath, and I worked on the plot till the water turned cool.

The truth is, there are very few things that give us real personal pleasure and accomplishment. If we find them, we're lucky. Writing is the one for me. So I'll keep my foot in that door despite all the everythingelse life piles on. It's worth it.


**gasp** shocking news: a post

Thanks for still looking in on this space, gentle readers.

Writing is on the agenda in 2008, fer damn sure.

Other good news: I have more teaching than ever (my plan is voooorkink).

Also, I published more last year than in many years past, and any year where you start a novel is a good year.

Possibility is delicious, but scheduling is what makes writing happen.

This post isn't coming into any good shape (I'm rusty) so I'll end it.

Happy writing in 2008.