Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer’s Blog

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer's Blog

A writer’s life consists of mountain tops and valleys. Sometimes you have a mountain top experience and the same day you have a valley. I often don’t want to look into my inbox. It’s one of those things where I am anticipating and dreading at the same time.

Since I forgot to list my submissions and acceptances/rejections last week and this is the last day of the month I thought I’d do a stat day. So here it is:

Shari’s Stats: January

Submissions: 12
Acceptances: 3
Outright Rejections: 7
Rejections asking for revisions: 2

Although that rejection number is high, I am encouraged because I had three acceptances this month and two were for a print magazine, Guide, that netted me $170. Yay!

Update: I mentioned previously about Knowonder! and my plans to start working toward a book of short stories. Out of the five stories I submitted one was accepted, 2 were rejected outright and two asked me to work on them and resubmit. Since I already have three published stories with knowonder, and now an accepted fourth, I am well on my way to the five stories required to start working toward my collection of short stories. Keep your fingers crossed and I’ll keep you updated.

My other rejections were from Daily Science Fiction. (I keep trying.) Spellbound (again I keep trying) Page and Spine and T. Gene Davis speculative Blog.

As usual, I want to encourage writers out there to submit to my flash fiction contest, Paint Splashes. The winner will receive $10 paypal money and runner-up will receive $5 paypal. See the link for more details.

https://sklase.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/paint-splashes/

Thought for the Day: Since my blog earlier this week was on writing resources. I thought I’d plug one of my favorite. The Submission Grinder. If you click on recently added, you’ll find new markets all the time to submit to. You can also keep track of your own submissions, all for the low, low cost of zero dollars. Thank you, Submission Grinder, for all you do. The link is on my sidebar for that.

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer’s Blog

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer's Blog

I know it’s not Friday, but I have decided to participate in a blog hop. So: without further ado:
The question is: What writing tools do I use? Well, duh, it goes without saying, I use a laptop as my number one writing tool. But I am also a bit old school so I use a pen and notebook also. I really think it helps with creativity to write things freehand, but as a modern girl, I am learning to just type off the top of my head right on the keyboard.

I also like to use a dictionary/thesaurus–but a lot of times, I use online resources for that as well.

Because I also write articles, I research via the internet, but also books that I have in my massive library, (at least when I can find them).

One of the most important writing tools I use is encouragement from other writers, and hence, this blog hop. One of the biggest supports I have is reading and commenting on Melinda Moore’s Enchanted Spark writing blog. She also has a writing contest, but I get the most benefit just listening to her wisdom and chatting with other writers. Especially helpful is her Spark Tally Friday, where we encourage each other with how many words we wrote for the week.

Try it sometime, yourself. This has been an amazing writing week for me if I count Saturday as this week because I sold two stories. Just keeping optimism going is a writing tool. Hope others out there are keeping upbeat about their writing, too.

Thought for the Day: Whatever writing tools you use, keep the words flowing.

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer’s Blog

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It seems lately that my writing career has become more woes than wins. I haven’t had a single acceptance in the New Year. Yet, I am strangely optimistic. I am writing more than ever despite working part time. I made a writing goal of 3000 words a week and so far, I am keeping it. Also, I am happy with the fact that I have over 40 publications in various ezines, print magazines and anthologies. Like my friend, Holly Jennings, I am always hoping for a year of the novel. Of course,my novels are usually more like short books geared to children. I am also writing more flash stories, short shorts or stories of 1000 words or less because it is fun. Speaking of flash, please, submit to my contest. So far, I have two submissions, and I really want a lot more. Again, here is the link to my contest, Paint Splashes. It is for flash fiction, winner wins $10 paypal money and runner-up wins $5 paypal money. Please enter and tell other writers to do the same. The contest continues until March 25th.
https://sklase.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/paint-splashes/
So, I have a question for all you writers reading my blog. What are you looking to for inspiration lately? I’ll tell you one of mine. We have had cold, and I mean cold weather this Winter in the Northeast US. I know some of you get colder weather but we have had a lot of single digits with wind chills below zero. These cold snaps have names now. The first one was called a Polar Vortex and now this one is called an Arctic Blast. I love this. It just inspired me to write a story about eternal Winter. Try your hand at a story about something that inspires you. What? Did I just give a thought for the day? I guess I did.
Thought for the Day: Get inspired and write, or paint. Or paint and write. Or write about a painting. There’s another shameless plug of mine.

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer’s Blog

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer's Blog

Yes, it’s another shameless advertisement for my favorite little corgi dog, Lucy. I love her despite the fact that she has chewed our hardwood floor, our area rug, our flooring in the kitchen, and two arms of one chair that was bought as a set with our sofa. Both are covered. She managed to remove the covering and chew through the arms anyway. You have to have something to do when you are bored. Which leads me to my writing plug. Using time wisely while writing. Often times I can waste my precious writing time surfing through facebook, places to submit(maybe that’s not complete waste) or watching Netflix on my laptop. Of course, every writer needs down time but I need to use my time wisely and spend at least a short time every day writing something. Amen?

My writing goal is 3000 words a week, and so far I’ve done 2000. I need to bump it up today and finish for my goal, and I have to go to work in 4 hours. I didn’t receive any rejections this week and I submitted to three places, Penn Cove, Guardian Angel Kids and Daily Science Fiction.

I also want to continue to plug my contest, Paint Splashes. Please submit stories to it. It’s just flash stories under 1000 words, any genre. It’s open to March 25th and it is based on my husband’s magnificent painting. Here is the link:

https://sklase.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/paint-splashes/

Thought for the Day: Don’t waste your writing time. Make goals and stick to them. A successful writer is a disciplined writer.

Writing Wins and Woes: Letting your light shine

Writing Wins and Woes: Letting your light shine

What does it mean to let your light shine as a writer? I think it means to keep going even when the path seems darkest, and to let your message, whatever that may be, to shine through your writing. I try to keep my writing consistent with my world view, which is Christian. I have no problems with spells, magic or the supernatural. I can separate fantasy from reality, I do, however, like tales of good vs. evil and good doesn’t always win out at the end. Life isn’t always like that. I do like to weave a little of my beliefs in my stories when I can. After all, our stories are little pieces of ourselves, aren’t they?

I have been a very productive writer this week. I have unveiled my contest. It begins immediately and you can submit until March 25th of this year. Details are found here on my blog.
https://sklase.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/paint-splashes/

I made a writing resolution to write 3000 words a week, and I made my goal. Yay! I wrote 3100 words this week. I wrote a new flash story and have one of my stories I have been working on up to over 6000 words. My third accomplishment was submitting 6 stories this week. Why did I do this? Well, Knowonder!, who has been kind enough to publish three of my stories in two anthologies is now offering an opportunity for writers to submit short stories in a view to have them published in a book of their own short story collections. In order to do that, I must begin by having five short stories published on their site. When that happens, then I must write 10-15 more which will be included in a collection. Phew! Sounds challenging, but I’m up for the challenge. Writers write better when they’re motivated. If you’d like to read about this latest development at Knowonder! here is a link to it.
https://knowonder.submittable.com/submit/12041

I also submitted to Page and Spine, where my good writing friend, Melinda Moore, has been recently accepted for a story she wrote. I got a very nice, rejection(groan) letter saying it was a good story idea but needs some work to tighten it up and change at the end so the character actually grows. I know that is necessary for a great story. In fairness, I wrote the story some time ago, so Melinda has graciously offered to help me hone my skills a little on this particular story, so I can publish it somewhere…hopefully.

Thought for the Day: You guessed it; Let your light shine as a writer, in whatever ways you want to show the world your talent. And if you’re not a writer, let your light shine in every way you can.

Paint Splashes

Paint Splashes

Announcing the unveiling of my contest, now called Paint Splashes. This contest is based on my husband’s painting, which is pictured on this blog. Please involve this painting in an integral part of your story. The story must be a flash story. That means 1000 words or less. Please send your stories to paintsplashes@comcast.net. in the body of your email. No attachments, please. No indented paragraphs, single spaced. Other than that, I have no requirements. Please keep your stories PG. Because this is my husband’s painting, he and my daughter will be judging your stories. When they’ve narrowed it to two and hopefully, I get more submissions than two, I will pick the winner and runner-up. The winner will receive $10 paypal money and the runner-up will receive $5 paypal money. The contest begins immediately and will end March 25th, 2014. That is my husband’s birthday. I’m looking forward to receiving your stories. Please tell a friend and feel free to share this post. I’d like to receive lots of submissions. Please mark your subject line with Submission:Title of Story. Thanks. Winner will be announced by April 1st. Paypal money will be awarded upon notification of winning. Winning stories will be posted on my blog. All rights remain with the writer. Please keep grammar mistakes to a minimum. I do reserve the right to edit but will okay any and all changes with the writer. As this is my first contest, I hope I included all necessary information. Please comment on any missing pieces I failed to consider. Again, please share with all your writing friends.

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer’s Blog

Writing Wins and Woes: A Writer's Blog

Well, it’s another Friday and we have still more snow where I live. Snow is beautiful but it gets tiresome particularly when you want to go somewhere in it. Are you waiting for me to say that writing is like snow? It can be beautiful or tiresome. Ha Ha. No, I’m just commenting on the weather.

This was a very depressing writing week for me. I had two rejections, or woes: one from Enchanted Spark’s contest. Only one can win. But the most depressing of all was a rejection from Guardian Angel Kids. I believe I’ve had something in their magazine every month for the last 8 or 9 months. However, I looked back at my submitted article and understood the rejection. It had a lot of technical jargon that was probably not suitable for kids. Anyway, I am linking to the magazine anyway because it is a great magazine. If you have kids, encourage them to read it.
http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/

I thought I’d share a brief book review today. I recently read a huge journal from the Civil War, about the life of Sarah Morgan. Here is the link to that.
http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Morgan-Civil-Diary-Southern/dp/0671785036/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388768680&sr=8-1&keywords=sarah+morgan+diary
She is called a real “Scarlett O’hara, but her life wasn’t as exciting as all that. She still had some interesting experiences, though, including a fall from a horse that debilitated her for quite a while and the death of her father and two brothers. One brother was killed in a duel. The book is quite long, over 600 pages, a bit daunting. However, I found this book a little more interesting than Mary Chestnut’s diary.

I submitted to three places so far this week. Lightspeed, Lore and Kids’ Ark.

News on the Contest: At this point, the contest should begin next week. I will post at some point next week before Friday. Again, it will be a flash contest, under 1000 words. I will post one of my husband’s paintings, share some guidelines and provide an email to send your lovely stories to. The prize will be: $10 paypal money for the winner and $5 paypal money for the runner-up. Yes, I did say next week, people.

Thought for the Day: Make the most of snow days. Cuddle up with your laptop or if you are old school, pen and a notebook, get yourself a cup of joe or hot chocolate and write! If you don’t have snow, write anyway.