Writing Wins and Woes: Oct/Nov Stats


I shudder to give my submission stats for October and November, but I have always been brutally honest on my blog. So here goes:

Oct/November Submission Stats:

Submissions: 10

Rejections: 7

Acceptances: 3

Still in Que: 8

I’m actually a bit down about writing lately. I’ve had a lot more rejections than normal, even for me. I also received a book rejection for my picture book. I had to send a query letter, and I received this response: Sorry your submissions was rejected. Please respond if you get this since our emails are not getting to you.
Good luck with your writing.
Editorial Staff

First of all, the grammatical error really ticked me off. Secondly, it irks me that I had to reply to a rejection. Plus, there was no reason given, as usual. So, I guess I’m discouraged. How can I have over 50 publications of short stories and still have no book published? Any words of advice, anyone? I know, I know. Get an agent. Whatever. I still have no idea how to pick an agent. Looking at lists of agents totally overwhelms me. This could be one of the most important decisions of my life, and I’m supposed to say, “eenie, meenie, minie, moe” or what?

So, I refrain from thought for the day, today. I have no thoughts. Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow. The sun will come up tomorrow, right? Until then, I’m having a pity party. If you have been rejected recently, you’re invited.

Writing Wins and Woes: One writer’s story


I just finished a book by one of my more favorite authors, Roald Dahl. It’s a book of his short stories. I particularly enjoyed “The Swan”, a story about a boy being bullied by two other boys. It has the kind of fantasy ending I love in his books. I’ve read many books by Dahl and I love every single one of them. I read them aloud to my kids and they loved them, too. In case you can’t quite place Dahl, he is the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. But what I really loved about this book is that the last story was autobiographical and told how Dahl became a writer. It’s a wonder and fantasy in itself. Dahl never thought of becoming a writer. He says when he looks back on his papers at school, they contain little notes like he was incapable of putting his thoughts on paper, and his sentences were mal-constructed. My favorite note was that he reminded them of a camel. So, he didn’t pursue writing. He went to the British Air Force and did several missions in WWII. He had a few other adventurous jobs as well. But finally, he developed headaches and ended up working in America in the British embassy, a desk job. Here’s his lucky break, the title of the story. A man comes in and wants to interview him. He says he can’t fight in the war but he can write stories for the war effort and anything he writes the Saturday Evening Post will take. He’d like to interview Dahl. The man’s name is CS Forester. Wow! So he goes to an interview/dinner with Forester and he does poorly talking his way through his story. So, he finally says, “I’ll write it down for you. Don’t expect too much” which suits Forester. He writes his story down that night, sends it off and forgets all about it. Two weeks later, he receives a letter from Forester, “I thought you were only going to give me the facts. Do you know you’re a very gifted writer? I sent it off untouched to my agent. The Saturday Evening Post took it. Here’s your check for $900 and they want more.” I think this is every writer’s dream story. This incident made me wonder why do some great writers get immediately recognized and others just plow their way through the writing world with few if any accolades at all. Despite being all out envious of Dahl’s lucky break, I still loved his writer’s story. One of the things he mentions is that a writer needs humility. He seems to have an abundance of this despite his great talent.

So, on the note of great success and needing humility, here is my Whine Box for the week:

Whine Box
I received a rejection from Bastion for a story that I originally liked but now after reading their comments, I am ready to toss in the proverbial trash can. Have you ever had that happen? Sometimes editor comments make you see your story in an entirely different light. They kept using the term “flat” and told me it needs work and more showing and less telling. Honestly, I thought there was a lot of showing in this story. Also, after they described the story to me, it sounded totally preposterous. I’m sure that’s how they wanted me to see it.
I did get some writing in this week, and I submitted to two places, Daily Science Fiction and Guardian Angel kids. I have a story almost ready to be sent to Guide magazine and one I’m thinking of sending to Aurora Wolf but I’m not sure. Try all these places yourself. Here’s the links: dailysciencefiction.com, http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/ http://guidemagazine.org/ and http://aurorawolf.com/ Remember if you like to write stories or articles for kids and want to submit to Guardian Angel kids, the issues are themed. Please check out the themes for each month. The deadline for the next window is December first and the theme is Wild, wild west.

Thought for the Day: Be inspired by another writer’s story. Also, take some lessons from their advice. If they succeeded, so can you.

Writing Wins and Woes: Timeless Tales is now live!

12 dancing princess cover

Issue #3 of 12 Dancing Princesses is now live! It contains my story “Let Them Dance” Reading the story costs you nada. However, if you want to hear the audio version of the stories, you will have to subscribe. I’m very excited to share this story. Each story is a modern retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses. Enjoy!


Writing Wins and Woes: Life as a Fairy Tale

bee story

I feel compelled to blog about fairy tales because tomorrow is the big day for the issue of Timeless Tales to be revealed that contains my story about bees. I’m very excited about sharing another fairy tale. I love fairy tales. I grew up on Disney. Of course, life isn’t really a fairy tale, is it? Especially not for writers. You wrote this fabulous story. You submitted it to a place, say Arrendale or Rapunzel’s Tower or somewhere. A tall handsome prince of an editor reads it. He loves it. He says send me more. I’ll publish anything you write, wonderful you! By the way, how about a book offer? Ha ha. I can dream, can’t I? Isn’t that what fairy tales are all about? Dreaming for wishes to come true. And after all, once and a while they do.

In honor of my fairy tale blog, I review a book I just finished. The book is called, The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle. These are fairy tales extraordinaire. I love the one about the The White Bird where three princes go in search of an apple from the Tree of Happiness. These stories have dragons, which I love, magical creatures, princes, princesses, witches and all the stuff fairy tales are made of. What I liked best about it was the wonderful drawings for each story, also illustrated by the author. Bravo. Here’s a link. You can get your copy for the low, low price of $1.99 on Amazon for Kindle. I have a print copy which I got at a book sale. Yay, book sales!

I have no whine boxes or brag boxes this week. I also had no productivity, as I was sick and had to work extra days and extra hours at my job. Bah!

Thought for the Day: Grab a good fairy tale book and read away! Also, shameless propaganda, tune into my blog tomorrow for a link to Timeless Tales and read some modern day fairy tales! Then, write one of your own!

Writing Wins and Woes: Running the Maze

zoo and park 015

Writing, submitting, getting published, it’s like running a maze isn’t it? You never know if you are going to get to the end? You don’t know if you’ll finish well or get stuck in the middle of it lost? Sometimes you don’t know if you are on the right track? Should I concentrate on short stories, novels, or even flash fiction? Should I go for an anthology, publish independently, small press or wait for a major press to pick me up? Do I need an agent? It’s a maze, for sure.

All this is introduction for the Maze Runner series, which I just finished reading by James Dashner. This is one of those YA series I probably never would have read if my daughter hadn’t encouraged me. I’m not usually up for YA fluff. But this series was tolerably good.

What I liked: I liked the concept of a group of guys placed in a box one by one and deposited in a mysterious place with a maze. They are not sure what they are supposed to do; probably just figure the way through the maze. But it’s more complicated than that. I like the made up jargon the boys come up with. Their memories have been swiped and they have no identity other than their names. So they make up their own identities. Very cool. I like the weird griever creatures. Having not seen the movie, I never could get a handle on what these things actually look like. They are made of mechanical stuff and blubber and they have weapons attached to them. The characters were fairly likeable and introducing a girl into the mix of boys was a necessary climax.

What I didn’t like: Too many people died in the series. The main characters changed a little too much for my liking. There was not enough character development for some of the group guys. I didn’t like the girl character enough. Later in the series, I didn’t like her at all but since the author switched to a different girl hero that’s probably what he wanted. I didn’t really like the ending. I won’t say why because it will give away the main gist of the story which was finding a cure for a disease everyone was getting. It was the reason for the maze after all.

Well, now on to things I hate. I do have a whine box again this week.

Whine Box
This week I was rejected by the First Line again. I’ve never been able to crack the code. I tried their last line category this time. Still nothing to celebrate. It was not a personal rejection which made it even harder. Just we’re not going to use your story. Blah! I also entered a writing contest Garden State Speculative fiction writing. I did not win anything there either. Oh well. I’m to get a written critique from them so it’s not a total lost cause.
Brag Box
I did, however, have a story accepted again in Guardian Angel Kids. Thank you, so much, to the folks there. For some reason they keep believing in me. Here is the link so you can read my story, if you want, “Space Capsule to the Moon” http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/011-014-3Dflipbook/index.html#p=4
My publication in Timeless Tales will be out next Saturday, the 15th of November. I’m so excited that I’ll be able to hear someone reading one of my stories. They designed a mini cover for each of the stories. Here’s mine. I’m so excited. bee story My story is about bees and their dancing.

I submitted to two places this week. Here are the links for them: Fireside http://www.firesidefiction.com/submissions/ but they are currently closed to submissions and Bastion(Thanks, Holly, for the info) http://www.bastionmag.com/submissions

Thought for the Day: The only way out of the maze is to keep running. If you give up, you’ll always be stuck in the middle of nowhere. Keep writing.