Writing Wins and Woes: Shh, I’m currently working.

IMG_1418Yes, I am writing again, just not in a big way. But I’m writing. Pats on the back! Yay! I started a new story for an upcoming submissions window. It’s a fairy tales website.  Here’s the link to it if you fancy writing a unique kind of fairy tale.

http://www.timelesstalesmagazine.com/#!submissions/c1vmu

So, I’ve only written about 300 words toward my story. That’s okay. I got an idea. I haven’t had one in quite a while and I’m pursuing it. I also realize that sometimes we have to take baby steps.  Babies don’t immediately stand and do cartwheels. They heave up, steady themselves against things, then stand a bit on their own, they wobble and they fall. I’ve been doing a lot of falling lately. That’s okay. Falling is a part of walking.

I recently read a pictorial biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was  65 when she published the first of her Little House books. 65?!!!!! What! Yeah, that’s right. Now, I’m hoping I get to have my first book published before 65 but this goes to show that it’s never too late to be an author. You’re never too old. Are you retired? Write. Social security? Write. Are you working hard at a menial job? Write.  Even if it’s 300 words, write. That’s what I’m going to do.

Writing Wins and Woes: Moving Forward

0514151115-01How does a writer move forward? Not on an elephant. Well, I guess it could be on an elephant if the writer is in India, but…that’s not my point. The point is when a writer is not moving forwards, she is moving backwards. I feel like I have been moving backwards lately. I’ve not been writing much at all. No words this week, except these. Yes, I have excuses, but excuses don’t get stories written. They don’t get a book published. I looked over my submissions for this year. They are pathetic. 14 submissions in half a year, as opposed to 86 submissions in 2014. I said I was going to concentrate this year on getting a book published. Have I? Not so much. I submitted my picture book to three places and to one agency.  My middle grade fiction book I submitted to 6 places. That is not much of an effort, I have to say.  So this week, I submitted my picture book to another publisher. I’m not ready quite yet to continue with the agent thing when I still haven’t run through all my options for selling it to a publisher on my own efforts. I believe in my book much, much more than any agent ever will. Also, I’m going to begin writing stories again. I need to. Some of you have been so nice to me, telling me not to force it and that I’m brave for continuing on, even if it’s slow but really, at some point, every writer needs to stop making excuses and start writing. I may not have tomorrow. I only have now. Now is the time to write.

Writing Wins and Woes: One step Forward Three steps Back

My Dinosaur Story I once read a book about the Christian life by Chuck Swindoll called Three Steps Forwards, Two Steps Back but anyone who is a writer knows that the writing life is One step Forward Three steps Back.  That summarizes the case perfectly for this month with me. I had a story published in Guardian Angel Kids, although it was changed a bit and retitled, still it was a publication. Hence the link if you want to read it.

But I also had three steps back. I had three rejections. One was from The Kids’ Ark that told me “Wow, what a great story. Too bad there wasn’t room in our magazine for it”.  That’s not too bad, right?  Another was from Freeze Frame Fiction. They gave me some useful advice, too, like:

“I absolutely loved the idea, but the story felt undercooked and rushed.”

“An interesting idea, but there just wasn’t enough at stake here to make me care.”

“It’s an ok idea, but I think it could be investigated further. For me, the part presented here is not the most interesting part of the story or the idea. The beginning was also a little confusing.”

“Interesting idea, but this felt skeletal. I needed more motivation, more interest.”

Apparently, I’m a great idea man, but I can’t carry through with a great story.

Another was from a science fiction anthology with 720 entries. No surprise I wasn’t picked there.

Despite all this, I’m strangely unaffected. If you read my last blog, you might have a clue as to why. My priorities have been reset. Writing and publishing isn’t the be all and the end all for me. I’ve had a shift in perspective. In fact I’d trade all my publications to turn back the hands of time to regain the blessing I had in my life.

Okay, I’ll be a little less mysterious. My youngest child moved 1000 miles away from me a little more than two weeks ago, and my heart is breaking for her. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t miss her, but I had to let her go. It was the hardest decision my husband and I ever made; to release her so she could pursue her dream.  I placed her in God’s hands. I know He can take care of her far better than I can.

No, I won’t give up writing. Slowly, I’ll begin the trek back. I actually wrote an article last week and I’m still writing through the pain. You may argue that One Step Forward, Three steps back is not progress. I guess that depends on where you’re going.

Autumn in Iowa on fence