Writing Wins and Woes: When the win comes…

black catOkay, It’s not Friday but I’m so excited to share my news that I am breaking with tradition. I had a story published at Aurora Wolf. My story is called Black Roses and it features one of my husband’s fantastic paintings. In fact, I used the painting as an inspiration when writing the story. Here is a link to the story:

http://aurorawolf.com/2015/10/black-roses/

The story has a black cat in it, hence the reason for including a picture of one of my daughter’s sweet new kittens. So: say hello to Sirius! Sirius is named after a character in the Harry Potter books. The cat in my story is Jasper. My daughter’s cat was adopted from a local humane league where she lives. Kudos for his adoption because black animals have a harder time being adopted than other colors for some reason.

When the win comes, I tend to be happy. I am suddenly filled with inspiration and just itching to write and publish again. This is how it works. We tend to get motivated by successes. What about when there are no wins? Well, we slack off. Before this win, aside from Guardian Angels Kids, I hadn’t had a publication since last year. That’s a long time to wait for validation. Now, besides this story, I have one coming up in Timeless Tales. Yay!

When the win comes…I need to use the wind generated to sail, but I also need to keep sailing even when there is no wind. I can’t let circumstances or events of my life to stop me from achieving my goal.

When the win comes…It’s time to celebrate, but it is also a reminder that publication can’t be obtained without writing, whether the win comes or not.

Writing Wins and Woes: What do dogs and successful writers have in common?

1188932Lucy pics 012I thought it might be time for another humorous post especially as my past posts have been somewhat disheartening in their tone. So, without further ado let’s consider the question, what do dogs and successful writers have in common?

  1. They stay focused on their task. If you ever see a dog siting patiently waiting for that last bit of food you have, or training his eye on a tennis ball, or even sheep herding, you know that dogs stick to the job they know they have to do. A writer who stays focused on the novel he’s writing, or the story that flashed into her mind or the tireless research to make a story authentic, you will find the writer who is successful.
  2. They are loyal. Everyone knows dogs are loyal creatures. They love their masters. They forgive and forget. Writers need to be loyal, too. They need to be loyal to writing groups, writing friends, people who buy their books and anybody who might give a crap about their writing. Without faithful supporters, you can’t have a successful writer, so we have to support them in return.
  3. They struggle against impossible odds. Incredible Journey. Lassie Come Home. Benji, Greyfriar’s Bobby. Some of these stories are even true, but even if they are a bit concocted, dogs will do anything to be reunited with their masters. Selling a book is definitely an impossible feat. Even when you do sell a book, do you know the average book sells less than 500 copies? Yet, we stick to the task against these odds. Why? Because we’re writers.
  4. They love what they do. Ever see a dog hang his head out a car window? Run wild in a field after absolutely nothing? Eat a bowl of disgusting dog food? Dogs love what they do. A writers who loves what he creates is a successful writer.
  5. They keep the faith. Dogs don’t lose faith in us. They wait even if we’re gone all day or days even. They don’t lose hope. They stick by gravesides, bedsides, couch sides and table sides. Okay, maybe that’s for food, but we can’t argue that dogs have an incredible amount of tenacity. They don’t give up. If we want to be successful writers, we have to keep believing in our work, ourselves and our futures. So, do you want to be a successful writer? Take a few lessons from dogs. Chase your dreams and run them down.

Writing Wins and Woes: I have some good news and some bad news

800Did you ever go to the doctor or talk to a friend or speak to a family member and they say, “I have some good news and some bad news?” Which do you want to hear first? I’m the give me the bad news first kind of person. I need to see what I am up against.  I can’t smile, be happy and rejoice while this something awful is lurking in the background ready to snatch away my joy. Unfortunately, many times after I’ve heard the bad news I can’t even focus on the good news. The bad news has taken over my psyche, shrouding whatever good may be happening.

So, this is a good news, bad news kind of week. I’ve had one of the worst weeks of my life. I delivered my daughter 1000 miles away for good. The first time I did this in June, it was a “I’m not sure” kind of thing where I had hopes she would change her mind and come back to me. Now, it’s for sure. It was the first time I ever wondered in my life, “Can a person really die of a broken heart?” It seemed to me that I could. I took solace in music that spoke of mother love. Barbara Streisand helped me. One of her songs said “If I could, I would shield you from all the pain.I would protect you. I would guard your innocence. But that part of me I gave you isn’t mine. I watched you grow so I could let you go.” I tried to keep reminding myself that this is what we raise our kids for, to let them make independent decisions. The main thing is that she is happy.  I need to be happy for her. Easier said than done. I had three weeks with her to share memories, visit nostalgic sites and bask in her company. I’m so thankful for those three weeks, and all the years before them. They are precious to me. I wouldn’t trade them for a bag of gold.

Now the good news. I had an acceptance this week. It’s surprising with the lack of enthusiasm I have shown to my writing career these last months. My acceptance was from Timeless Tales, a fairy tale ezine. I’ve had a story published there before with the theme of Seven Dancing Princesses. This one was for Baba Yaga. She said it was my best I had submitted there and my darkest. Because I am in a dark place, I find myself writing dark things. It oozes out from my wounds. The pain speaks through me and I heal. Hopefully. Although, I am happy for my acceptance, I find it hard to find the kind of joy I usually feel in my success. I’d trade all my published stories, and books to come for a day with my daughter.  I don’t know if that feeling will ever change or if it even should. But I know I need to move forward. These were my daughter’s words. So I will even if moving forward means crawling for a bit.

Writing Wins and Woes: Writing about dragons

1163I love to write about dragons. Before I continue, no, this picture is not a dragon. But it is a pic of my former dog, who was very dragon-like, fiercely protective, quick to bite, swift and athletic. His name was Dunkin and he was heart of my heart until he died from cancer about three years ago.

I have been fortunate to have published a few dragon stories. Among them, Cell Tower. Here is a link to my story at Enchanted Conversation.  http://www.fairytalemagazine.com/2014/05/the-cell-tower-by-shari-l-klase.html

And here is a link to my story Dragon’s Play in Knowonder  http://www.knowonder.com/dragons-play/

All this is to introduce a fairly well-known author of a book and movie called Eragon. In fact, this young man was able to write a whole series about dragons. Eragon, Eldest, Brisinger and Inheritance. I’m talking about Christopher Paolini. I have always been particularly intrigued by Christopher as he was quite young when he wrote Eragon, only 19, and he was home schooled. Having homeschooled all three of my children, at least for part of their lives, and one for the entire school career, I think Christopher’s accomplishments are nothing short of amazing. And he had a lot of help from his parents.

Christopher was born November 17, 1983 in Southern California, but he currently lives in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he wrote his first book. As I said, he was home schooled and able to graduate at 15 years of age. Immediately after graduation, he started writing Eragon, which was self published in 2002 by his parents’ publishing company, Paolini International LLC. Christopher put a lot of work into promoting his book, touring 135 schools and libraries. He drew the cover of the book and the maps inside the book.

However, his great success, owing largely to his hard work, is a matter of luck as well. For it seems that Carl Hiaasen’s step son got his hands on Christopher’s book, read it and loved it. So Hiaasen showed it to his publisher Alfred A Knopf and they republished the book, which sold more than 35 million copies. In December 2006 Fox released the movie, Eragon.

So what is Chrisopher Paolini doing today? He is currently working on a science fiction book. At least that’s what his website says. It took him awhile to change his writing style for this current project as he was used to writing archaic words and complicated sentence structure for his former series. He also occupied his time by writing a few short stories. We look forward to seeing Christopher’s new book whenever it appears.

Do you have a dragon story in your head just dying to come out? Just maybe you can wow the world with it as Christopher Paolini did. You’ll never know if you don’t try.