Writing Wins and Woes:Snowstorm

The east coast of the U.S. has just been through a snowstorm. It was long, brutal and relentless. It dumped about three feet of snow in much of the area where I live. Some people lost their lives battling it. It bruised me as well. There is virtually no part of my body not aching after spending three full time days shoveling, snow blowing and scraping ice from the sidewalks of the school where I work. I told one of my co-workers that one of my legs doesn’t work anymore. I hobbled home that night. After two days of rest, I finally can walk without a limp, but it still hurts.

I’ve also been through a snow storm of the soul. The light had gone out of my world in a blinding blizzard. It also was long, brutal and relentless. I didn’t know I could hurt so much. I remember listeningsnowstorm 2016 to a Patsy Kline song, “I love you so much it hurts me” and thinking to myself, I finally know what that song means. After six months of incredible, agonizing pain, I finally can walk without a limp, but it still hurts.

What’s gotten me through this time? God. That’s all I can say. God wrapped his arms around me and let me cry. I still cry. He stripped away all that was false in my life and brought some true comforting friends. When others failed me, he sent angels to hold me up. I recently told somebody that I lost my purpose for living.  Well, I don’t know if I’ve totally recovered that purpose, but bit by bit, God is giving me new purposes.

So, I continue my writing quest. I don’t know what this year may hold. It may hold a few more snowstorms, real ones or ones of the soul. I may be brought to my knees again and again. That’s not always a bad thing. I’ve found that when I’ve been broken, there is no way for me to put the pieces back together. Only God can do that. I just have to be the willing vessel.

Writing Wins and Woes: How Did I Do?

1286The time has come for making some writing goals for 2016, but wait…Let’s examine my goals last year and see how I did.

1.My Submission goal is downsized now to one a month.
I submitted 24 articles/stories to  publishing places. That is two a month, so I made this goal. Yay!

2. Writing: I’m going to endeavor to write one hour every week day. That will probably include lots of stuff; journaling, blogging, or story/novel writing. It will not include emails, though. I’m not cheating that much.

I blew this goal big time. I had many times especially mid to late year I did not write one iota. I think this may be an impossible goal with holidays, sickness, vacations and family crises. I’m going to revise this one to a weekly goal.

3. Reading: One book a month, at least, and three of them must be writing books.

I easily made this goal. I read way more than one book a month. I read two Pearl S Buck books, a writing book, a Miss Read book, a few classics, Frozen Fairy Tales, My own Fairy tale book, Twice Upon a Time, Several Elsie Dinsmore books, Vitro, 2 fictional books about the Amish and I’m currently reading a divergent book and a book about Barbara Newhall Follet. However, I did not make my goal of three writing books. I only read one.

4. Get an agent. Or try to anyway.

I did try to get an agent. One time. One agent. Did not succeed. Quit and decided not to continue the effort.

5. Be on the way to publishing a book.

This is the hardest and most painful. I am not on my way to publishing my book. I have submitted somewhere and am waiting for a reply but things at this point do not look very hopeful.

New Goals for a New Year:

  1. Three submissions a month. I’m upping this from what I did last year. It seems attainable even with working on publishing my book and finishing my novel.
  2. Finish my novel; both first draft and finished product.
  3. Read 20 books; 2 writing books. Since I only read one writing book and I need to improve, I’ll say two this time.
  4. Reevaluate publishing my book. Decide whether I want to stick with a publishing company or self-publish. Decision dead-line: end of May. Work on whichever I decide for the rest of the year more diligently.
  5. Write 4-5 hours a week. I’m changing to a weekly goal so I can do it all at once or in stages. This works better with my work schedule anyway.                                                          Well, there you have it. Whatever your goals may be, I wish you success in what you do. Each day gives you a clean slate to do it in. Enjoy.

Writing Wins and Woes: The Stats and Here’s to Starting the Year off Right

Yes, here I am again for my second blog of this year. Because this is a new year, I thought about blogging my writing resolutions for the new year but due to many things, I haven’t made any yet. Last year’s resolutions were abysmal. So, I want to do better this year. Hopefully, my next blog will be about my writing goals for the year.

So, instead of resolutions, I am posting stats for 2015. My stats were definitely lower last year. This was due to wanting to move forward on getting my children’s book published. However, I did not achieve that goal. I remember blogging in the beginning of the year about submitting less and focusing on the book  and saying something to the effect of “I hope I don’t find that I end up earning a lot less writing money and not publishing the book either” and that is pretty much exactly what happened. Why? A lot of my problem is that I am a Charlie Brown writer. I’m wishy washy. I couldn’t make up my mind where to submit my book. I did try a few places. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to get an agent. I did try one. (Boy, that’s a big effort.) I couldn’t decide if I wanted to self-publish. I bounced back and forth on that and finally decided to continue agent-less and not self-publish. So far, that’s not gotten me anywhere. I don’t know what this year will hold in that area. Now, for my stats:

Stories Submitted for the year: 24

Stories accepted: 7

Stories published: 8 (That discrepancy is due to one story that was accepted in 2014 but not published until 2015)

Stories Rejected: 13

Stories still in limbo: 4

Being the terrible mathematician that I am, I think that this means that I have a 29 percent acceptance ratio, which is pretty good for writers. Of course, some of that is because I tend to submit most to where I think I have the best chance of being accepted. It is good anyway, and I’m happy with it, even If I didn’t submit as much last year.

For other good news, I was accepted again in Guardian Angel Kids for January. Find my article on fudge here.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this year holds for me. I am keeping on. Keep on with me.422

Writing Wins and Woes: Frozen Fairy Tales

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m back. There are times I wondered if I would be. You may not know it but there are times when I don’t want to sit in front of this keyboard and do yet another blog for an invisible audience. In fact, sometimes I wonder if there is an audience at all. Even so, I write often for myself, for a cathartic experience. I blog, therefore, I am.

Today, however, I am not tooting my own horn. I’ve spent the past few months, reading among other things a wonderful fairy tale book called Frozen Fairy Tales by a host of gifted writers and edited by Kate Wolford, who has the Enchanted Conversation website. This year Kate will again be conducting writing contests, so give her website a view if you have a hankering for writing a fairy tale.

Now for my review:

Here are some of my faves from the book. The first story is called “The Stolen Heart”.  Winter has stolen Summer’s heart so his daughter the Summer Princess must retrieve it. She doesn’t relish traveling into the cold recesses of winter’s terrain. Will she lose her heart to winter?

“Faithful Henry” is a princess and frog story with a twist, but this frog wants more than just a kiss.

“Buffalo Wings” is a very creatively told story about a never ending blizzard in surprise, surprise, Buffalo, New York. This story is both comical and entertaining with its share of winter elves, enchanted doors, and an evil king.

“Cold Bites” is a tooth fairy story, but it’s not for children. Timmy helps an old lady through an avalanche. He’s tempted to steal her bag of gold, which is not what it seems. He ends up richer for being honest in the end.

“Shard of Glass” is an Snow Queen story gone bad. This story does not end well.

One more: “Simon the Cold”. Giving a coffee to a homeless man leads to surprises. Halley finds that she has the gift of seeing, which leads to adventures.

These stories are all well written and I recommend it. You can purchase it on Amazon here both in print and Kindle edition. Happy reading.1072