Tag Archives: Timeless Tales

Writing Wins and Woes: Recluse series; Cormac McCarthy

I really haven’t decided whether my recluse bloggee of the month is a true recluse. I’d say he’s more of a sometimes recluse, sometimes eccentric person. Yet, he is such an interesting individual, I thought I’d go ahead, add him to the list and talk about him anyway.

Cormac McCarthy was born on July 20, 1933. He is listed as an American novelist, playwright and screenwriter. He wrote ten novels and is currently writing his eleventh, The Passenger, which is about science and madness. He has been writing this novel for quite a while but reportedly it may be forthcoming this year.

Although McCarthy has been writing for about 50 years it wasn’t until his novel, All the Pretty Horses, was published in 1992 that he achieved wide spread fame. Following that he outdid himself, which believe me as a writer is hard to do, by writing a Pulitzer prize winning book, titled The Road.

This is strange because I am writing about him, but I’ve never read a McCarthy book. I have, however, seen the movie, All the Pretty Horses, which turned out to be disappointing. I’m told the movie was cut from a three hour to a two hour. Thus, explaining it’s failure to impress most everybody who has seen it.

He published his first novel in 1965 with Random House, The Orchard Keeper. He says that he sent it to Random House because it was the only publishing house he knew of. I wish I had a story like that to tell as a writer. It always irks me when a writer is so good that he just wings his work to the first publishing house he knows of and is immediately accepted.

Known for his infrequent use of punctuation, whatever that may mean, McCarthy says he never uses semicolons or quotation marks for dialogue. He guards his privacy, although I find it interesting that after 40 years of hardly ever giving an interview, he appeared on Oprah’s show because she picked his book for her book club. He told her he didn’t have any writer friends and he preferred scientists.

For a time, McCarthy lived with his then current wife in a shack with no running water and no heat in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. They had a child together; then she left him because he insisted she get a job so he could write novels. In the 60’s he moved to El Paso, Texas and lived there for 20 years. He now lives in New Mexico. He once said he didn’t believe in being chatty about his books because it got in the way of his writing.

Writer’s Journal: I’m including a new edition to my blog called Writer’s Journal. Each week, I’ll say a paragraph or two about where I am in my writing. I may also chat about a book I’m reading or something I’ve viewed in movies or tv that I especially liked. I wrote a story this week for Timeless Tales. It is for the Psyche and Cupid issue. If you’d like to write a fairy tale, you have until Feb. 25th to submit there. Also, I failed to relate that I wrote an article for Guardian Angel Kids in the February issue about pigs. If you want to discover some things you might never have known about pigs, be sure to read it. I am currently watching a great series on Amazon Prime, if you have that, called Paradise Lost. There are three parts to it. If you liked the NetFlix series  Making a Murderer, as I did, you will love Paradise Lost about the slaying of three second grade boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the witch hunt involved in the arrests of the three teenagers originally indicted for their murders. Both series are documentaries.

Well, I’ve blabbed quite enough. This is a long blog for me. Join me next week for another writing recluse. This series will most likely extend into March.1268



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: Yearly Stats

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I thought the beginning of the year would be a perfect time to post my yearly stats for 2014.

Shari’s Stats:

Submissions: 76

Acceptances: 19

Rejections: 57

I hope these figures help you see that a writer’s life is challenging. Sometimes my writing life seems like the Whack a mole game. Every time I send in my work, it gets clobbered. Often times I feel like the editor is just waiting to get my piece so he can hammer it. He is poised and ready. Here it comes. Whack! But really, it’s not true. There are acceptances. Yes, they are few and far between, but they motivate me to keep going.

Here is the good news for this year: I had a publication in Daily Science Fiction. This is something I worked hard to accomplish. It was a goal that I realized!

Guardian Angel Kids included me in their online magazine 6 times this year! That means a 50% acceptance rate in their publication. By the way, here is a link to January’s fairy tale story. http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/01-015-3Dflip/index.html#p=8

I had a publication in Timeless Tales! Another first in a publication I repeatedly tried for.

I won the Penn Cove literary Award for the second time!

I had 5 acceptances for print publications! Three for Guide, One for Kid’s Ark and One for an anthology yet to be released, Twice Upon a Time.

And Last but not least, I have made some fabulous, faithful writing friends: Melinda Moore, Holly Jennings, Jane Yates, Lorelle Page, Kate Wolford, Tahlia Kirk and a few others. Thank you friends for inspiring me and thank you readers for continuing to tune into this humble blog.

Thought for the Day: Writing is not just a destination. Don’t make the end goal the all important feature. Take heart in the road marks along the way.

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

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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.

Writing Wins and Woes: Brag Box Edition

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I love fairy tales. I love reading them, and I love writing them. I’ve written a few that have been published on the Enchanted Conversation website. Some of my children’s stories I consider more like fairy tales. So, I have been trying unsuccessfully in the past to have my work accepted in one of my favorite fairy tale magazines. However, this forthcoming issue, 12 Dancing Princesses, I’ve finally had a break through.
Without further ado I present to you, Writer’s brag box as promised.

Writer’s Brag Box

I had a piece accepted this week at Timeless Tales. This work was hard fought. My original submission came with a non acceptance, non rejection caveat with a rewrite suggestion. When writers get one of these they can do one of two things 1. Get angry and delete because the publisher dared to question the greatness of your submission as you intended the work to be. or 2. The writer can swallow a little pride, take the suggestion and rewrite a better story. I’ve done the latter and so my rewrite was accepted. What is so great about this particular magazine is that it is digital and audio, so I will have an opportunity to either record my story or have someone else do it. Further details will be forthcoming in the weeks to come. Celebrate with me!

This is one of the weeks where it is good to be a writer. Not only did I successfully see a dream through to fruition, but I wrote another full story to submit to another magazine. This one is also a favorite of mine. I have also tried submitting to them before unsuccessfully, The First Line. While I don’t know what the outcome will be, I keep my hopes high. As you should, too, fellow writer. Write on.

Writing Wins and Woes: During Winning Times

Writing Wins and Woes: During Winning Times

Again, I am cheerleading for my husband. This painting is actually a mural on our living room wall, which is still a work in progress for him. This wintry scene is a story in itself. Viewers of it can lose themselves in the narrative of colonial-type settlers, carolers strolling in robes, horse and wagons, and one or two sci-fi elements thrown in because that’s what he likes to do with his paintings. Enjoy.

I’m pleased to announce that I had two more publications since I wrote last. I am still reeling in my blessings this week. One was for the Photo Flash contest and the other was for the Penn Cove literary Arts Award. Here are the links for both.


These are both flash stories, very short, so please read, enjoy and comment. Writers love feedback.

Also, I want to include the link for my author interview on Strange Musings, concerning my story in the anthology, Alternate Hilarities. I loved answering the questions about how I came to write the story and other pieces of writing trivia.

All this is very exciting. So here is some words of advice for the those few and far between winning times.
1. Enjoy the win. That’s first. Sometimes we worry about what’s coming next when we’re on a winning roll. Will there be ten more rejections that follow? Probably. But enjoy the win while you have it.
2.Keep writing. It’s also easy to rest and bask in your win and not move forward. Don’t do that. Staying stagnant is moving backwards. Keep on writing and submitting.
3. Take advantage of opportunities to toot your horn. Publicity is great for gaining readership and moving toward bigger publications. Don’t be afraid to do that or too humble to do that. It is stepping in time toward your goal of achieving in your writing profession. This is your job if you are a writer. Don’t let people tell you you’re being proud, or don’t tell yourself that. If you want to be a successful writer, you have to advertise.
4. Be prepared for rejections. I have to say it. I know when I succeed, failure is just a step behind me, sometimes half a step. Don’t get discouraged. It’s also part of the process. They’re not failures; they’re lessons to help you write better next time. Any publisher will tell you you’re story is probably not a total flop, at least most will, it’s just competing with many others. This time your story didn’t make it. Next time it may. In my early writing days, a few rejections kept me from submitting. I didn’t want to open myself up to such criticisms of what was more than my writing; more like a part of me. Every writer feels that way. You’ll wound and you’ll have scar tissue but you’ll heal and you’ll be stronger.
5. Don’t quit. That’s a funny thing to say when you’ve just succeeded in winning, but some people say, Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve accomplished my goal. I resign. Don’t resign. Keep going. Some of the best writers did that. Need I say, To Kill a Mockingbird. The best is yet to come.

I need to say to those who aren’t in winning times right now, I did have two rejections this week as well–Timeless Tales and Knowonder! and Guess what? They both hurt. Rejections sting, but I’m moving on. You move on, too.