Friday, August 31, 2018

Good news, good vibes

It's been a long, tough year for me, hence the blog hiatus. It started with influenza A in January. Influenza B in February, and then a stomach flu in March. Then a bad car wreck in April that I have not since recovered from emotionally. My hubby had surgery in June. And I had my first root canal ever in August. What should've been a 45-minute procedure turned into a 2.5-hour harrowing ordeal. I'll spare you the gory details. In the midst of these aforementioned adversities, there has been more cons than pros at times, and despite some intense efforts to stay positive I still ended many days asking "Why me?" Needless to say, I've fallen short on my reading and writing goals of late. I'm always struggling to stay afloat.

When I least expected it, something wonderful happened today that gave me the boost I needed to pick up my pieces and carry on.

So, I won a contest on SMITH Magazine's Six Word Memoirs (SWM). You can view the announcement here - Contest: Why I Love Where I Live. I posted a photo of me as a child standing yards away from the Space Shuttle Challenger. The contest called for a photo and backstory for the theme. I wrote about Houston, the Space City, and why I love it so much and feel proud to call it home.

Here is the link to my winning backstory and six-word memoir "There's always space in my hometown." The irony is that through all these tough months, I had a long lapse in posting on the site and hadn't entered any contests for months. I missed being a part of the SWM community and decided to log in and see what they had going on. I posted this last week as my only entry, and it won the backstory portion of the contest. I hope SMITH Magazine knows that it is also a place I consider home. It has been a great source of inspiration and support to me as a writer.

I'm sharing this as an example of why writers should never give up. Even after a lengthy drought, opportunities and milestones still lie in wait. Only our greatest efforts can take us there.

I'm so grateful for this 3-day weekend. I know what I'll be doing, for the most part.

Happy writing.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Day two of the new year. As with each new year, I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm about pretty much everything. I don't bother setting resolutions, but rather keep the idea of them in the back of my mind. I want to write more, read more, stay more positive, shun negativity, submit more stories, enter more writing contests, meet more people, learn new things, get better at writing, make more paper flower designs, be a better human overall.

New endeavors this year, well. I started keeping a handwritten journal like I did when I was much younger. It's fun, nostalgic, and will help me remember things. I've updated my blog with this post. I've eaten healthy so far this whole year (ha!). And today, I go back to work after a 2-week holiday break, better after having the flu.

Reading wise, I am on book 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series that became the show True Blood. So far so good. I met Charlaine Harris at a Story Con event in NOLA in 2016, so it's nice to read her work finally. Talented lady and such an inspiration.

Not a bad start to 2018. Let's see what else it brings.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good news, good vibes

As a self-proclaimed wordie, I write and write and write. I read obsessively because it helps me stay current and knowledgeable. As writers, we do this without complaining or whining (well, maybe a little). Rejection letters mean progress, but an acceptance letter means ... well, everything.

I received a mood-altering email informing me that one of my six-word memoirs will once again be included in one of their upcoming books. I've been smiling ever since!  

Six Words Fresh Off the Boat marries the phenomenon of Larry Smith's successful Six-Word Memoirs with ABC and 20th Century Fox Television's hit comedy Fresh Off the Boat. The book captures hundreds of takes on the immigration experience, from every-day people as well as world-famous celebrities including Aziz Ansari, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Julianne Moore, Mario Batali, George Takei, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Billy Collins, Junot D az, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This book will have you thinking in sixes and challenging others to share six words about their lives.

If you're familiar with Orange is the New Black, then you know the character Larry. Well the real-life Larry is the one who started and oversees Six Word Memoirs. I submit dozens of memoirs to the Six Word Memoirs project each week (2,831 total so far, having joined in Oct. 2014). I won't know which one was chosen until I actually get my copy of the book, which comes out September 5, 2017. Even though it's just six little words, it has a big meaning because 1. I'll be officially published again in the non-fiction world, and 2. I'll be in a work that includes some very cool people, as you can see in the caption above. (Click the image to go to the Amazon page.)

What a nice boost of confidence. Just enough to keep me going. 

And going. 

And going.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Submission isn't a bad word

In the writing world, submission is the proof of productivity.

Often, my free time revolves around writing and creating paper flower designs. If my writing endeavors end in me submitting my story to one or many publications, I know I'm doing well. Still haven't scored my first fiction byline, but I'll die trying. I recently finished writing a ghost story that had attracted the attention of some editors who then requested character development and a more powerful ending. After completing that, I ended up with a story that is triple the size it was when I originally sent it. Hopefully, that isn't a new deal breaker. It's been resubmitted and was my last one for May.

Today, I submitted my first work of June, an essay to Chicken Soup for the Soul, under their book title "Stories of Redeption." I've been published there twice thus far. A third essay, focused on the subject of moms, had made it to the final round but didn't make the ultimate cut. Non-fiction is where I've had most success. No surprise since I was a journalist for 10 years. It's hard not to keep swimming in the sea of non-fiction possibilities, a world that still brings me joy. Fiction, though, is still my prime focus since it's new territory.

If you want to explore submitting to Chicken Soup, here is the link;
http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Because you never know.

Monday, May 22, 2017

When life keeps you too busy

Currently, I'm trying desperately to finish a short story that an online publication had shown interest in back in Feb. For several months, my life has felt like a never-ending hurdle relay race. I write when I can until I'm summoned to the next non-writing endeavor that yanks me away from my keyboard kicking and screaming.

Thanks to tax season, I was able to replace my broken laptop that was barely working with a gorgeous Dell Inspiron. The itch to use it is unbearable. Come on, Universe! Let me write, and I promise to use you as a protagonist.

No worries, though. I'm happy that I have my short ghost story almost done as well as two almost-finished novel manuscripts. So it's not like productivity is dwindling. I'm giving myself a pass for zero productivity this past weekend because I was in Austin celebrating my son's graduation from UT. Thrilling, to say that least. FYI, there is one more theatre arts teacher in the world.
*Mental cartwheel*

This graphic made me laugh. I always do this! I have exactly one hour before I have to go pick up the hubby and kiddo, so that's it for now!  Write on.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Series domination

Hello, and welcome to my first post in 2017. Pathetic, in a sense, but I can say that since my last post, I've had some noteworthy haps.

The Game of Thrones book series has dominated my reading time since the series finale last year. I decided to dive into it to quell the pain of the void left behind by the end of a season that also signified a long wait until the next dose. I'm halfway done with book 5, Game of Thrones: A Dance With Dragons, which is the last book available currently. I realize now by delving into the book series, I've doubled my pain. You see, since the story line in the TV series is different from the books and each has a different release date, I have to anticipate both with bated breath. I have read nothing else but GoT (well, except for The Count of Monte Cristo) since starting the series. It's an addiction, I tell you. Once I finish reading, I'll hop over to my book blog and give you a scintillating book review, promise. Until then, I'll have to leave off here with this graphic to express my feelings ...

Great News

My next spot of shareable news is that I got a bite on one of my fiction short stories! FINALLY. Any dedicated writer will understand how thrilling it is to get a positive response from an editor after a zillion rejections across the globe. Basically, this publication's editorial team loved most of my story, called my writing "amazing," and requested some tweaks on the ending (which confused them a bit). I was told to complete the edits and resubmit. Even if they don't end up accepting it for publication, I call this a huge win and the confidence boost I needed so badly. I'll fill you in on the details if there is Earth-moving news to report post re-submission.

Whew! Back to it.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

NOLA Storycon

Guess what I'm doing this weekend!

I'm meeting and greeting some very talented authors at NOLA Storycon.  (http://nolastorycon.com/) NOLA is the acronym for New Orleans, Louisiana, in case you're not familiar with it.

A friend who is an avid romance reader was going and asked me to tag along. I don't normally read romance, but I do indulge in the occasional paranormal romance. So here I am, and so far I've met and gotten signed books from: Sophie Jordan, Lara Adrian, Jenna Black, Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost, Chloe Neill, and the great Charlaine Harris who writes the Sookie Stackhouse series that became HBO's show True Blood. How cool is that. Finding lots and lots of inspiration here. Tomorrow's the last day. Although I can't wait to get home to my husband and son in Houston, I have really enjoyed being a total fan girl on this bookish nerdy adventure.

Me and author Charlaine Harris at NOLA Storycon.
I'm not one for crowds and chaos, but I put my anxiety aside this weekend to create these wonderful memories and get all the cool swag items they gave out. Who knows. Maybe some day, I'll be on the other side of that table, signing my books, greeting readers, and giving out swag.

Swag!


Yep, I'm a dreamer, but luckily I'm also a go-getter. So I'm off to scribe some fictional thoughts while I have down time.