Sunday, September 28, 2008
in proportion to one's courage.
I live exuberantly, joyfully, and expansively: I sing out loud, though off-key, chomp into ripe peaches with gusto, juice running down my chin, and wink happiness at strangers. I charge into sensory experiences, luxuriate in velvets and cashmere, and sink into violin and cello solos. I love life.
Oddly enough, I tend to be a private creature by nature, nursing my thoughts, my joys, my pains in silence. Tending to my blog, then, becomes a balancing act, as I rush to share as much as I can ... without sharing too much. I'm sure many of you find the same tugs of shyness and brashness flirting with one another, and I've been impressed with the levels of forthright professionalism and vulnerable humanity I find in so many of your blogs.
In sharing one's writing journey, one can choose between so many shades of positive, negative, or neutral. I am choosing to share one of each, today, in an effort to be a little less private and a little more open about this journey so many of us have embarked upon.
My Query Tally:
1. I have sent four queries out within the past 3 months.
2. I have received one "no, thank you", two requests for the first 10 pages, and one non-response.
3. Out of the two requests for the first 10 pages, I have received one "no, thank you" and one request for the next 60 pages.
And so the journey continues. I have begun work on my next project, so my brain registers the news, both good and bad, but carries on with a fairly even keel. I do, however, allow myself secret smiles now and then and hope for the best. I am wishing you all the very best on your projects as well.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
A Room of Her Own Foundation awards a $50,000 Gift of Freedom each year to provide a female author or artist the ability to concentrate on her craft. The concept is based, of course, on Virginia Woolf's assertion that a woman must have a room of her own if she is to write. This year's focus is on poetry, play-writing, fiction, and creative non-fiction. To be competitive, you must demonstrate not only talent but also motivation. The grant is a two-year term, and successful applicants have a "moral" obligation to see their work through to their self-designated goal. I assure you, the application is arduous, but the prize is hefty.
Deadline: October 31st, 2008
2009 Writer's Retreat: Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico
A Room of Her Own Foundation also sponsors a Writer's Retreat for sixty-five women writers at Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch every other summer. Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove will be in attendance for a reading and a seminar. Applications will be accepted until March 5th, 2009 or until spaces are filled. Tuition is $785 plus room & board; partial scholarships are available.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Fifth-Grade Narrative Direct Writing Assessment 2007-08
Writing Assignment: Write a personal narrative for your teacher about an experience you had with an insect.
Shrieks echoed down the hallway of the girls’ dorm. Startled, I dropped my books and darted into the hall, looking for the source of noise. More cries spiraled out of an open doorway, these more distinguishable.
“Amber! Where’s Amber?” Squeals, terrified and high-pitched, followed.
Pounding footsteps thudded toward me, and I saw my sister zipping down toward the open door, her long hair flying behind me.
“I’m coming,” she yelled.
I followed more slowly, worried, curious, a bit perplexed. What I found bemused me further. My sister huddled scrunched up on the ground, butt in the air, as she peered beneath the bed, one arm extended, the other supporting her.
“I’ve almost got it,” she announced.
Girls, who crowded the doorway but refused to entered, collectively gasped, making various “yuck” sounds.
“What’s it?” I asked, noticing that I alone actually stood in the room.
“A cockroach!” someone answered just as the insect crawled to safety, spread its wings, and buzzed into restricted airspace.
My sister leaped to her feet. “Broom!” she called. “I need a broom!”
Just as I felt a weight land on my head, prickling through strands of hair, I heard my sister say. “Don’t move, Sis. Stay. Still.”
She crept toward me as if stalking skittish prey. “Easy now,” she whispered.
Blood drained from my face. But my younger sister, once the tag-along tattle-tale nuisance, reached past sibling rivalry and plucked the cockroach, sticky feet clinging, to become my newest hero.
Friday, September 19, 2008
An agent with FinePrint Literary Management, Ms. Lindsay has posted her submission guidelines, currently seeking list, and tips for earnest writers in an organized and witty fashion on The Swivet.
The good news? While she represents a vast array of genres, Ms. Lindsay loves S/F and fantasy, especially the kind that breaks through the more common tropes of the genre. So, explore her site, mull over her advice, and start submitting your work!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
- No entry fee
- 17,000 words or less
- Four quarters per year, each with prizes
- First prize: $1000
- Grand prize: $5000 for the year's winner
- No professional writers (see site's definition)
Contest year ends at midnight on Sept 30th.
Note: for you budding artists out there, check out the Illustrators of the Future contest for new & amateur artists worldwide; $1500 in prizes awarded quarterly.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Conflict simmers along quite nicely when large bodies of intent, replete with significant gravitational pulls themselves, can squint down their individual pathways and envision the coming collision.
Take this one, for example: struggling writer (actually, fill in this blank with any writer, struggling or not) glances up from precious work-in-progress to note several items of import...
- The economy is faltering.
- Book sells are down.
- The US trade book market faces a rough immediate future.
Panic flares in multi-hued edges; what if there are no buyers for my book? What if books are banned because they use precious resources? What if amazon.com pushes through legislation requiring all texts to be read via kindle?
Oh, wait. Writers don't think about things like that. What was I thinking? However, on the off chance that things like this do prickle along your subconscious while you're doing a find for all -ly words in your manuscript, I have a truly scintillating piece of advice.
Go forth and buy books. It's your civic duty. Actually, it's you single-handedly saving the publishing industry. After all, shouldn't we writers support the very companies we want to someday work for?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
But posting on a blog? You've preened and polished and crafted the best opening you know how to write. What if people laugh? or cringe? or wonder, What is she thinking, posting something that asinine? I think paranoia and shaky self-confidence stalk the writer, no matter how many times he's been published. So kudos to Ken Kiser for braving the wilderness and posting his first paragraph. I'm duly impressed. Others (Anthony Pacheco, shariwrites, dianegallant, among others) have jumped in as well, feet first and welcoming comments, thoughts, constructive criticism, and general applause. I can do no less. Here are the opening paragraphs to Ceilyn's Calling.
Ceilyn sprinted down the darkened hallway, conjuring a light spell with his right hand. The light flared, revealing the thick-set demon hurtling towards the heavy monastery door.
“Halt!” the boy commanded, his voice ringing with power. He hurled the magical sign of restraint, willing it to stop.
The squat hell-creature swung around, nostrils flaring, chest heaving. The stench of unwashed rags assaulted Ceilyn, and he flinched. The demon’s eyes, crusted over and rimmed with red, narrowed, sensing fear. He took a step back toward Ceilyn.
Ceilyn inhaled sharply. Retreating, he fumbled in his waist pouch for the tiny glass vial. With a thundering roar, the demon threw his head back, teeth glinting in the spelled light. He shook his body, thumping his chest before lowering his head to charge. He snarled, breath fouling the air.
Ceilyn closed his eyes, mouth moving in the ancient spell of reverse conjuring. He held the vial up, swirled its contents several times, then flung it toward the charging beast. But the final word wouldn’t come. Fear billowed up in his chest, blocking his mind, his throat, his words.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
This Is Just To Say...
I have devoured
that you posted on
you were undoubtedly
saving for a rainy day
they were delightful
with apologies to William Carlos Williams
If you haven't yet listed your favorite fantasy movies, please post them here.