Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Monday!

Taking a break, but will be back next week when Susan J. Reinhardt and I will chat a little more about our current WIP. Hope you can join us!

I will also share the 300 follower giveaway info. I'm excited; I'm nearly there. Thanks for being a bunch of faithful followers! :)

Have a great week,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Writing Talk

The Questions
I have loose ends floating about, so thought I'd share some questions
and a few links to close out the week.

How much do you talk about writing? 

Do you discuss it with family, or reserve 
those conversations for writer friends?

The Links
The Write to Ignite Summer Conference, entitled A Day Apart, is July 30, 2011 
in NC. Christian YA/Children's writers invited.

Florida's Sanibel Island Writer's Conference, November 3-6, 2011, is for writers 
of all levels and genres.

Flathead River Writer's Conference, Kalispell, MT, October 1-2, 2011, 
all writers are invited.

So, how much writing talk floats about your home?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Image credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Soapbox

Got any pet peeves?

Ever get cut off in traffic?

Have a rude customer service rep?

Or experience anything else that challenges your patience or makes you want to hop up on the soapbox?  

Me too.

While I believe that these episodes are opportunities to build character, (work with me here) I also see them as fodder for writing ideas.

For example, while attending a funeral, I witnessed an interesting breach in etiquette. To be fair, it wasn't anything horrific; funerals are awkward and people are often at a loss as to how to behave. I was probably only attuned to this hiccup in decorum because the service was for a relative.

I wasn't upset, but rather, inspired. My thoughts turned to writing an article, perhaps entitled Five Things Not to Do at a Funeral. Once the wheels were turning on that idea, I had a few others, and was pleased that something that might have sparked a soapbox speech provided a creative opportunity instead. 

Soapbox topics can be tricky. They generate enough emotion to make us jump up there, but I think tact is necessary. What good is a blistering speech if it turns readers off? On the other hand, an emotional and thought provoking commentary has its place too.  Granted, not everyone will agree with your stance, but well written prose will gain attention and respect. What do you think? How would you maintain a good balance?

What makes you want to hop on the soapbox? What writing ideas do they generate?

Happy writing,

P.S. I am approaching 300 followers! I think it is nearly time for a giveaway to celebrate. Stay tuned!

Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Contest Anyone?

Anyone in the mood for a contest? Contests are a great way to pen and polish something, aren't they? They offer good practice with deadlines too. If you enter and win any of these, be sure and let us know, okay?

Poets are encouraged to enter the Second Annual Poetry Contest sponsored by the Tennessee Williams' New Orleans Literary Festival. Grand prize is $1000, entry fee is $20, and the deadline to enter is August 18, 2011.

The Narrative Magazine Story Contest is open to fiction and non-fiction writers. First prize is $3250, entry fee is $20. Hurry, the deadline is July 30, 2011.

August 31, 2011 is the deadline for the Summer Women on Writing's Flash Fiction Contest. Submit flash fiction up to 750 words. Entry fee $10, $20 with critique. Top prize is $300.

Grand prize for the Amy Foundation Writing Awards is $10,000; their goal is to recognize mainstream articles that share Biblical principles. Articles must be published in 2011; entry deadline is January 31, 2012.

Have you ever entered a writing contest? Did you win? Do tell! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy writing,

Photo: Stock xchng

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Sting of Rejection

I had an article rejected recently. It's not like this hasn't happened before; it's part of the writer's life, right? But for some reason, this rejection hit me hard. I felt like I'd been smacked upside my head, and the note from the editor, while polite and helpful, really stung.

Perhaps my reaction was based on overconfidence. I'd sold an article to this publication before. The idea had been rolling around in my head for over a year; I thought it was a perfect fit.

Or perhaps it just hit me at a bad time. Lots of other stuff was happening when the rejection came, and my mind and emotions were spread pretty thin. Looking back, I wasn't on top of my game.

It took me nearly a week to shake this one off. My confidence wavered, and I found myself shy about writing. I thought, can I write anything anymore? Do I have anything to say? I had a difficult time thinking about submitting to this or another editor again.

To make matters worse, I was in the midst of writing a chapter for the book Susan J. Reinhardt and I are writing. (If you missed the post about that, click here.)

Yeah, this rejection was a test of my character, endurance, and adult-like behavior. I would have preferred to ditch life as a big person and head for McD's drive thru for a wild berry smoothie.

Did I? No. Although hubby and I did hit the drive thru for dollar menu on the way home from church that week. Which meant small fries of course. FYI - My sisters and I have a policy - fries make everything better. Just thought you might like to know.

So I didn't wallow in smoothies, I kept moving forward, despite feeling like I was mired in a sea of oatmeal mixed with doubt. Looking back, there were a few things that helped me regain my balance.

Faith - I knew that God is in control, no matter what, and this little silly incident did not take Him by surprise. Always nice to know He's still on the throne.

Family - They were properly, but not overly sympathetic. It's good to know your loved ones are on your team.

Calling - The knowledge that I am called to do this. I must write. Something. Every day.

Successes - I reflected on previously published work. I wasn't trying to be vain, but it helped to know that my work is out there.

Reality Check - There will be times when what I write isn't suitable for a market. I know this, I know this, I know this. But it happens. This is life.

Obligations - Susan was waiting for me to finish my chapter so she could begin the next one. Blog posts must be completed. New lessons written. Life doesn't stop for pity parties, now does it?

I think it's safe to say that my tailspin week taught me a few things, reminded me of blessings, and strengthened my resolve to press on. For that, I am grateful.

What about you, ever have something hit you like this? How do you handle a rejection? What helps you work through it?

Writing always,

Image credit: Stock Exchange

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bill of Rights?

Ah, the writer's life, it's all glitz and glamor, right? Okay, maybe not really. Writers encounter challenges like any other occupation. It's one thing to deal with things at our desk, with printer or software issues,  deadline procrastination, or writer's block. But what do we do when the problems involve others, like editors and agents, a colleague or client?

I wonder if certain issues arise because some see writers as a disposable occupation. You know - if you fire one, there are plenty more around. Other occupational hazards for writers are differing expectations, payment problems, or misunderstandings. What's a writer to do?

While pondering this, I came across Linda Formichelli's post, entitled The Writer's Bill of Rights. Talk about timely and interesting info! Linda encourages us what to expect as professional writers. I found it uplifting and empowering. Perhaps you will too. :)

What occupational challenges have you encountered? What methods and solutions did you use to solve them?

Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

 Hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends.
Happy Fourth of July!


P.S. This picture would make a good writing prompt, wouldn't it? 

Photo credit: