Three Poems Up at New Reader Magazine!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What a great way to start my Friday—the fifth issue of New Reader Magazine just came out with three of my poems:

  • “Sink” is about the Sisyphean nature of dishwashing.
  • “Mouth of Toes” is about a surreal dream where I had toes instead of teeth (it’s very Shel Silverstein-ish).
  • “So You Wrote a Poem” is a bit like my official declaration of why I write poetry.

As usual, the issue is gorgeous, with a beautiful layout and sumptuous images. And of course, the writing is excellent.

So this weekend, kick back in your easy chair and check out the latest issue of New Reader Magazine—my poems are on p. 130–131.

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“Rain” Poem Published in Canary, a Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis

A man reflected in a puddle on a rainy day. Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

Hello dear friends, and a very happy holiday season and new year to you all. I’d love to share some exciting news with you: My poem “Rain” was published by Canary Literary Magazine in their winter issue!

This piece was accepted about a year ago, and it was so hard to wait but well worth it. The issue is lovely, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Alongside My Hero Poet Molly Fisk

Also, my poem appears next to my teacher and beloved poet Molly Fisk, which is truly an honor. I took Fisk’s Poetry Bootcamp many years ago, and it is one of the things that inspired me to write poetry regularly. So it is indeed a great honor to be published alongside one of my heroes.

Here’s me fangirling on Twitter:

The History of Mining and Environmental Impacts

My poem “Rain” is about the incessant rain Northern California endured a few years ago that created terrible, massive sinkholes, as well as a few mudslides. The sinkholes, in particular, had me thinking about the history of gold mining in my region, and how my town is built on a latticework of tunnels filled with toxins and bound to eventually collapse.

Read the poem at Canary Literary Magazine, and be sure to check out the whole winter issue. It’s fabulous!

NaNoWriMo 2018: 25K Words, a Finished Manuscript + Short Story

A notebook that says NaNoWriMo 2018. I tend to write out my novels by hand, so this picture seemed appropriate. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

This year marks my seventh NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and my fifth as a Municipal Laison (which means I organize my local chapter and help out in the California :: Elsewhere Region).

This month was a busy one, and while I didn’t make it to that fabled 50k finish line, dang it, I feel like a winner anyway! Here’s why.

Finished a Manuscript and Short Story for Young Adult High Fantasy

The Demon Maker (working title) is a high fantasy YA book about two sisters who get lost in an enchanted forest and have to overcome a powerful demon. I wrote this novel by hand in 2016 and began to type it up during Camp NaNoWriMo last July (read more about that crazy adventure here!).

 

This November, I set out to finish typing the manuscript. It started off hairy: I was only at 15K words by November 25. But I did manage to squirrel away some extra writing time over Thanksgiving:

 

 

I decided that a 25K word goal was much more doable than 50K and went for that. It helps that I lead local write-ins because that pretty much forces me to sit my butt down and write. So not only did I hit my 25K word goal, I managed to type up my entire novel, which weighed in at 65K words in total:

 

 

And on top of the novel, I also wrote a short story prequel to the book that has been in my head since the summer.  It’s with one of my favorite side characters, a seriously grumpy witch who has to rescue the sisters when they are babies. Of course, I wrote that story out by hand, so now I need to type it up!

 

A sculpture of letters against a blue sky. I was so taken by this image of words spiraling up to the sky, I made it my Twitter header:)

Other Writer News

Poetry and Art to Be Published in 2019

In addition to working on my novel, I’ve been sending out a ton of poetry and some visual art to literary magazines. Here are some upcoming publications to keep an eye out for:

  • Two poems in Canary, a Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis, coming soon!
  • Two pieces of art to be published in the Tishman Review, April 2019
  • A poem in Subterranean Blue, July 2019

I’ll also be working on a poetry chapbook in 2019, so stay tuned for more news!

Revamping My Business: Writing and Editing

My other exciting news is that I am currently rebranding my business! In 2019, I plan to roll out my content development and PR business for all of your writing, editing, and promotional needs.

Right now, I’m crafting a new website and working with a fantastic business coach. It’s been a remarkable process, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon!

A hand holding a crystal globe, which I think symbolizes creative potential for the new year!

So tell me, all you wonderful writers out there—how did your NaNoWriMo go? Did you meet your goals? Let us know in the comment section below!

Camp NaNoWriMo Winner: 50K Words, One Novel Finished and a Second Novel Started!

OH MY GOSH! You guys!!!! I can’t believe it, but here’s the proof that I won Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this July:

NaNoWriMo Winner Badge

Breakdown of How I Won NaNoWriMo

My Camp NaNoWriMo stats

Week One: Writing Like a Boss

The first week, I stayed on my word count no problem. Every day, I dutifully wrote.

Weeks Two and Three: Disaster!

And then some crazy stuff in my personal life blew up, and I had to stop writing for close to 10 days!

Weeks Three and Four: Underdog for the Win

As you can see from my stats, I tried and tried to get back on track, but I was dealing with a 15 K gap.

The Final Day: Hitting 50K at the Stroke of Midnight!

On July 31, I had a REALLY hard day. I cried a lot (because of that stupid personal issue I mentioned before that blew up my second and third week). By six o’clock that night, I was in a BAD mood, with my frenemy Depression knocking on my door. I did NOT want to let her in; I wanted to tell Depression that I was busy, but she knew I was really laying on the couch surfing Facebook. I knew I had to do something.

Then, an idea struck me: You know what always cheers me up? Writing!

So what if I only had six hours between now and midnight to type 15K words? By God, I was going to do it because it was going to make me happy.

At about ten o’clock, my husband kicked me out of the bedroom, so I took my laptop into the living room and started typing like a crazy person. By 11:30 at night, I was down by only 1,000 words. I ignored every typo and let my fingers tap spastically against the keyboard. And then, just as midnight struck, a miracle happened!

I had typed 15K words in 6 hours. I had won Camp NaNoWriMo!

Rough Draft of My YA Romantic Comedy: DONE

It has taken me since January, but this NaNoWriMo, I finally finished typing up the rough draft of the third novel in my YA series. The third book ended up being 122,000 words!

I finished the novel at the 35K word count; still 15K to go until the Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 50K. I was on a roll, and I didn’t want to stop!

Halfway Finished Typing Rough Draft of YA Fantasy Novel

I have another project I’ve been working on, yet another novel that I’d hand-written about two years ago. The Demon Maker (working title) is a high fantasy YA book about two sisters who get lost in an enchanted forest who have to overcome a seriously scary demon.

I had gotten the idea for the book during a meditation retreat. Luckily for me, when I told my meditation teacher I was thinking about a novel instead of a zen koan, he shrugged and told me to roll with it. And so, the novel was born! (Thank you, Buddha:)

With my other series, this novel had taken the backseat for a while. I decided that NOW was the time to type it up!

It was The Demon Maker that got me to the NaNoWriMo finish line.

What’s Next: Finishing The Demon Maker Rough Draft!

As I worked on The Demon Maker, I realized that this rough draft was pretty solid. When I originally wrote the book a few years ago, I was struck by panic that it was awful and terrible. With a few years worth of distance, I realized that it actually kind of rocks. In fact, it may be the best rough draft I’ve ever written!

So, I’ve decided that the first book I’m going to finish, edit, and publish is The Demon Maker. Cue the confetti! I’m so excited and happy, and to think, I would have never gotten to this point if I hadn’t kicked my butt into making my 50K NaNoWriMo goal!

So thank you, kind friends, and thank you NaNoWriMo!

 

Did you do NaNoWriMo? Let us know down in the comments!

 

Poem Up at New Reader Magazine, and Camp NaNoWriMo for the 50K Words!

A woman tosses her pink hair. Photo by George Bohunicky on Unsplash

In my poem, Psyche is a bit punk rock, with pink hair and a lot of tattoos!

Read the Poem “Psyche Gets a Haircut” for Free!

I’m proud to announce that my quirky free verse poem is now up for reads at New Reader Magazine in their second issue (I’m on page 105). Download the magazine for free here!

I’m a huge fan of the New Reader Magazine and am proud to be in their second issue. First of all, their artwork and layout are stunning! Second, I am really digging all the great poetry and stories in the issue. It is truly an honor to be a part of this publication.

I wrote this poem after watching my friend Alicia Vandevorst’s play Psyche, which was kind of a serious play, so not sure where my tattooed Psyche with a pink mohawk came from:)

Camp NaNoWriMo: a Rough Draft Over 100,000 Words

Camp NaNoWriMo badge for 2018

In other news, this is it: this is the summer when I finally finish typing up the rough draft of the third book in my romantic comedy series (fingers crossed). So far, I’ve typed over 16,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo, so I’m right on track for meeting the 50,000 deadline at the end of the month. In total, the rough draft is 100,000 words and counting. It’s a bit scary, actually!

Typing up this handwritten manuscript has been an absolute beast. I’ve been at it for about a year (you can read more about it on my blog article from last year).  I can’t wait to finish!!!

For those of you who don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month that happens in July (the main event is in November). The goal: to write 50,000 words in one month.

Do You NaNoWriMo?

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? Or are you saving up your creative juices for the big NaNoWriMo in November? Let us know in the comments below!

 

My Poem is a Music Video—Watch it at Subprimal Poetry Art!

A woman's figure is shadowed in a black-and-white picture

This is pretty much the coolest thing that ever happened to me. The editor of Subprimal Poetry Art, Victor David Sandiego, turned my poem into a music video. The audio is me reading the poem, and the music and video art are Victor’s. What an amazing collaboration.

Watch the Epic Poetry Music Video Now!

About the Poem, “In Voices Like Mine”

Sometimes, I have to edit the heck out of a poem, but other times, a poem just emerges fully born like Athena from Zeus’s head. Okay, that’s a weird metaphor and maybe overly dramatic, but that is how it happened: this poem wrote itself.

This kind of poetry-writing alchemy happens sometimes when I go on poetry binges and write every single day.  Mmm. So delicious when I can really sink into that magic.

(Note to self: go on more poetry binges.)

Shopping My Poem Around for Publication

I knew “In Voices Like Mine” was one of my best poems, so I decided to push myself and submit it to some really tough markets. It was rejected three times before finding its home at Subprimal.

When I submitted, the acceptance rate for poetry at Subprimal, according to Duotrope, was 3.5%. Just to spell that out for you, the rejection rate was 96.5%. So to say I was intimidated to submit to this market is an understatement.

However, I really resonated with the magazine. When I read their about page, I just about flipped out. Here’s a snippet:

The name Subprimal represents that which lies beneath the primal, that is: ambiences and sensations lower, or even further removed from the aboriginal. We like to explore the origins and manifestations of human consciousness and are always looking for fellow travelers.

–Subprimal About Page

I am so all about that—my work deals a lot with the subconscious and the surreal. So I couldn’t resist submitting, especially given that the magazine makes exquisite poetry music videos.

I went for it, and I am so glad I did. What a juicy collaboration! Special thanks, of course, to Victor David Sandiego for his beautiful music and video work. It is truly an honor to be a part of this magical issue.

Watch the Video and Read the Poem at Subprimal!

My poem was published as part of Issue 11 – “All The Breath Of A Thousand Men In Your Gut.”

I am honored to be included with so many talented poets, wordsmiths, and artists.

My favorite pieces are

Check out issue 11! You will be happy you did.

Special thanks to all the readers, friends, critique buddies, and fans who have helped me on this journey. I am sending you gratitude and love!