Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Winner!

 

I’m Crazy and Writing Even Though I Have No Time

Completely insane: during one of my busiest months, I decided—foolishly, joyously, fanatically—to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this past July.

The Inner Critic Speaks

But you have more work than usual, my inner killjoy whispered.

You are taking an editing class, and NaNoWriMo will be smack in the middle of midterms (in which, I am happy to say, I got an A+. Take that, inner critic!).

You will be going out of town multiple times and, as my mother would say, running around like a chicken without a head.

The Novel Looks at Me with Sad Puppy Eyes

But I also had a burgeoning (and on-going) manuscript, all hand-written and spanning three notebooks that begged me to type it.

Yes, I prefer to handwrite my novels. While I find it to be a more relaxing noveling experience, it also means that eventually, I need to type the dang thing.

Winning Writing Stats

So I took the plunge and joined the NaNoWriMo festivities. Originally, my goal was 50,000 words. By the penultimate week of July, I made the sound decision to halve my goal to 25K.  In the end, I made it to 27K.

As you can see, I had a strong start, followed by two weeks of treading water and then ending with a bang.

Third Novel in a Series: Romantic Comedy with LGBTQ Themes

A little about what I’ve been frantically typing.

I’ve been working on a romantic comedy series—last NaNoWriMo in November helped me finish the second book called “The Marijuana Mafia.”

For Camp NaNoWriMo this past July, I’ve been hammering away at the prequel, which details the misadventures of our protagonists in high school and his journey in coming out of the closet.

In preparation for writing this book, I read a lot of Young Adult LGBTQ classics, like “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” “The Upside of Unrequited,” “Luna,” and many others.  Check out my Young Adult LGBTQ reading list on Goodreads.

What’s Next for the Novels

I’m about two-thirds of the way through writing the prequel. In the meantime, I plan to use NaNoWriMo’s new year-round goal tracker to help me stay on course for typing up all my notebooks. So far, I’m almost through the first notebook.

Editing, Editing, and more Editing

Once I finish the rough draft of the prequel, I plan to go back to the first book and edit. I’m a pantser (as opposed to someone who outlines, aka a plotter), so by now—after writing the entire three-book series—I have a solid idea of who my characters are and what plot holes need to be sewn shut.

In the meantime, I’m three-fourths of the way done my copyediting certificate program at UC San Diego, and at work, I’m starting a new blog for my local community college (more on that soon!).

So stay tuned for more news.

Let me know how your NaNoWriMo went. What are you writing?

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“Graves of My Ancestors” Published by Page & Spine

jewish-star

I’m proud to announce that my poem, “Graves of My Ancestors,” has just been published by Page & Spine and is now up for your reading pleasure. 

This poem is very near and dear to my heart. I wrote it in response to the desecration of about 100 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in my hometown, Philadelphia. The poem came out of me in a rush of emotion; I hardly had to edit it. It emerged whole and trembling and helped me to integrate my rage and frustration over what had happened.

I don’t usually write about political events, but this one struck close to home. I hope you’ll enjoy the read.

Read “Graves of My Ancestors” now!

Salt Womb Published by Slink Chunk Press

A Manta Ray under the seaMy poem, “Salt Womb,” is now available for your reading pleasure on Slink Chunk Press. The poem is about a surreal encounter with a manta ray. Many thanks for all the great critiques from friends and Scribophile that made this acceptance possible. This is the second paid market that has accepted my work! I hope you enjoy reading it.

Life has been a whirlwind lately, but I’m hoping to submit more work to new publications, so stay tuned for more updates!

“Wedding” Poem Published, with More on the Way!

269HHi friends! My poem “Wedding” is now up at Quatrain.fish. This poem was originally written as a text to a friend after her wedding, and is now the first paying poem of my career!

Today, I also received a note that my poem “Salt Womb” was just accepted at Slink Chunk Press, which marks my second paying poem! So stay tuned for when that piece goes live on the cyber webs. Special thanks to my friend and poet Alicia Frost who helped me workshop the piece, as well as to all my friends at Scribophile who wrote many excellent critiques.

Poem to be Published Soon!

Fish at Monterey Bay AquariumMy First Poem to a Paying Market

I’m pleased to announce that my poem, “Wedding,” has been accepted by Quatrain.fish. I’m pretty excited—this is the first paying poetry market where I have been accepted. The poem will come out within the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Quatrain Poetry

A quatrain is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “A stanza or poem of four lines.” I recently became obsessed with short-verse poetry after reading Shorts: Quatrains and Epigrams by Iven Lourie. Lately, I have been experimenting with short poems, including quatrains and haiku, and it has been a lot of fun. It’s like the flash fiction equivalent for poetry.

More Stories and Poems on the Way

I’ve submitted a slew of poems and short stories to various markets, so stay tuned for more news!

Writing News: Publishing, NaNoWriMo-ing, and Editing

From Sac: Outsider (Volume 4) Now Available

from-sac-for-web

Hello friends! I’m pleased to announce that the “Outsider” edition of From Sac is now available on Amazon.  There are about twenty authors, all dealing with the theme of being an outsider. I have three poems in the journal and am honored to be included in this compilation.

Other Creative Writing News

I’ve been quite busy with creative writing! Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Winning National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_municipalliaison

Not only was I an official Municipal Liaison, or ML, for NaNoWriMo, but I also won the contest by writing over 50,000 words in the month of November.

I finished my zany novel, though I wrote the last few chapters in longhand and still need to type them up!

Publishing News: Rejections are Good for the Soul

Braveheart's birthday

I’ve been pursuing homes for a few of my short stories, and am bravely forging ahead with Duotrope as my guide. I’m aiming for some tougher markets than I have in the past, so the rejections keep rolling in. But I’m persevering and plan to keep submitting my work, as well as workshopping in my local critique groups and on Scribophile.

I think the best news of all is that rejections don’t bother me like they used to. They happen, I know it isn’t personal, and I get on with my writing. What a milestone! I remember when rejections used to crush me. Now they’re just annoying, like mosquitoes, or splinters, instead of like pianos falling from third story windows. Hooray!

Copyediting Classes at UC San Diego

Gorilla typing

I’m working towards a certificate in copyediting this quarter. The reading for the courses is wonderful—I love getting to nerd out on grammar. And best of all, the classes are online, so I can do my classwork at my leisure (kind of. There are still due dates, and the material is HARD!). I’m enjoying it immensely so far.

The Year of Editing

Sprinter getting ready to run

Which brings me to my next topic: 2017 is going to be the year of editing. I have at least five novels and a handful of short stories I want to work on, not to mention all the work I want to type up from longhand! I’m looking forward to going back to my writing with a fresh eye and making it shine.

What are You Writing?

Silly man holding a banana like a gun

Wishing you all a productive, healthy and happy new year:) What are your writing plans for 2017?