“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.

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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?

Cover for the Outsider Editon of From Sac!

Hello friends! Exciting news. Here is a sneak peak of the cover for the Outsider Edition of From Sac Magazine, where I have the honor of having three poems included for publication:

from-sac-for-web

Stay tuned for more info about when this magazine will be available for purchase. Until then, I’ll be hammering away at my NaNoWriMo novel. I just hit over 10,000 words this weekend, and I’m still going strong!

NaNoWriMo: Astrology and Insanity

jelly-fish

November first rolls around, and so National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins. At the same time, this is my fabulous horoscope from Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology:

PISCES Feb. 19-March 20: In her book, *A Natural History of the Senses,* Diane Ackerman reports on the eccentric methods that professional writers have used to galvanize their creative process.

Poet Amy Lowell relaxed into her work day by puffing on Manila cigars. Novelist Colette plucked fleas from her cat. T. S. Eliot’s poetry thrived when he had a head cold. Novelist George Sand liked to jump out of bed after making love and immediately begin writing. Novelist William Gass, who is still among the living, wanders around outside taking photos of “rusty, derelict, overlooked, downtrodden” places. As for D. H. Lawrence: climbing mulberry trees naked energized his genius.

What about you, Pisces? Now is an excellent time to draw intensely on your reliable sources of inspiration– as well as to seek new ones.

First of all, yes, I am a Pisces (go fish!). Second of all, THIS IS THE PERFECT HOROSCOPE FOR NANOWRIMO, OMGGGGGG! (You can find your horoscope here at Rob Brezsny’s newsletter.)

…And also, D.H. Lawrence, really? Just…really? I mean hey, maybe I should start climbing mulberry trees in the buff. It couldn’t hurt, right?

fish

My NaNoWriMo Novel: Gender Bending, the Mafia, and how Stephen Might Lose his Girlfriend

The working title of my NaNoWriMo Novel is “The Marijuana Mafia” (working title). It’s a sequel to a novel I’m currently editing about a bunch of hipsters who move from Connecticut to San Francisco (picture the movie “Clueless” with a lot of gender bending in a warehouse in the Mission).

“The Marijuana Mafia” focuses on Stephen, a surly but kind-hearted guy who is trying his best not to become like his mob-boss father. Stephen accidentally hooks up with his ex-boyfriend, Cameron, and he goes into a panic that the sanest girlfriend he’s ever had, Hannah, will dump him.

However, as Stephen’s mafia family rope him into watching over a marijuana scheme in the Bay Area, his problems keep mounting and his chances of holding onto his girlfriend become slimmer and slimmer—especially when Stephen’s ex-girlfriend, Mariah, calls to let him know she is pregnant.

My NaNoWriMo Mojo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_municipalliaison

Why Yes I am a NaNoWriMo Liaison!

As I’m an official Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo this year, not only am I in charge of organizing local events and write-ins, but all my noveling friends are going to hold me accountable for writing. Talk about a fire lit under my posterior!

I just started a new job, and things are a wee bit hectic, but I will write every day I can manage it, and I’m dead set on reaching my 50,000-word goal by the end of the month.

…And yes, this blog TOTALLY counts towards my word count for the day!

book

Are you NaNoWriMo-ing?

If you are, add me as a buddy! I’m art4earthlings.

What are you writing this National Novel Writing Month?

Why do You Write? Why do You Want to Publish?

throwing-booksI attended a workshop this weekend on publishing when this question struck me like a sucker punch to the gut: Why do you want to publish your work?

I realized I had no idea!

I had never given this question any thought before, because I had assumed, as a default, that every writer desired publication and therefore, so should I.

But in fact, there are many ways to publish and share work, and I realized that without having clear goals, the path to publication is a murky one.

Working on Publication

This past month I renewed my efforts to become published: I submitted numerous poems and short stories to various and sundry magazines, using Duotrope to target the best publications for my work. I became active again on Scribophile and in my local critique group to polish my writing.

After many rejections, I was accepted by the excellent magazine From Sac, where three of my poems will appear in their next printed issue.  And while the acceptance made me euphoric, it also stirred something deeper within me.

I went on to browse some literary contests, and I created some vigorous work to submit. But I found that, upon submitting my work to these publications, I became plagued by anxiety, doubt, and a host of negative feelings, even though I was proud of the work and had enjoyed crafting it and critiquing it.

I was getting clear warning signals that something was off, but I couldn’t figure it out. What was the problem?

writing

Why I Write Versus Why I Publish

For the past ten years, writing has been more than just my creative therapy: it’s been my constant friend, the one I go to during hard times for solace. I’ve had a very stressful few months, transitioning from a difficult final semester at Graphic Design school into entering the workforce.

During the peak of my stress, when I was in school full time and struggling, I finished two novels I had been working on for years. Every morning, I would write for fifteen minutes, and every evening before bed, I would write for another fifteen. Writing every day wasn’t just a strategy to finish a novel: it was a way of staying sane.

Writing was a reason to get up in the morning and a way to become zen before bed. It brought me so much joy that I cannot even begin to describe it in words. Writing has become a juicy form of self-expression, and I am so thankful that it has come into my life.

My Platform: Internationally Renown as the Nerdiest Writer, No Kidding

Though I am shy to admit it, I am an internationally-renown Fan Fiction writer. Fan Fiction is, according to the internet, “Fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.” You see why I don’t tell too many people about this. It’s like, horribly dorky:)

fic-rock-star

Some of my Fanfic Stats: I almost hit 3000 views in one day!

After a few years of writing, this is what has happened:

  • I routinely get over one thousand hits to my stories when I update.
  • My work has been translated into four different languages by my fans.
  • And my most popular story hogged the entire first page of Google search results not only during its lifespan but a year after I finished the story.

It was this success that made me realize: Hey. I could totally do this for real.

Enter Publishing

But publishing is another beast entirely from the art of writing. It is marketing. Business. And I realize now that engaging in the publication process without understanding what my goals are has resulted in a lot of sadness for me.

I find that in general, I seek a lot of outside approval, not just as a writer but as a human being. And when that part of me takes control, I lose a lot of the joy that I find in my craft.

I realize I need to redefine my goals as a writer. I understand why I write, but I need to more fully understand what I truly desire from becoming a published author.

It isn’t just the money, although if I were getting paid for my art, I could devote more time to it. However, if I don’t publish for the right reasons, it will destroy the joy I take in writing.

It’s like walking a razor-sharp edge of a sword. Or at least, that is how it feels at the moment.

How Many Unfinished Novels is too Many?

sitting-on-booksCurrently, I have:

  • Four fully finished rough drafts for novels
  • Three handwritten rough drafts for novels that I need to type
  • A good handful of short stories, some that only need a bit of polish, other that need complete overhauls
  • A huge stack of handwritten poetry written from 2012–2016 that  I need to type and edit
  • A novel idea for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that is burning me up inside and that I can’t wait to write! I am also, incidentally, a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo this year, which means I will be your hostess with the most-ess this November for Novel Writing Extravaganzas!
Why Yes I am a NaNoWriMo Liaison!

Why Yes I am a NaNoWriMo Liaison!

So as you can see, I am meant to be a writer because apparently, I can’t stop. And with seven novels and countless poems and stories, I don’t want them to sit in my desk drawer forever. I have a strong desire to share my work.

But first, I have to figure out what my actual goals are, what feels right to me. I know that when this piece becomes clear, I will be an unstoppable force.

Until then, I am hooked on learning the Book Architecture Method and will be editing my novels in my quiet obscurity.

Thank you for reading! Please let me know: Why do you write? And why do you publish?