Friday, December 26, 2008

Cool journal call for submissions

I heard about this neat publication called The First Line. They supply writers with a first line, and you use that line--exactly as is-- as the first line in a short story and submit it to them for review and possibly publication.

The line for winter submissions is:

Herman Sligo was a bit actor who played Uncle Emil in three episodes of the popular television series The Five Sisters.

Submissions are due 2/1/2009. I'm going to make an attempt at creating a story around this line. Anyone want to join me?
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Publishing Question

For those of you who have published in journals before or know about the process, can you tell me if it is as good to get published in literary magazines published by colleges and edited by the MFA students, as compared to literary journals that may or may not be affiliated with a college and that are edited by a professional staff? I'm making my list of places to send things to, and I want to "tier" it and first send to the more prestigious places, etc. Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 22, 2008

Check... and check

A snowy weekend equals a productive weekend for bug. On the writing front, I:
  • Read and commented on Jessica's stories
  • Sent her my stories for her comments
  • Researched a few more places to send my Cartes story too (which I will do tomorrow)
  • Started to flesh out an outline of my NaNoWriMo manuscript. I only got about 5 chapters in, but I think I'll stop there and start writing those five chapters because I think that I need to get those down before moving on to the next batch.
  • Researched some writing retreats and realized that I don't want to apply to any until I have a better sense of what going will help me accomplish that I couldn't get done taking a "staycation".
I also finished a very complicated hat that I knit for a sick coworker, and a hat that I knit for my cousin (though I may have to redo that one--it depends on how much it shrank during blocking. It came out way too large for some reason...). And I wrapped all my presents and sent out a few Christmas cards. (If you don't get one, please know that it's not because I don't love you! I only sent cards to people who live far away, who really love getting mail, or who I know I won't see for a while.) Best Blogger Tips

Friday, December 19, 2008

A snowy weekend

This weekend is probably going to be quieter than I planned, with the impending snow storm and all. I've given myself a writing break to allow myself to recover from the madness of NaNoWriMo and also to embrace the madness of the holidays. I'm thinking a snowed in weekend might be a good time to get started on that revision.

But where do I start? That's a question that's been plaguing me. But Chris Baty of NaNo fame (he's the founder), gave the following advice and I'm going to follow it:

Make a 10- or 20-page book synopsis that travels through your whole novel, laying out the key things readers learn and see in each chapter.

I'll let you know how it goes! Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 15, 2008

Writerly list of things to do

Among the many Christmassy things I need to do, I'd like to get some writerly tasks completely too.

1. Apply for writing residency. This weekend.
2. Send Jessica two stories for her review. This weekend.
3. Read Jessica's stories. This week.
4. Start reading TI's thesis. This week.

There are other things on my longer term list, but I'd like to keep things as simple as possible so I'll leave it at that for this week.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

A fine balance

One of the lessons I learned from NaNo was that I could write for an hour or more everyday. But I also learned that I don't want to. Well, no--I would like to get that much writing done. But I don't want to give up the things I have to give up in order to devote that much time to writing.

I'm a social person. I need to go out. I also need to take care of my house, do freelance work, do volunteer work, and do other crafts. I say "need" because really, those things are important to me and make my life happy. Just like I need to write.

So here's my new plan. I'll let you know how it works out!

  • During the week, my work days will be devoted to my day job and only my day job. Duh. Sounds obvious, but I can get distracted at times, as I'm sure we all can. But with the economy being how it is, I need to be more productive than ever at work.
  • I'll go out 2 nights a week after work for drinks, yoga, knitting group, or dinner with friends.
  • The other 2 nights, I'll go home and take care of house stuff and write for at least 1 hour (or take care of writing business, such as submissions).
  • The leftover weeknight will be flexible--some weeks I'll go out, some I'll write.
  • Saturdays will be my writing day. I will write for at least 3 hours every Saturday. I'll also get stuff done around the house as needed, and devote at least 2 hours to freelancing.
  • Saturday nights will be a date night with Brian most of the time (the exceptions would be for parties we're invited to as a couple, family stuff, etc.)
  • Sunday will be a more social day for knitting groups, book groups, dinner with friends/family.
I still need to work volunteering into the schedule. Now, I do random volunteer work here and there. Ideally, I'd like to do something more consistent, but we'll see how that works out.

If I can implement this plan, I think I'd be very happy with this life! Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good essay

I'm a little in love with Garrison Keillor. Or, more precisely with his writing and the subjects he writes about. He makes life seem so simple, even when he's pointing out what makes life messy. He seems like a man who has his head screwed on straight, and coming from a woman who often loses her head, this seems like a very fine quality indeed.

Reading his recent essay on Salon also made me realize once again why I love writing and reading so much: there is something so touching when someone expresses sentiments you have felt (and maybe not even noticed). It makes you feel so much less alone in this crazy world. And when someone expresses them as well as Keillor? That's pure magic. Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 08, 2008

How I spent my November

Phew! I was a bit burnt out after NaNo, hence my not posting for a while. I promise to post this week with some of the things I learned from NaNo. For now, I leave you with a picture that pretty much captures 99% of how I spent November.
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