On Writing & Life: March

Hello all,
For those of you who have stopped by, stick around to the end of this post and I’ll treat you to some musical awesomeness, but you gotta scroll down slowly and mostly read the post – only then will the musical awesomeness appear.

Man it has been crazy around here.
I survived the Great Blizzard of 2016 here in Denver, even drove in it! Scary right? I know!


After the blizzard, some Sun even began to peak out.

Other than defying death, what have I been doing this month? Well, lots of reading, studying, and writing, writing, writing – so much writing (and there is that pesky day job thing as well). I had three competitions I wrote for, and as of today, have sent them all out into the world.

First competition: James Patterson’s Masterclass
You had to have signed up for the Masterclass, which I was, and send in a sample chapter of the thriller/suspense novel you’re working on, a summary of the book idea, and a two-sentence hook. I did all that!
Results for semi-finalists will be announced on April 5th. I can’t say I have a lot of hope for winning, but it got me writing, and out of the genre I’m most familiar with, so that’s a thing. I’m proud of what I did, and it was good writing experience for me. So you know, I’ll let you know when I hear something back about it.
As for the Masterclass itself, the video tutorials were fun and chock full of good advice, but I was left wanting more. The videos are short and Mr. Patterson doesn’t go fully into all the tid-bits he gives, which I would have liked. But for the price and community feel of it, it’s a good thing to try if one were so inclined.

Second Competition: Jim Baen 2016 Fantasy Adventure Award
This story was my favorite of the three I submitted this month. I had two beta readers and got lots of good advice, which helped me tighten up the story and further its gloriousness.
I was so pleased that I surprised both my readers with the outcome of the plot. It was a lot of fun to write, (I like it so, so much) and I submitted it last night!
Here’s to hoping that I don’t get a rejection on it 4 days from now, that would Ouch! a bit. Also, a note of concern. With the last story I submitted I got a reply right away telling me they had received the story. I didn’t with this submission. So, I’m a little worried. Maybe it’s different people handling it and they are doing things differently? I checked and rechecked the email address I sent it to and everything, so I hope all is well on that front.

Update on my other Baen competition entry: Back in January I mentioned I had submitted to a Sci-Fi story competition. That was also a Baen competition, and as predicted I got a big old “R” for it – REJECTED. When I got the email I actually laughed. I got the rejection email only 4 days after I had submitted. So you know, their readers probably didn’t get very far into it at all, and that’s okay. Like I said, I laughed heartily. It was embarrassingly bad, and a total rush job. I appreciated knowing about it so quickly; there is a freedom in that and I enjoyed the experience very much. More importantly, it helped me realize something. I don’t like writing Sci-Fi! I’ve discovered I’m more a fan of writing (and reading if we’re being honest) Fantasy and Fantasy with Sci-Fi feel/elements. I just don’t like the hard-core stuff. Even though I read The Martian, which was such a good, good book btw, that’s not my usual fare. And yes, while this information makes me feel even further segregated from the Sci-Fi fandom out there, at least I’m not wasting my time trying to write for a genre that my heart is not in. Does that make sense? So I’m Fantasy all the way, and sometimes it has SF elements. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

Third Competition: Writer’s of the Future-Quarter 2 Vol. 33
I can’t say I’m as excited about this story as I was for my Quarter 1 submission, but it’s done now.
Of course I waited to submit until the very last second -AND – of course there was a problem with their website submissions! I had to call and bother the contest coordinator, and I know I wasn’t the first call she got about this today. For what it’s worth, I am so sorry to have bothered you Ms. Joni!
She was in the middle of doing something else and seemed a bit rushed. I felt really bad to have intruded on her day. I just didn’t want to miss out on this quarter because I was too scared to do something about it. All in all it turned out well, she gave me an email address for me to submit the story that way, which means a paper sub and me hoping there aren’t any major problems with having done it that way.
Goodness Universe, you do like to keep me on pins and needles. Oy vey!!

After all that writing, I woke up today not having to write anything and felt a little lost.
There is Quarter 3 of WotF’s contest to get started on, but I’m going to take a bit of a break for April and rest up my mushy ol’ gray matter. I have some studies I would like to get done and a vacation coming up to look forward to. I’m also hoping to hear back from my anthology submission and maybe even some results from my WotF Quarter 1 story.
Omgosh! Speaking of which – Here’s a little info on that front:
I got an email around the middle of March telling me that my Quarter 1 story has made it past the first round of judging. So of course I’m all anxious and hopeful about it now, which is KILLING me, slowly and painfully…hope really is a demon bitch (movie quote).
I had also, before getting this email, sent an email to the contest coordinator asking about my Q4 Honorable Mention certificate. (I’m so excited to get that thing! Scuttlebutt has it that they are really beautiful, and I can’t wait to hang it over my writing space. It’s only an HM, but – Hey! That’s top 10% of what rumor says was a quarter of nearly 8,000 submissions. Plus it was my first story submission to this competition and made me feel good to receive it.) So four days after getting the “you’ve made it past the first round of judging” email, I get an email from the contest coordinator. My heart started beating so fast and I was trembling, literally trembling. I was all, “This is it, I’ve been straight out rejected, just when I had gotten my hopes up!”
Needless to say, I was petrified to read that email. I couldn’t even log in on the computer my hands were shaking so badly, it was frightening! Thankfully it was just an email responding to my question about the HM certificate (THIS TIME!)
But whew, talk about needing to jump start my heart to get it going again. Holy Fudge Balls Batman!

Well kids thems the updates on my writing for this month.

As for the rest of life, its going well. I’m having some really great experiences, andbukowski-quote2 learning to slow down and enjoy the journey. Sometimes, in all our rush to experience the joy of winning or accomplishing something, we forget that this time now can be a lot of fun as well. The anxiety, the hope, the feelings of wonder, the excitement. This is what I’ll remember when I’m looking back on the journey towards being where I picture myself in the future. And I’ve decided I want to look back and remember it being fun.
My family is doing well, little sister made it past the month of March without a single visit to the hospital (first time in 4 months), super fucking YAY!
I also got rid of some bad ju-ju that I was letting hang around, and sending positive thoughts out for everyone’s success and happiness. You go do you, and I’m gonna do me, and one day maybe we’ll get it together enough to sit down and have a lovely chat about it.

With Love    -xo



Now that wonderful musical treat I promised…here you go. You’re welcome.

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