I took this solo road trip during Christmas week for two reasons. One: I’ve been struggling with depression for the last couple of months and feeling lost and alone, so I thought I might as well head out to the desert in a place where I really was lost and alone. And two: I figured this would be a good time to unplug, decompress and try to recover from burnout. This trip made me see that while you don’t always get what you want, you seem to get what you need.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine told me that I was welcome to stay at his place in Cleveland when he was out of town. My immediate reaction was: "Why on earth would I want to go to Cleveland?" Cut to six months later...I was itching for a change of scenery, so I thought, "Why not go to Cleveland?" As is my nature, the minute I purchased my non-refundable plane ticket, the thought "This is a huge mistake" went racing through my mind like a drunk driver.
On January 4, 2017 I made an agreement with myself to run at least one mile every single day for a full year. Why one daily mile? I figured if I couldn’t spare ten minutes every day, I had a pretty fucked up life. But more importantly, I wanted to see what I could accomplish if I refused to accept my own built-in limitations.
I love a good story because it gives us the opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes and connect with that person, no matter how different they may be from us, and this interview with Kamal Moummad by Melissa Rebronja does just that. Kamal tells his story about acting, peace, being American, and much more.
I'm absolutely thrilled to announce that my short story Full Circle won third place in a writing competition and as a result has been published in Artificium's anthology!!! This was a result of my "30 submissions in 30 days" spree last October. You see, blind fury and a willingness to be rejected 29 times pays off!
At 8:31 a.m., the high-speed train left the station and traveled 285 miles to Paris' Gare du Nord railway station in just over two hours. Despite the group of eight or so English gents in ugly Christmas sweaters indulging in beer before noon surrounding me, the trip was smooth sailing, and before I knew it I had arrived in the City of Lights.
When I stepped out of the train onto the platform, I stood there for a minute while everyone rushed past me and just absorbed the fact that I was actually, finally, incredibly in Paris.
When my dream finally came true and I purchased a plane ticket to Europe, I almost peed myself with excitement.
My trip started with the TSA confiscating my very dangerous weapon—a tube of fennel-flavored toothpaste—which I encouraged the security agent with the faded enamel to use as I flashed her my own pearly whites. I knew right then and there that nothing was going to discourage or prevent me from having a fantastic time.
So, I completed my 30 submissions in 30 days challenge and all I have to say is PHEW! What a challenge. It was like running a marathon after only ever having trotted down the block to your favorite coffee shop. Here are the results I've seen so far. And here is the takeaway: how to get rejected in 5 easy steps.
One thing that makes it easier to sit down every day and write is to sit down every day and write. What I mean by that smart ass remark is that there is a lubing up of the cogs, so to speak, when you become consistent. Every little action becomes smoother. You don’t have to put as much effort or planning into the task.
Recently a friend asked me to sit down with him for an hour each day to teach him how to become a Virgo: i.e. neat, organized, and crystal clear. As the weeks went on, something became very clear to him (and me, but that goes without saying): the chaos and drama he creates in his life is a protective cover. What does this cover protect? It protects him from being seen.
I’ve been having a tough time keeping up with my one submission per day and, quite frankly, not doing this perfectly makes me want to give up. It’s an easy excuse—this giving up because I’m not doing it “perfectly”—and one that I think I shall I ignore as though it’s a cranky little kid who needs to get her ass into bed for nap time.
Today I submitted a short story called Therapeutic Madness, about a woman who quietly slides into a spiritual meltdown, which I illustrate with ever-changing grammatical perspectives (i.e. first person, second person, third person).
Someone asked me how I figure out where to submit my short stories and novels. I told them about my crystal ball and added that for $29.99 I could provide them with a list of submission targets. A writer has got to be creative about earning a living.
And that is why I have to convince myself every day that I can and I will get published, and to send my work out despite my mind’s best efforts to persuade me that it’s a waste of time and I’ll never succeed and who do I think I am anyway and isn’t it easier to just put my dreams on the back burner and get on the path more traveled?
Today (day 10) in addition to submitting to the CBC short fiction contest, I sent one of my novels, Rumors of Happiness, to literary agent Sandy Harding at Spencerhill Associates. I guess I should be thankful for my involuntary celibacy these days, because at least it’s freeing up my time for all these submissions.
So I received my first rejection yesterday. Upstreet Magazine declined my short story Sally’s Pigeons. And no, it’s not an avian resource guide. According to my plan, that’s one down, 199 to go—if I’m in the same league as Louis L’Amour, 139 if I’m side-by-side with Jack Canfield, or 21 years, 12 months, and 24 days if I compare myself to Gertrude Stein.
So today was another manuscript-submission day. I sent my novel Highland Games to a publisher that does not require an agent: Avon Romance.
Here’s what the novel is about:
Highland Games is about a workaholic woman who is doctor-ordered to take a relaxing vacation where she meets an ever-so-sexy local constable who interferes with her pursuit of boredom.
Here’s the story behind this novel:
Day two of my 30 queries for the month of October game/challenge/torture device, and it’s going pretty well. Of course, day two of anything usually goes pretty well. Relationships, jobs, exercise, kidnappings. It’s day 29 that separates the winners from the people who want to poke their own eyes out with a stick.
Today was short story submission day...
Rejection is a pretty scary thing. Or even if it's not scary, it's damn frustrating. Every single time I send out a query letter to a publisher, literary agent, magazine or potential boyfriend (kidding. I don't send men query letters; I get my assistant to do that for me) that little bubble of hope and optimism and excitement rises to the surface and I think: "Maybe this time...."
And then I receive...