Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I'm going to submit something this month. That's step one of the process. Sometimes it's, "I'm going to submit X," that starts things out, but this go around, it's more of a time thing than a specific piece thing.

Step 2: Research. My favorite place to look for writing markets is which has an added bonus where you can make a free account and track your submissions right on the site. Cool, huh?

I'm working on step 2 right now, looking for markets that strike my fancy. I'm a lover of the technological age, so I'm limiting my search criteria to places that take online submissions. I mean, come on, it's 2011 already, who's still accepting snail-mail only subs? Get with the times, people!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finally, A New Year's Resolution

I was talking to a gal at work the other day. Her son is 13 and he wants to be a writer. Cool, right? He writes and he even had a teacher a few years ago who read one of his stories and totally cheered him on. But, it seems her son is reluctant to show his writing to anyone. The only reason she gets to read any of his writing is because he picked her as a proofreader.

We got to talking about writing and writing groups and getting your stuff out there because that's what writers do. All the while I'm talking about her son and I realize I'm talking about me, too.

I've been published, but it's been a long while since I sent any submissions out. And here I was, being something of a hypocrite. Oops. This year, in the desire to not be a hypocrite, I'm making it my belated New Year's Resolution to submit at least one piece to at least one publication each month. For the blog, I'm going to track my submissions. I'm going to talk about what I'm submitting, where I'm submitting, what kind of responses I get (or don't get), and go through the whole process in a very transparent way. I'm looking forward to having the extra accountability to hold me to my resolution. I always work better when there's some pressure involved.

So, how about you? Have you made any resolutions? Are you blogging about them?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Changing, Momentum, and Thaw

I've been having a difficult time with momentum recently. Maybe it's the freezing temperatures (or, rather, the sub-zero temperatures, brrr), or maybe it's a whole load of other things I've got going on, but I'm having a hard time getting moving with anything writing-related. My recent lack of blog posts will attest to that.

At work, there's a position called "Quality Enhancement Professional" which was open for a number of months due to lack of a qualified person to fill it. The jist of the job is that QE is the person responsible for monitoring the programs to help the agency make sure it's adhering to state standards. A few weeks ago, my supervisors asked me if I'd be up for taking on the QE responsibilities in addition to the training coordinator job they hired me for. I said yes. I spent the past couple of weeks crunching data to create a trend analysis report for the last quarter. It's been a fair amount of stuff to wrap my head around since I've never done any kind of QE work before. The challenge is fun, but it's a fair amount of work to get a bearing on it.

Oh yeah, and the holidays, and my brother coming out for a visit, and I'm trying to buy a house for the first time ever, and I'm dealing with a dog issue, and I've been getting back in to a routine of working out, and I made some jewelry, and I've been trying to research and plan my house-fixing-up plan for when I close on the house, and... well, I've got a fair amount going on right now that doesn't have to do with writing fiction.

I haven't even had much time to watch TV, and you know how much I love my shows.

All of this brings me to the new year. Really. It makes sense in my head, I promise. With everything that's going on, and a few things that may be coming up, I feel like 2011 is going to hold a lot of change for me. If I'm in the midst of all of this change - new job, new town, new house... Perhaps it's time for a change in the blog. Not sure what, yet. But an adjustment in direction is warranted, I think. When I get stuck, it often works best to step back, refocus, and come at it another way.

Any good ideas?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Zombie Memoir

This Christmas was a minimalist Christmas for me. I didn't get many gifts because my family and I decided that instead of getting big presents for each other, we'd donate to charity. We went through Kiva and made loans to people. I was cool.

One of the presents I did get was from my friend Amanda. She got me a book titled Brains: A Zombie Memoir. It is very much what it sounds like. Amanda knows the author, Robin Becker, and that means that not only do I have a copy of the book, I have an autographed copy.
Now, as a zombie afficionado, I've seen a lot of zombie movies and read a lot of zombie stories. This is the first time, however, that I've ever come across one that is based in the POV of the zombie. It's a fun experience. I like the way she's approached zombie lore - a lot of the classic trends are there, but then the twist is that some of the zombies aren't entirely the shuffling undead. The POV character is a former English professor who's retained his ability to think and to write. As the plot goes on, he meets other special zombies who have retained some of their human abilities. It's a cool concept and I like the balance between the classic and her unique twist.
I'm about half way through the book so far and there are some interesting complications. I'm really curious to see what she does with them.