Sep 042012
 

These past two weeks have been incredible. I won a query critique and a critique of the first two chapters of my novel from Amanda Sun. Her YA novel, Ink is coming out next year, which I can’t wait to read. I won the critique through The Write On Con, which is a completely amazing and free conference for writers. I implore you to check it out. It recently ended, but you can find tons of incredible information through their archives. Please go visit them when you get a chance: writeoncon.com.

A few days later I got notice that my short story, The Town on the Road was to be published in Luna Station Quarterly, which publishes speculative fiction from new and emerging women authors. It’s now live so you can follow this link to read it. I am so glad LSQ exists and I wish them much success in the future. Now I just have to find a home for the other short story orphans sitting on my desk. To read the rest of issue 11, please visit this link. As you all know, literary magazines are labors of love, so if you have a few bucks to spare, please support Luna Station Quarterly by buying an issue. Issue 11 is available for purchase for $2.99 in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats here.

In other news, I recently visited Stanley’s Fruits & Vegetables in Chicago and bought a coconut. I wanted my son to experience the awesomeness that is coconut. He was super excited, but the best part came when he was watching me crack it open. I used a drill on the seam of the coconut and cracked it open with a hammer. My son was obsessed with the insides, but for some reason he refused to eat any of it. Oh well. More for me! Here’s a photo:

 

I’ve also been working on completing some home projects and as I was pulling the top off of a paint can, it slipped out of my hands and landed on the counter. Here’s what I saw when I lifted it:

 

Even the paint splotch was upset at my mishap! LOL!

Well, I’ve got to get back to work! Laters!

Have a lovely week y’all.

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Dec 072011
 

I’m convinced that luck comes in waves. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that a few people around me are going through rough and tough times, while others are at their optimum. Case in point, one family member was recently laid off, while another was offered a promotion and raise. His wife was also offered a job with a competitive salary. Earlier this year their situations were reversed. What the heck is going on? Is this some kind of reversal of fortune? Is it their turn to get showered with good luck from the universe? Does good and bad luck come in waves? I’m starting to think yes.

This good luck occurred within the last couple of weeks, which brings me to this – the moments before the New Year always count. Whatever you want to do this year, whatever dreams you have can still be reached. Don’t give up just because you may be in the midst of a bad luck wave. Keep pushing along because good luck is heading your way.

Confession: I’ve been putting off the completion of my novel because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it scares me. Sounds strange, I know, but exposing my inner most thoughts is a frightening thing for me, hell, for any writer. It’s a vulnerability I didn’t expect to have and one I didn’t prepared for, but I’m pushing forward. There’s not much sense in keeping my manuscript hidden on a file folder on my desktop. My plan is to finish my novel by the end of this year and edit it early next year to get this pony in the publishing show.

I want to leave this year on a high note. Don’t you? If so, then take this as your sign to sprint to the finish line and get whatever you need to get done – done.

I’m wishing all you writers and artists out there good luck on your current project! You can do it.

“Let me know – do I still got time to grow? Things ain’t always set in stone. Let me know, let me know. Seems like street lights, glowing, happen to be just like moments, passing in front of me, so I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare. See, I know my destination, but I’m just not there.”

-“Street Lights” by Kanye West

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Nov 172011
 

I’m attracted to books that help people explore who they are. I’m also attracted to books that help people figure out what they want to do in life. Why? Well, because for years I struggled with what I wanted to do in life. How do you compete with the big dogs when you don’t even know which industry you belong in? Therein lies the conundrum.

When I applied to the University of Illinois, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then I was accepted. I went in general, major undeclared because I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I was really good at. And there’s a huge difference between being good at something and then being really good.

The truth is I was afraid of choosing a career. I thought careers were forever and that once you chose one that was it – you had to follow through. There was no turning back. What if I failed? What if hated what I chose? I didn’t want to be one of those people stuck in a career they hated. I didn’t want to be one of those people waking up every day going to a job they despised. I was afraid of disappointing my parents, and worst of all, myself. I didn’t want to ruin my life. It was all rather terrifying.

One day, I realized that nobody could help me choose what I wanted to do in life. No counselor, teacher, parent, or friend. I had to make my own decisions. I had to make some choices. Trying not to make the wrong choice was like treading lightly on a ground filled with land minds; agonizing and stressful.

I chose to major in English/rhetoric with a minor in communications. I didn’t realize until my junior year that I wanted to be a creative writer as well as a journalist, but it was too late. I wasted too much time taking a bunch of classes I didn’t need.

If I knew then, what I know now…

I love English and rhetoric, but there will always be a special place in my heart for journalism, media and communications. I love reporting. I love seeking out the truth. Now that I’m older, I can honestly say that not immediately declaring a major was a mistake. I should’ve double majored in Journalism and English right from the start.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been evaluating my life and reading career-centric books. I believe they are extremely useful for a number of reasons. One, they force you to answer questions you have been avoiding. Two, they make you feel like it’s okay to say how you feel. Three, they encourage you to take risks. Four, they inspire you to take action and everybody knows if you want something in life, you’ve got to take action.

I wish somebody would’ve given me a book like this when I was a teenager. I think it would’ve really made me think about who I was and where I wanted to be.

The books below are excellent in helping people to discover who they are:

The All About Me books are amazing. They are interactive, so you just fill in the blanks. There are questions asking about who you are, what you think and what you would do in certain situations. If you want to learn more about yourself, fill out this book and pick it up again in five years. Your answers will blow your mind. No joke! For an extra challenge, fill out the All About Us book with your significant other.

344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment is a book I picked up a few weeks ago. I randomly stumbled across it and decided to order it and I’m glad I did. This is a book of questions geared towards designers, but applicable to anybody. There are questions in this book I’ve never asked myself and there are others I can’t seem to stop thinking about. This book is written in interactive flowcharts, so you write your answers directly in the book. It took me about three days to fill it out and during that time, I found myself being rather introspective. It’s extremely helpful if you’re interested in doing a life evaluation or are at a crossroads and are unsure about what to do next.

What I’m trying to say is, figure out who you are, what you want and then trust yourself enough to go for it. If you let your fear get the best of you, you’ll never know who you are or what you’re made of. Take a risk. Take a chance. Believe in yourself!

On that note, I’m off to work on my novel. Thanks for reading! Good luck on your life journey.

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Nov 302009
 

A few years ago I got sick of getting form rejection letters from all of the literary journals and magazines. So I decided to make my own postcard, which had boxes for the editors to check when they were going to send me a rejection. It’s more of a tool for me, but I find it absolutely essential for editors as well. 

All they need to do is to check off what I might need to work on structurally. I have also added in a place for other comments. Well, when I told people about my postcard a lot of them were super negative about it. They said that editors wouldn’t take the time to fill it out; that they’d probably just pitch it.

What they didn’t know was that my postcard was easier to send than a form rejection. All they needed to do was check off what their thoughts were and put it in the post. 

Today as I was checking the mail I came across one of my postcards! It was a rejection. That wasn’t the greatest feeling, but I was still excited. For one, I was rejected because of the type of fiction I submitted not because they didn’t like my story. And for two, they used my postcard! 

Before you start thinking, well why didn’t she read the lit mag before submitting to them? Well I did. I actually thought it might be a pretty good fit seeing as though my story was set in Chicago and it was a Chicago lit mag, but I was wrong.

Ill take another look at that journal and probably pick up another for good measure. They also signed the postcard, “Thanks for thinking of us!”  I am so excited. Every time I feel like I’m not going to make it as a writer I get some kind of inkling from the universe pushing me ahead.  

I dont say this enough, but I love writing. I’m not going to give up and you shouldn’t give up on your dreams either.

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