Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Thoughts

It has been a busy, exhausting, and hot week over here. I have had almost no time to work on my writing. I spent most of yesterday cleaning and moving things to make room for a new fridge, only to find out that the fridge Best Buy did deliver was defective. So, back it went with the delivery guys and I had to put everything back in our awful old fridge. It was such a nightmare and I've called Best Buy twice about some sort of discount or anything and they won't do it. 

Hopefully I can get some writing done soon. I'm thinking about working on a couple new projects, so we'll see what happens. Just wanted to pop in before the kids pop out of their room (nap time is not for napping anymore...) and share a lovely poem I came across today.

We were attempting (notice I say attempting...heh) to read this gorgeous book of poetry illustrated by the amazing Jackie Morris, whose website can be found here: Jackie Morris UK . We managed to read a few poems before I noticed my eldest boy yawning and decided it was time to rest. There was one poem that I had never read before and I thought it was so lovely, especially for us Mamas. ;) Let me share it here: 

"The Beautiful" 

Three things there are more beautiful
Than any man could wish to see:
The first, it is a full-rigged ship
Sailing with all her sails set free;
The second, when the wind and sun
Are playing in a field of corn;
The third, a woman, young and fair,
Showing her child before it is born.

--W.H. Davies 

(Text of poem found here: The Beautiful

All three images are full of life and the loveliness of nature. After a rough week, this poem made my day. The whole book, which is called The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, is full of gorgeously illustrated poems, some of which aren't widely known. I'm so excited to delve into this book and get inspired! Let me know what you think and feel free to share! :) 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Lure of Self-Publishing

I have decided to take a wee break from my novel. For some reason, I find that I have more ideas and such when I take a few weeks off from writing it. The break helps new ideas come to my mind and I can work on other projects. When I come to a point where I feel that my writing is stilted or forced, then I know it's time to sit back and recharge those creative batteries.

Which got me thinking today about self-publishing, of all things. I don't necessarily want to self-publish the novel I am currently working on, but would it be fun and educational to self-publish another novel I have in the works?

My father self-published a book this year with Create Space on Amazon, and spoke to me today about how he is feeling somewhat discouraged. Self-publishing sounds like a wonderful idea, and it is, but how does an author make money from it? You must have the time to market your book, which is a lot of work, and the time to edit and revise. Then getting word out about your book and finding the right audience is also difficult. From watching my father go through the process of self-publishing, I learned that while it is a great tool for authors, it can be hard to make a living from it and hard to make your name known.

I wrote a short story much earlier this year that I loved. The idea behind it had been stuck in my head since high school and I'd written a different version of it then. Then, this year, I decided to try writing it a different way with new characters and I had so much fun with it! I sent it out to a few lit mags, but it was rejected. Which made me think, what was missing? I then realized that it would be better to flesh things out and write a sort of episodic novel, where every chapter deals with a fresh story line but the characters and setting remain the same.

This morning, while planning out the day's chores, I found myself wondering if it would be a good idea to try and self-publish that episodic novel. Would I hurt my chances of being published by a major publishing house? Or would it make my resume a bit brighter? I tried doing some research online but only found some obvious pros and cons--with self-publishing the author has more control, major publishers can put your name out there, etc.

I'd love some feedback on this issue. I am very tempted to try and write another novel and self-publish it, only if I can find the time. However, I don't want to hurt my chances in the future of being published. I'm still learning about the world of writing and publishing, but with all the social media and internet available to writers, how far can it go? Let me know what you think and maybe we can get a conversation going! ;)

photo credit: <a href="">Library books</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Topsy Turvy Teatime!

Hello all!

I can't believe the summer has flown by so quickly! I am definitely looking forward to cooler weather, Fall colors, crisp leaves littering the ground, pumpkin everything, and Christmas decorations!! (Yes, I love Fall!) Also, I am back into my Irish Dance class again after my school had a summer break and I am so happy! I am now preparing for the East Bay Feis on the last weekend of October, so wish me luck! I've got lots of work to do before then! ;)

As for my writing, I've hit over 73,000 words in my novel now and I am inching closer to the end. However, my characters have minds of their own and keep bringing things up that I, the author, have to deal with. They are so logical! I'm worried that my novel is going to be crazy long, but that might just mean I'll have to cut some scenes that don't work. We'll see. This whole writing a novel adventure has taught me so much and there is more to learn!

I've had a few pieces published and I am waiting to hear back on a lot of pieces. I am rather impatient at times and I really wish some editors would kindly hurry up and not keep me waiting for six months or more....oh well. Such is the writing world. I am still waiting to see if Chronicle Books is interested in the children's book I sent them in late March. If they aren't, I am planning to revise it one more time, check my query letter, and sent it out again!

I was so pleased to be published in Issue 15 of Vine Leaves Literary Journal: Issue 15
I love that they want pieces that are more like "vignettes," which are fun to write and differ from flash fiction. Check it out! My piece is called "The Reunion Concert."

I also had a flash fiction piece called "On The MUNI" published on the Saturday Night Reader website here: On The MUNI 
I haven't received much feedback about this piece, which is interesting. Do people not like it? I actually love it, but it might not be too everyone's taste. Check it out and let me know, all right? I'll send you virtual hugs! ;)

I recently found out that a poem I wrote over the summer has been accepted by Mothers Always Write, which is a great online lit mag about parenting. Beautiful pieces and a beautiful website. I am so excited to be published in it again! I'll keep you updated.

Otherwise, life goes on and my days are occupied with three growing kids and a condo that I am constantly cleaning and trying to organize. The kids are doing great! Baby G turned 2 a couple weeks ago and is talking, singing, playing, and wanting to get potty-trained! He's adorable and growing up everyday. The twins have had a growth spurt recently and both have outgrown a lot of their clothes. Both twins are eating a lot and aren't as picky, which is awesome. I'm also trying to make money for my Irish Dancing by selling on eBay and on Instagram, so check out my Instagram shop @twoforteavintageshop. If you mention my blog when making an offer to buy something, I'll give you 15% off! ;)

The kids are quiet in their room, hopefully napping, so I might have a little time to work on more writing! Take care everyone and happy Thursday! :) In the comments, let me know what YOU have been up to! Anyone have a favorite piece they've written this summer?