Archives

“Stop talking, before you make it go away.”

Silence is golden. At least mine is. See, when I’m not doing a lot of communicating – be it talking, texting, tweeting, whatevs…then I’m doing something else. I’m being productive. I’m writing.

That’s not always the case. Sometimes I’m quiet because I’m simply tired of complaining about not being able to write, not being able to finish this or that, but for right now, baby, I’m burning up the keyboard.

I’ve got about five or so stories in the pending file. I’ve had one rejected over the last couple of weeks. I’ve finished one and started three more, and the momentum doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere (knock on wood).

I’m excited about some new releases, one of which you can read about below and I was just pointed to an amazing review of Smut Alfresco which includes my outdoor spanking story, Patches. You can read that review here.

smut

Otherwise, I’m waiting on news of relocating, be it slightly south or nearly a thousand miles west. I’m wander lusting and traveling extremely light and feeling pretty damned good about it all. And that feeling for me, is like an endangered species so I’ll be, as I always am, waiting on the other shoe to drop.

Advertisements

A rejection isn’t always a rejection.

Here’s why I don’t burn bridges…or throw my candy in the sand…or whatever cliché analogy for getting pissed over a rejection or being mad at an editor for rejecting a piece that you may want to insert here…there’s always hope for a story. You may place it elsewhere, an editor may come back later and ask you for it for the very same project or another one down the line…and I’ve done this…quite recently. Or! That editor may recommend it or you to another editor or publisher that’s a better fit. In any case, a rejection is not always the end of the line.

Luckily, I’ve been in the (biz? game?) long enough to pretty much know the ins and outs. Starting out, when I wrote that one story that a classmate or my cousin or someone told me was great and I shopped it around everywhere, not checking the market, not really paying attention to the theme, word count requirements, etc. and was pissed all the way off when it got rejected again and again, I was finally lucky enough to receive a few words from an editor who took the time out to tell me what I was doing wrong.

But more than that, I realized that I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. And I’ve written this blog post before, more than once, but it’s worth repeating.

I’ve received rejection letters that were so informative, warm and helpful that I wanted to frame them. And I’ve received simple “I can’t use it” or the worst of them all, rejection by way of no response. But, I move on. I move on simply because (and just as I approach life stresses), if I let it all get to me, I would be just a shell of who I am. It would eat away at me and I would question everything and probably tuck tail and quit. And I wouldn’t want that for anyone, for any reason.

I really came here to say that a story of mine that wasn’t accepted a while back (so long ago that I forgot I even wrote the story) was just requested to be included in an upcoming anthology. I hadn’t done anything else with the piece because, like I said, I had forgotten all about it, so I happily said yes.

And I know, my breaking of this news went kind of left what with me having just wrapped up my own anthology and really wanting to just say in general (even though over 100 authors took the news awesomely), chin up. This ain’t the end.

The hard part is over?

So, I turned in a book yesterday. Wait, didn’t I say that three and a half months ago? Well, yes I did, and yes…I did. The production editor came back with beta reader feedback and some suggestions, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve been reworking, revising, and revisiting (hence my last minute call for more Can’t Get Enough stories). The good thing was, my word count was getting expanded. The not-so-good part was we had to cut a couple of the original stories. And trust me, I hated to pass on that news because as someone who’s been cut twice (maybe more?) at the publishers, I know how that can feel.

But! In good news, I was able to replace those with some stories I had originally rejected due to spacing and flow issues, so I was happy to go groveling back asking for those stories, and happy those authors still had them available and were willing to let us publish them. I also received two more that were the perfect fit and the publishers loved and after much fretting and fitful sleep, I turned it in (again) and we’re all set to go.

And then I finished and turned in a story for someone else’s collection. And I’ve started another. While I love editing and am so excited about Can’t Get Enough, I am so happy to be on the creative side of things again. I’m giddy about creating little worlds to escape to because, the gods know I need that escape every now and again.

The Easy Hard Part

I’m still wading through submissions for Can’t Get Enough which hadn’t yet reached a point where I want to tear out my hair. Maybe I’m spoiled with first timer’s good luck or I just haven’t hit that rough spot yet, but so far I’ve been able to easily pick out those ones that really, really fit and those ones that, while still totally awesome, just don’t.

And, well, I guess you could say there’s my dilemma, if there’s any. With many of these submissions, I feel like I’m reading a neverending multi-themed anthology, story after story that could and should be published in its own right. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve clutched bed sheets, and now it all has to end and some will stay and some will go and many, I know I’ll see again, somewhere.

I’ve already kicked off a few notices of rejection…no need in waiting on that end when you already know it’s not a fit and I want to give writers the opportunity to get their work back in the game. I have a few more to read and I have some yeses and strong maybe-s and I’ll have to sit myself in a corner and cry for a day or so, but somewhere out of this there will come a book, my first one, and I simply can’t wait.

Whoot, there it went!

So, I unofficially extended the deadline for my call for submissions for my Can’t Get Enough anthology for Cleis Press. The deadline was originally Friday, February 15th, but since I went on a mini vacay, and wouldn’t pick reading back up until this week, I let it ride throughout the weekend. And welp, no extra submissions.

And I’m cool with that because I have about 100 to wade through. I was hesitant on spitting that number out because I’m not sure if that’s good or lacking as far as submissions go, but I’m really impressed with what I received and I know my biggest problem will be eliminating. So, here goes!

Oh, and I got my fourth (and by far most favorite) tattoo over the weekend:

tattoo

I love it and it’s really inspiring to me. Problem now is, I’m hungry for even more ink. Ah, well!

Who’s Your…Valentine?

bemine

I don’t have any formal or particular thing I intended to post, but being that it’s the (so-called) day for lovers and all, I felt compelled to say…something.

So, I’m alive and haven’t drifted into the abyss…yay!

I’ve been receiving steady submissions for my Can’t Get Enough call, and acknowledging, filing and printing those for reading have been consuming a lot of my time. So, I’m busy, but happily busy. I tell you, even though I’ve gotten lucky enough to be at the other end of this thing, I still find myself sitting here with stars in my eyes as I read words that make me smile, laugh, cry and swoon, and they’re all for me. Okay, maybe not me personally and specifically, but… humor me.

This anthology in progress is coming along better than I ever could have imagined. The thought of narrowing all of these awesome submissions down to twenty or so is daunting and I don’t quite know how I’ll handle the rejection letter side of it (thinking back on all the mommy-type “this hurts me more than it hurts you” phrases) because all I want, all I’ve ever wanted is to be encouraging and lift fellow writers up. But…we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now, my little gift to you to say I’m sorry I’ve been so inconsistent and to wish you well on this smooch-y day, here’s a little snippet of…okay…I’ll say it, my favorite story of mine of all time. It’s called Strings and it’s an unorthodox little love story that appeared in Alison Tyler’s A is for Amour published through Cleis Press some five or so years ago:

Her eyes fluttered open at just after three a.m. Her body was limp, her head heavy with sleep.

His voice was laced with grogginess. “Won’t you stay? Tomorrow’s Sunday and we don’t have to do anything but relax. It’ll be nice.”

His grip on her wrist was firm. She looked back at him, his eyes half-closed, his lips curved into a smile. He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb, waiting for her answer.

She stood up and went about the business of dressing and gathering her things. She looked back at him when she was done, at the innocent hopefulness in his eyes.

And for a moment, just for a moment she considered it, allowed herself to imagine what it might be like to walk around his apartment barefoot, to fix him breakfast and clean his dishes, to lean against his shoulder on the couch as he watched ESPN.

She thought of telling him yes, that the idea sounded quite nice, But she knew that if she stayed, if she spent the rest of the night laying in his arms, if she woke up with him the next morning, it would change things, there would be no turning back. So, instead she leaned down, held her face close to his, and kissed him.
He closed his eyes and his lips relaxed against hers. Her tongue tickled the roof of his mouth, brushed quickly across his teeth.

It was enough to silence him, to push the idea far, far away, if only for the moment.
The moment passed quickly, so quickly in fact that she couldn’t be sure he was ever awake, or even if she was.
Maybe she had dreamed it all, because just like that he was asleep again and snoring softly, laying there like always, unaware that she was even in the room.

She picked up the pen and pulled out a fresh piece of paper. She thought of what she should say now. It was always something cute and witty, something he could wake up to and smile at and toss aside without much thought.
Yet, somehow what she wanted to say now didn’t sound cute or witty.

What she wanted to say weighed heavy on her chest. The words rose up like floodwaters, spilling into her throat, pouring into her mouth. She wrote them slowly, carefully, imagining the look on his face as he read them, wondering if he would smile, if his mouth would fall open in shock.

The words were strings pushing her forward and pulling her back. But as the minutes passed and her sanity found its way back, she pushed them down again, forced them to settle in her chest.

She scratched through the letters and ripped the paper to shreds. She balled it up threw it in the trash. It would have been foolish to say the words, to even write them. Besides, it was safer for them both if she didn’t.

It was quiet outside now, hard to tell there had even been a storm except for the droplets of rain that ran down the window.

She gathered the rest of her belongings in a hurry, rushing, because if she rushed, she could be out the door. If she hurried she could be inside her car and halfway home before the sun peeked over the horizon, and awakened the city.

You know what they say about no news.

Well, we saw what happened when I fretted about waiting for responses for my current irons in the fire. I received a quick rejection for an oral sex story I had submitted just a couple of weeks ago. Then, I decided I’d just sit back and wait… that maybe no news is good news and not look for those quick responses in my inbox.

I then got another email, this one a tentative acceptance for another oral story I had submitted for the same anthology (and thankfully so, since it upped my odds, apparently). And I always explain the “tentative” part. My story is included in the manuscript to be turned in to the publisher, but runs the risk of being cut once it’s AT the publishers. And, yes, I’ve had the honor of having a story cut by the actual publisher, once, years ago when I was still trying to break into getting published and it was absolutely crushing for me. The editor, however, was very kind about it and was a wonderful mentor for me for a while and that same story went on to be published elsewhere.

So, I’m 1 and 1 here on the submissions front. Three stories still in limbo. Several in the works in various stages.

I’ve also received another anthology in the mail to read and review.