Archive | May 2013

Being Brave

Sometimes, we forget that writing takes bravery… Yes, we all know that reporters sometimes reuqire bravery. But what about fiction writers? Poets? Technically, we’re just putting words on a page— or even a screen, now a days. How on earth can that require bravery?

Well.

The thing is, if people don’t want to understand, they never will. But writing does take bravery. Anytime you commit a part a part of yourself to the arts, you are leaving yourself open. Even if you never plan to publish, or show your art work. Because although we would probably love to, we don’t live or work in a vacuum. Someone, somewhere, at sometime is going to see your work. It’s life.

And we want someone to see our work. Someone to say “Oh, that is wonderful!”

Because it has so much of ourselves in it, when they don’t say that, when they think it needs work, reject it, I can still remember vividly the feeling in the pit of my stomach when classmates stole my notebook and were playing keep away with it, while reading aloud parts of it. It’s a feeling that makes you want to sink into the ground, let it swallow you and your shame whole because there is nothing, nothing more humiliating.

Except that, of course, there is.

Writing is a part of life. It’s where we bundle up our thoughts, our hopes, our fears… everything and throw them into the wind. Sometimes, i write to get something out of my system. As a teenager, I was famous for writing a story and blowing up a person with whom I was angry. What I’m working on now is my way of working out both the demise of my marriage, and the road that we are traveling with my son’s Dyspraxia.

I’m a writer. When writing fiction, i have a way with words (i kind of write on here like I talk… all over the place LOL). I think I can entertain people, make them think, make them gasp. Although I turned my back on it for too many years, I have it back.

So. Fear is real. Being brave is doing something even though you are afraid.

I found a market for a short story– a call for submissions for an anthology. At first, I wasn’t going to. Not one little bit. Because the funding was being crowd sourced, it made me a little antsy. But then I did some digging on who was being included, who had written the introduction/forward… and then I didn’t want to do it because I was just plumb terrified.

These people have published a lot. I’ve published one measley story. One of them… I’ve seen his books in the store. I’ve picked them up.

How can I submit to this anthology now?

How could I not?

I don’t think I’m at that caliber yet. But you know what? Maybe I’m not the best judge of my own writing. Maybe it is good enough. Maybe I’ll never know unless I try.

It was so hard to press the send button on that email. SO HARD!

But, you know… My friend Rie has been writing and submitting like a fiend this year. She’s gotten a lot of rejections… and for a while I think it was discouraging her. But she’s also gotten a lot of acceptances. That keeps her moving forward,

I may start with a ton of rejections. But I’ve already gotten an acceptance. A paid acceptance! Yes, it was last year. However, it is also proof positive that I risked and won. I can do that again.

and again

and again

You get the picture.

How about you? Are you brave in your writing, throwing it out there for the world to see? Or your art– what ever it might be. Do you play an instrument? Do you play for family and friends, for church, in private only for yourself?

 

 

 

 

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Mocha Memoirs Press: a brief interview with the publisher :)

I’ve always believed in the power of a question. Because, honestly, you never know until you ask (or submit your stories). I didn’t expect to get a positive response, because I know how busy Nicole is with everything…. and yet, she did say yes.  So as promised, my lovelies, here is the interview with Nicole, publisher of Mocha Memoirs Press!

  1. Just to get it out of the way… When I go to the Mocha Memoirs Press site, there is an 18 year old or over only disclaimer. Nothing weird is going to pop up on my computer when I go in there, is there?

NK: Nothing strange at all. We just want to give parents and readers a heads up to the fact that some of our titles are erotic romance.  Some people don’t like those more erotic elements to their romances, we like the disclaimer to be there as well, a disclaimer. It’s harmless. Just a big message box.

2.  Can you talk about the books you publish? Do you enjoy all of them?

NK: I do enjoy them all and have read them all. I publish stories that I enjoy and ones that I find are character driven. Genres I love are science fiction, fantasy, horror, and of course, romance.

3. I noticed that you have a lot of recognition in the Science Fiction genre… Do you write in any other genres, under any other names?

NK: I do write under various pen names in other genres, namely romance; however I am not at liberty to share it because it’s a secret. In the past I have used Elisabeth Gordon and Nicole Givens as well.

4. What’s your favorite genre to read?

NK: My favorite genre to read is cyberpunk. Well, I also enjoy reading urban fantasy too.

5. Between MMP and writing, how on earth do you find time for it all? Did I hear that you’re also a grad student? Do you sleep at all J ?

NK: LOL. I sleep very, very little, but every once in awhile, my body rebels and I sleep for 12 hours.

6. Anything you’d like to leave us with? Anything new and exciting coming up from Mocha Memoirs Press?

NK: Our anniversary is coming up in July and we tend to go BIG during that time. Stay tuned.

Keep up with Mocha Memoirs Press at their website here While there, don’t forget to catch up on my favorite story there *wink wink*, Dragon’s Champion

You can catch us MMP authors on the MMP blog, which can be found here

Blogging

Well, the tenth is fast approaching which means you can find my poem, A Haunted Birthday, here . Yay! I’m so excited… I really like this one, and I hope you will too! (It was inspired by my trip to Disney Land in April).

In other news, I have a brief Q & A with the publisher of Mocha Memoirs Press which I am saving as a Mother’s Day gift for you, my lovelies!

I’m just all a shiver!

Ta! Talk to you soon! Go read my poem! Let me know what you think 😀

What cha reading?

The question, often meant to be a harmless conversation starter, sometimes carries risk. “What cha reading?” when asked of an English Lit major in college can be a tense status shuffle of a question. Because what you’re reading literally can tell the other person what class you’re reading for, where you’re at in the program… lots of different things.

And then you have me. Who will tell you, flat out, the name of the romance or fantasy novel that I was reading for fun at the time. Didn’t really care if someone decided to look down their nose at me… and some did. Some asked me, in a whisper, if I had read another book by the same author/in the same genre/you get the picture. Once in a while, someone would ask me why, and I’d reply… “Well, if I’m gonna be a writer, I want to make sure I write in a genre that makes money.”

But here’s my real dirty little reading secret…. I read tabloids.

Yup.

Yes, I know alot of it is made up, speculation, what have you.

I was hooked as a teenager I saw a tabloid with the headline “King Tut dies in plane crash! Pictures inside!” Really? Huh. Never even thought of that. They had the greatest, most fantastical stories… it thrilled my little writer’s heart. Of course, I knew it was fiction, but still!

That love morphed into celebrity tabloids. I actually gave them up for a while, because I believed (and still do) that they were complicit in driving her around the bend into crazy town. (BTW— way to step up and take care of your girl, Pappa Spears! Can you adopt Lindsey?).

I know that not everything I read is true in the tabloids. And yet judgements are made. About people I know next to nothing about. I know their job. I know the persona they choose to show to the public. I know that sometimes the public needs to turn their backs and let them get the help they need… or time to pull themselves back together.

So. That being said, according to all the gossip sites Denise Richards has taken custody (at least temporarily) of her ex-husbands twin sons by another woman. Why? Because they are her daughters’ half brothers. Because she is a mom with a huge heart. According to all the sites, the both the boys’ parents (Charlie Sheen and Brook Miller) are all good with it.

So. We’ve gone from fantastical, to harmful, to uplifting. While I believe, whole heartedly, that there is a line that should not be crossed by reporters… they’re going to keep crossing them when we click onto those stories, when we buy those rags. Do I think my refusal to buy for a while impacted their economy? Nope. I did what I could, and I’m happy with that.

But what if we all said… There’s a line. You don’t need to cross it. Flex your fiction muscles and give me some more photos of King Tut driving an airplane. And remember… Always, always remember…. We the public need to say ‘I CALL BULL” when they cross the line.

Fiction should be recognizable as fiction, after all.