Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Writing is Hard

I’m sure some of you have seen this meme bouncing around the internet. And it’s true: writing is hard. But publication is harder.

I’ve recently had another story accepted for publication. I was on the verge of tearing my hair out, fretting that I would never be published again. You never know, really. Writing/Publishing is a subjective business. What works for one magazine or publication won’t work for another. I’ve had editors tell me that they really liked and enjoyed my stories, but that they just didn’t cut the mustard. They loved it, but they weren’t “in love” with it. It’s not personal; it’s never personal. Yet we always take it personally.

I should know by now that there is no exact time frame for submission to acceptance/publication. My latest story was written back in September of 2016 and was only accepted in March of 2017. I had to do a revision on it too. Though it was good, it needed polishing. Many stories do. Take it as a sign of encouragement if an editor responds and asks you for a rewrite. They are investing their time in you and giving you a second chance. It’s a complement, really.

One story I wrote, “Saving Grace” was originally written way back in 2013 and didn’t appear in print until 2015. That’s two years.

“A Grave Discovery,” my little murder mystery, had been written in October of 2015 and was accepted by New Zenith Magazine in June 2016. Eight months and I was just about to throw in the towel. Sadly, that magazine has since ceased publication. (I am determined to get this one published again though.)

“An Agoraphobic in Europe,” was written in September of 2015 and wasn’t published until over a year later.

Another interesting fact: 90% of what I write, I write with one publication in mind. However, rarely does that publication ever accept or publish what I have written. I can’t tell you how many times I have submitted stories to Guideposts, Highlights, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Reader’s Digest, only to have my stories accepted elsewhere.

Manic obsession and perseverance is the only real advice I can give about writing or publication. You receive twenty rejections for a story, submit it again. Submission twenty-one could be it. Don’t take “no” for an answer.

Until next time!

Monday, February 6, 2017

My Internet Publications

To organize this blog a little better, I have moved the promotion of my internet publications to this page. So here they are, all of my little darlings. Hopefully there will be more to come!

I guest blogged on the Artist Unleashed in January of 2017. To read my article, click here published my essay, "An Agoraphobic in Europe." You may read it here

New Zenith Magazine (ceased publication), Summer 2016 Issue. Features my story, "A Grave Discovery." You may purchase it here

I am a regular contributor to the blog, Femnista. To read my articles, click here

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fun Facts

Below are a number of fun facts about my new WIP that takes place in Poland during and after WWII.

One of the main characters is named Lidia. She was named after the tour guide of the group I was in. This woman was extraordinary; she was a walking encyclopedia.

Another character is named Ewa. She was named after Eva Mozes Kor; she was a Mengele Twin, she survived the war and started the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum. Eva is a remarkable woman, who has publically forgiven the Nazis and encourages others to forgive, as a way of sowing seeds of peace.

The C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum hosts an annual tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow. I went on their 2015 tour, because it had been a dream of mine and I was doing research for my WIP.

Image made by my sister, Seanna Acey

The WIP is tentatively titled, “The Judgement of Solomon.” It was inspired by the passage in the Bible: 1 Kings 3:16-28. Two women approach King Solomon, each claiming that a boy as their own. King Solomon offers to cut the child into two that way they will each have him. The real mother backs off, hoping that the boy will be spared. This is a running theme in my story.

My WIP primarily takes place in Krakow. Although they are not featured in my story, historical people such as Oskar Schindler, Amon Goethe, Dr. Mengele, Cardinal Hlond, Hans Frank are mentioned.

Some of the places shown in the story are St. Mary’s Basilica, Main Market Square, Podgorze Ghetto, Wawel Castle, Gestapo Headquarters, Kazimierz District, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. 

The story spans from 1941 to 1946.

The first draft took nearly four months to write. And then when I revised it, I had to rewrite a lot of Part Three.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Jan/Feb Femnista Article is Up!

This issue's theme is "Playing Second Fiddle," which features couples who play "second-fiddle" in a story or a movie or a TV show. I chose Levin and Kitty from "Anna Karenina." Leo Tolstoy's magnum opus is one of the greatest novels ever written, but I feel that the secondary couple in the story, Levin and Kitty, are often overlooked.

So check it out and let me know what you think.

Click here to read it!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Artist Unleased

An update: I have guest post on the blog "The Artist Unleashed" and invite you all to read it. It covers a period in 2012 when I thought I had secured a literary agent and was sadly mistaken. Though it was a painful experience, it taught me to persevere.

To read the blog post, click here! Thank you and I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, January 6, 2017

WIP #2

One of the many, many lessons I have learned in my years of writing is never to put all your hopes into one story. As great and wonderful as a novel can be, to not have a second story waiting is na├»ve. Trust me, know from personal experience. For years I placed all of my hopes into one Epic Novel that was to be my “be all and end all” in my literary career. Needless to say that story was never picked up. So as much faith as I have in my Great Depression novel, it would be foolish of me not to have another WIP. After all, something had to keep me occupied in 2016 while I fretted away on my various submissions.

Some of you may know that I was very blessed a year and a half ago to go to Poland with the CANDLES Museum and tour Krakow and Auschwitz- Birkenau. It really was a life changing experience that I will never forget for as long as I live. Though I have been interested in the Holocaust since I was twelve, dreamt of visiting Auschwitz, and wanted to learn from Eva Mozes Kor – I must admit that I had ulterior motives in going. I was there partly to do research for a prospective story.

The novel is based in Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau; it spans most of the war and some of 1946. And it is told from two perspectives: a Catholic woman and a Jewish man. Unbeknownst to them they are connected and must come to terms with their prejudices to find a way to co-exist. It is almost finished and I hope to speak more about it in the coming months, especially now that the movie “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is to be released, which is based in Nazi Occupied Poland.

Until next time.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Life in Indiana in 1930s

In my research, I stumbled upon this interesting website called Only in Your State and one of its pages shows what life was like in Indiana in the 1930's. Of course that grabbed my attention because of my Great Depression novel. So if you're curious as to what life was like for my heroine, or perhaps you want to know what life was like for your grandparents and great-grandparents, check it out!

Click here.