Saturday, June 24, 2017

Actual Conversation Between my Children Overheard This Morning


Bennett (the four-year-old): I call this early-morning meeting of the Hughes family children to order. We have a mission today. Mother is going to try and get things done today. We cannot let that happen. What are we going to do?
Rosalinda (the five-month-old): Umm…I know I’m pretty new to the family here, but I’m just gonna’ throw this out there- I could cry obnoxiously every time Mother puts me down.
Bennett: Even if you’re clean and fed and she’s been holding you all night?
Rosalinda: Especially then. And I’ll throw up on myself.
Bennett: I like it. Juanita- what’s your plan?
Juanita (the two-year-old): Well, lately I’ve been working on my pinching skills. So I think I’ll just go with that for today. I will pinch you every chance I get and…get this…if you so much as look at me, I’ll scream and claim that you pinched me!
Bennett: You are truly an artist. I’m not sure I’ve ever told you how long I’ve admired your work. As for myself, I will, of course, bite you in retaliation and claim that I have no idea how you got those tooth marks on your arm. And then I’m going to spend all day jumping up and down and asking Mother to look at me, even if I’m not doing anything very interesting. And if she won’t look at me every single time- I’m going to sulk.
Rosalinda: Ooh and if you guys get bored doing those things, might I suggest jumping on top of me? Mother always responds to that!
Juanita: Yeah! Go us!
Bennett: But guys, we have to talk about what happened yesterday. Mother actually went to the bathroom by herself. We barely noticed and by the time I ran over there, she had finished and was walking out through the door. What happened, guys?
Rosalinda: I think it was me. I was distracted by one of those toys with the dangly bits. Oh, I love the dangly bits. I just drool all over them and I love them so much that I want to swallow them more than anything else in the world.
Juanita: I was…I was putting together a cow puzzle! Don’t look at me like that. What were you up to, Bennett?
Bennett: I’m ashamed to say it. I was looking at a brightly colored picture book. The colors…the pictures…what is she thinking putting these things right in our home? How can we help but be distracted by something like that? Toys, puzzles, books? We’ve got to get serious, guys! If necessary, we have to try our secret weapon.
Juanita: Not the secret weapon! I don’t know, Bennett, this might be going too far.
Bennett: Yes, Juanita. You must wet your pants. Preferably two inches away from the toilet. Do it for the family.
Juanita: Well, if it’s for the good of the family…
Bennett: She's waking up! Everyone pretend to be asleep.
Rosalinda: I'm kind of sleepy, can I actually fall asleep?
Juanita: Yeah, I’m actually kind of sleepy, too. I might just lay down and close my eyes until, oh, 11:00.

Bennett: No! You can't do that! Do you want Mother to think we don’t take our jobs seriously? No one can sleep in. You must stay awake at all costs, even if you are extremely sleepy and grumpy. So stay awake. And remember- no one can ever know about our secret meetings.   

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Writing Continues....


Though this blog has come to a grinding halt since I had my son and lost regular internet access, my writing attempts continue. This year, I participated in Nanowrimo for the 2nd year in a row. I found that it was easier than last year and I felt that my overall work was much improved. My short story challenge last year (I wrote one short story every day for a month) and my poetry challenge (same thing, but with poetry) helped me improve on plot development and the places where poetry or rhyme was necessary in my story. This year I hope to improve on revision, as I often find it much easier to create something new than to fix the problems of my past work.

I ended up with a 50,000 word novel entitled, "The Selkie Prince," which is a work of children's fiction involving identical twins from California who study abroad at Oxford and get transported to a magical world quite a bit like the Orkney islands North of the Scottish coast. There are selkies, hogboons, trows, talking otters, an evil witch, and an epic battle of good versus evil. This will be the 3rd book I've completed, and the 4th I've attempted. Every time I get just a little bit better.  I am looking forward to 2014 and the new writing challenges and improvements I will make.

I am going to spend the next 6 months revising the book and re-reading some of my favorite children's fiction. I hope to begin queries around June of 2014. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Becoming Immune to Rejection?

Well, the great submissions fest is over. I ended up submitting to only 14 markets. I quickly discovered that out of all my pieces, only about a quarter of them seemed to fit anywhere, and of course, most places do not accept simultaneous submissions.

I have heard from the majority of the markets and was rejected by all of them. It stings a little, like if someone hit you on the hand with a fly-swatter. But surprisingly, it doesn't feel like a I was hit in the face with a 2x4. Maybe I've been rejected enough now that I'm getting used to it, being immune a little. I certainly hope so.

In any case, I hope I am learning to enjoy writing for its own sake more and more. Though it does not appear to be adding much glory or money, it still adds a tremendous value to my life.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Submissions Storm

I am working hard on submitting my poetry and short stories. There are a lot of wonderful contests and markets out there. So far I have submitted to:

Lunch Ticket (Rejected very politely within 24 hours)
The Lucille Clifton Poetry Contest
The Asimov Science Fiction Magazine
New Myths e-zine

All wonderful markets I would recommend submitting your work to.