Author: T. L. Sherwood

T. L. Sherwood lives beside Eighteen Mile Creek in western New York. Her work has appeared in Rosebud, Thema, Literary Orphans, and Vestal Review among other places.

Edit the old or NaNo?

That’s the question of the day. I’m prepared to NaNoWriMo in the sense that the house is decluttered and clean, BUT my husband, whom I assume doesn’t pay attention, said last night that I don’t need to. He said my writing has been going well, so did I really want the stress? So now, I’m conflicted and doubting myself…just like every other day of the year.

And my writing has been doing well. I attribute a lot of that to Nina Fosati. She points out things I don’t see and it has drastically improved my writing. (Thank you Nina!) Recently, a story I wrote from a prompt by Meg Pokrass won second prize in the Montana Mouthful contest. I’m sheepish about publishing that on my Facebook page though. I’m fearful someone who has read my work in the past will read it and assume it’s about them and it isn’t. Yes, I love my ego problems. Aren’t they nutty?

It’s raining again and there’s the threat of flooding. I really hate this fear over something I have no control over. I’m trying to focus on the good, like the workshop I’ll be attending on Saturday, the fact that Ben got his repairs done quickly and he passed inspection (Mike, at Star Service – thank you SO much!!!) and that the leaves of the sweet gum are turning color.

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I’m leaning toward editing…Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

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After the flash flood

My friend remarked that, “Man, your personal life is shit, but your career is going fabulously.” And so it goes, I guess. There was a horrible flash flood here on a October 7th – Saturday night. I hadn’t finished cleaning the garden shed from the mud wasp invasion and now I have to rinse silt into a saturated yard. The frog’s pond was muddied up and disturbed. They were not amused.

This past weekend, Husband traveled down to Pennsylvania to help Niece from Boston with the estate sale. They returned here afterwards and there were flowers, chili, and talk.

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Ben is doing better though he’ll be back in the shop for struts and rear brakes. Soon he’ll need to get his snow tires on, but I’ve been able to make the Wednesday write-ins and the Friday night Hamburg Writers’ Group meetings, so I’m grateful for that.

I’m also so pleased the On the Premises chose my story – one that had been rejected 42 times – as the second place winner. You can read it here: My Song for Majabin. When I was informed I cracked the top ten, I assumed it was a mistake – and at best I’d get a critique. Shooting low and being wrong is quite nice.

There has been a frost and so ends the outside flowers. As a nice end to the season, the moon flowers finally bloomed.

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Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

October. Bam!

While it’s tempting to wait as long as possible before the first wood fire, there’s also the tricky comfort level of humidity and cold bones to consider when living in western New York. Needless to say, we’ve had a few fires already and I’m trying to start one now…

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It’s been a fantastic week. Former Cactus came out early. My story, “Tilt-A-Whirl” was plugged by both Cathy Ulrich and Tommy Dean, so I guess I can die happy now. It’s a great issue including “Boomtown” by A.E. Weisgerber and such fun that Tommy Dean’s “Throttling” was first and mine was last. Alpha, omega…

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Riggwelter #14 contains my story, “Doing the Arithmetic,” a piece I wrote during a Meg Pokrass workshop. Thank you Amy Kinsman for accepting it!

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The esteemed Mary Akers decided to use several of my photos in October’s “Rust” Issue of r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Review. I don’t think anyone knows how cool that is to me to have my pictures paired with such awesome writing. Thank you Mary! And thank you Gina Detwiler for offering Silo City tours as part of your book launch for “Forsaken.” Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been inspired to snag Husband’s camera and take pictures. I ❤ you both SO much!

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On Wednesday, I met Nina Fosati at The Comfort Zone for dinner, then we went to Kleinhans Music Hall to see Mohsin Hamid as part of the Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel series. It was smart and interesting. We sat by the woman who’s student started/narrated the video describing the block party series. I ❤ Buffalo!

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Oh, while I was talking to Nina, I found out Literary Orphans Issue 36: Nichelle dropped! Not only is my interview with Grant Falkner in this issue, so is this amazing story by z. t. wiser titled “True Love Waits.”. And  “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” by Lori Sambol Brody.  It’s one of my favorite issues!

Seriously. All of this. In one week. Bam.

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Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

Cheers!

Strange days & happenings…

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I know I’m late with this post. It’s been weird. I started writing this Thursday afternoon:

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Today I had lunch at Julie’s with the SGI Superintendent. She is such a good person – and smart. It was a lovely time and I hope we do end up working on her book. It will be phenomenal when she has some time and it all comes together.

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Yesterday was a “regular” meet up at SPoT Coffee in Orchard Park to write with Gina. It’s been a long time and I was excited to find I could still sit down and write – that, too, has been iffy. The last time I posted, my brother-in-law was still alive. My, how things change. At the service, M and R wore their father’s shirts. I’m sure I’m not the only one who caught their breath – with the hat, the son resembles his father.

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Last Thursday, the cat was acting strange. Mary and Gina – my real life angels – picked me up and we went to Three Girls Café for bunch and catch up. It was so good to spend time with them and try to get back to a semblance of normalcy. I refused to check on the cat – figuring if she was dead, she wouldn’t be reviving, but she was on my mind. I came home, braced myself, and found she was alive. And since then she’s been improving which is miraculous since she’s 19-years-old now. That night, I went to the Comfort Zone for Hamburg Writers’ Group. That, too, was a taste of normalcy. I came home, let the dog out and he tangled with a skunk. Such a roller-coaster of a day.

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And while real life was raucous, the career side has been going along swimmingly. Nina Fosati did a brilliant edit on a story I wrote and I sent it out to higher tier publications. She’s working through a piece I enjoy and – knock on wood – she’ll find the way into it match the tone she wants for it and then it will get published and nominated for prizes. I do think it’s that good.

I received my contributor copy of Bacopa. “Pirouette” is on page 6.

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Furtive Dalliance was released with “Sounds So Familiar,” and after YEARS of submitting, I finally cracked the top ten of On The Premises in the “near death” call for submissions. Weirdly, it was sent at the last minute and I didn’t think it had a chance. It’s a story that Jim Tuttle liked in an early draft. Fingers crossed – but honestly, I’ll be thrilled with the critique.

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The furniture was moved into the “winter mode” and I’ve brought in a few pieces of wood to dry out. Saturday, I start the fall hours at the library with my 10-noon shift. Sunday is Gina’s book release event that I’m so excited to attend. So, apologies for the lateness ~ it’s just the way things have been going as events have prevented sameness and ruts to continue here, creekside, where I haven’t been doing enough reflecting or Pilates…but there has been a lot of love and for that I am grateful.

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Thanks for stopping by and the read!

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It’s Been One Week…

The very first thing I need to say is that I’m so proud of my niece and nephew. Their father – Husband’s twin – is in the ICU in Pittsburgh. It’s possible he may pass away; if he lives there will be a long recovery ahead. This past week, those two have faced insane choices and weighed courses of actions with uncertain outcomes – not a single thing has been easy. They are doing an amazing job handling all that they are going through and I wish I could hug them long enough and hard enough to ease their worry and stress. (R – if you’re reading this, I love you so much!)

And while news of this sadness was arriving, I was online celebrating my amazing week of publications. Thanks once again to Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite, David O’Connor, and everyone at Bending Genres for publishing We’re Toast. Thank you Cal Marcius at Spelk for publishing The Difference Between Us. On Saturday, I Am Promilla, came out, so many thanks to everyone at Postcard Poems & Prose – especially Elizabeth Stark for her amazing “Promilla.”

The disconnect – online and RL – is surreal sometimes. Ben went to the dealer on 30 July and within a week he wouldn’t start – of course. He needed some repairs done, but since he won’t leave the driveway, I, too, am stuck here. Husband had been planning on taking Friday off to celebrate his birthday, but now he’s thinking of going to work. Because he’s the type of person he is, it wouldn’t surprise me if he figures out Ben’s problem, fixes it, the house gets painted and the crash bar on the front door is installed this weekend. Work is how he processes his feelings, writing is mine, but it’s all too sad right now. Things happened so fast…

And now, the waiting is so long. Yesterday, I walked out to the creek and as I neared the edge, a fledgling heron flew up and away from the spot where it had been feeding. Today, it’s a muggy 80+ degrees outside and the labyrinth is too muddy to walk so I’ll be inside, filing, maybe editing, thinking rando thoughts on the essence of being and hating myself for not saying I love you enough.

Sorry for the not so cheery read, but those are the creekside reflections for this week. And a hearty RIP to Bookman who I learned passed away last Thursday. Thanks universe for all the material, but I don’t really want it.

Better days

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I came across a volunteer lily in the field. I found a different one last year. I’m beginning to wonder if Husband is doing this just to muck with my mind. I know I didn’t plant any in this area, yet they bloom.

Doing the things I know to help, have helped. I’m not in a dark place nor as prone as to slip back there – even when I was insulted at a Springville Center for the Arts event last night…

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There were two big changes that made a huge difference. The first was stepping down from my position as Managing Editor at Literary Orphans. I am sorry to disappoint Scott and Mike and everyone else, but it was the worst fit for me. I will be returning to Fiction Editor, a job I adore.

And secondly, in a strange twist, we have cable and high speed internet. For decades, AT&T and others swore it was too expensive to run lines this far. Spectrum came in and now we’re signed up for a 30 day trial of their bundled services. Everything was hooked up on Saturday. On Monday, AT&T called to say they could give us a better deal…right. It’s interesting to have so many channels. Husband and both adore being able to watch PBS; it didn’t come in in the summer with the rabbit ears. I still haven’t figured out this DVR, but I can get the one on Husband’s TV to work. It is such a relief to not worry about going over my data limit.

I took New Dog to the eternal flame. It was lit this time.

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The following Monday, I took him to the groomers. Here he is, acting mopey like Sampson.

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Next Saturday, “I AM PROMILLA,” comes out on Postcard Poems and Prose. I saw the mock up and it is delightful! Elizabeth did an excellent job. Also, “The Difference Between Us” will appear in Spelk. They choose the most interesting pieces over there. I am thrilled to share these two pieces wtih you and the rest of the world, so please do check them out. They are flash – it won’t take long them. Thanks in advance, and thank you for stopping by for the read!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Been here before and it sucks.

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So dear readers, I’m in a funk…dealing with several down days, what have you. I’m doing the things that help weather this mood. I plan on doing some more and getting through this, but right now, I’m not feeling “it.”

The news I was a semi-finalist for Grist’s ProForma contest didn’t help. Monarchs and dragonflies dancing around didn’t either. My first time to the Eternal Flame didn’t do anything for me, not that I thought it would…

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There was a spark of momentary joy when I saw at least two bats flying at dusk because they haven’t been here in years, but it didn’t last long.

I’m not a fan of this nor do I want to bring you down to this hole with me, but it’s part of who I am, who I’ve always been, and I deal with it. Please don’t be that person & suggest medication or therapy.  Thank you for putting up with me.

Cheers to you from here.