LouAnne Johnson

Happy 2013! I’m an Editor now!

I hope your 2013 is starting off to be a great year. Yesterday, I was promoted from a fiction reader to a Fiction Editor at r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal. Thank you, Mary Akers! I went through the receipts for the year and gathered all the tax information I have so that dreadful bit which I usually wait until the last minute to do is over and I already have a contest entry and three submissions sent off. My year is starting off very well, and last year was not too shabby. I went to a writer’s conference in Westfield where I met James Goertel, Reg Darling, LouAnne Johnson, and Linda Lavid. I traveled to Binghamton and met Jefferson Rose and his family. My son and his family visited. I saw Chicago again. My garden shed was completed. I had ten pieces accepted (including one which will appear in Rosebud–one of my “dream” publications) and an agent queried me.

While I don’t make resolutions, per se, I’m not immune to the hype for personal betterment in the new year. I do hope that my writing (and editing) skills improve and that my work is accepted in awesome venues. Payment would be nice and finding an agent that believes in my work would be fantastic. I think I have these vague “goals” at all points during the year, but they seem most pronounced in January.

I know it works for some people, but declaring a new start at the beginning of the year has never worked for me. When I quit smoking (on Saturday, it will be the eighth anniversary) it was something I had tried before. I hadn’t been as serious about it until then. And don’t get me wrong, the drugs helped, too. Without Welbutrin, I don’t think I would have made it past the hump. But, I quit on the fifth, not the first. Now, writing challenges and prompts are different. So are deadlines. I have a better chance of meeting another person’s parameters than deciding which things to impose on myself for some reason.

I’m so grateful the holidays are over. Husband has been home too much for my taste. I thought that today I might be able to get back to normal, but no. On the ride over to Weber City, he got a call and he’ll be putting a bid in on a job in Depew this afternoon, and since there will be no time for him to get back to the Buffalo Zoo and get tools out, he’ll be home early again. Yesterday, he was home early because he was all ‘manly’ and had three cavities filled during one dentist visit which numbed his tongue completely. *Sigh* Men…

Cats though, they are sweet and look lovely in ribbons. Since mine is a diva, here are two photos where I tried to capture her New Year’s Eve ‘costume.’

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This month there will be an additional posting as I’ve been tagged to participate in the “Next Big Thing.”

Thanks for checking in!

(*These are just my Creekside Reflections. Your experience may vary.)

 

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Name Dropping & Linking All Over the Place

After posting last time, I went shopping. Upon my return, I found an email from one of the women in my RL writer’s group. There was a writer’s conference in Westfield on Sunday and if I was willing to drive, she’d pay my conference fee. On Saturday, Husband took me to Eden so I’d know my way to her house. We stopped in and had a lovely visit. Then on Sunday, she and I went to the gorgeous Patterson Library.

It was the first time they had done a conference there and kudos to Peter Hamilton for putting it together. Mary Jo and I went to the same sessions. The first was done by James Goertel who tackled the Writer’s Craft . He’d just gotten back from AWP (I was so jealous! He could have heard Roxane Gay  give a reading while he was there. I would have!) and even though James was tired, he was a motivated instructor.

We broke to listen to LouAnne Johnson, author of My Posse Don’t Do Homework which turned into the movie Dangerous Minds. She read from Muchacho. It was very entertaining. She sat at the same table as we did for the lunch which was held at the church across the street.

After lunch was Marketing Your Work by Linda Lavid. I thought it was informative and I found out a few things I hadn’t known. Some things I was doing already and it turns out they were the ‘right’ things to do which was gratifying to hear.

Then, the people who signed up drew numbers to choose the order to read their work. I went second and read “Wildflower Wishes.” Mary Jo went fourth and read from her book, “Under Cover.”  While the conference had been scheduled to go until after six, we got out of there around 4 p.m. It was a great day all around.

Facebook revealed a chance for women’s essays to be included in an edition of Brevity titled Ceiling or Sky: Female Nonfictions after the VIDA Count and in response to the recently revealed VIDA and its nearly identical pie graph which shows 75% of most magazine’s contributors are male. I sent in “Finding Peers.” An editor of the new cool zine to read, Jumping Blue Gods asked for my submission. (Much appreciation to Jennifer Bridges!)

Robert Tucker at Chrysalis Reader sent the edits he made to “Delaware and the Rip-Off King.” We disagreed on a single line and he agreed to use the one I offered, so that is now wrapped up.

This past Saturday, I happened to see in Gusto that there was a reading being done at the West Falls library. I went and listened to Jeff Schober. Oddly, as he was signing my book, he mentioned the Arcade & Attica Railroad Mystery Train. Turns out, he was writing the script for this year’s production and he had been an actor in the last one with Betty. Tiny little world, isn’t it?

Then, later on this past Saturday, there was the most awesome news: The return of NPR’s Three Minute Fiction! Round Eight was announced. In case you missed it, hit the link above. I heard about it on FB before the show started and didn’t take long to come up with a story and write it. Seriously, maybe an hour tops to write–though I think it was closer to twenty minutes. I’d thought of an ending line, then two characters arrived, and as I wrote toward the end line, the story took me to a different place.

I trimmed it until I could read it in under 3 minutes, then read it to Husband, who–get this–thought it was nice. I sent it in. Usually, I end up with regret when I send things in so soon after they’re written, but the next morning, I still thought it was a good story.

On Monday, I sent it to Chyo, and except for one word choice, she thought it was fantastic. I wound up in a brief email exchange with Long Distance Friend and sent it to him. He not only liked it, but wanted to share it with his Secret Girlfriend. Now, I wait on Guy Roz and the judges at 3MF to decide if they like it, too.

In a teensy tiny way, I’m a bit on edge over the idea of finally having one of my stories chosen by 3MF. I mean I am the self-proclaimed Susan Lucci of this contest. Can I give up that continuing sting of disappointment? Well, it’s out of my hands now. And if it isn’t chosen as the winner, I hope it isn’t chosen as an also ran. I have three magazines I want to submit the story to. Sigh. We’ll see how it goes. In the other rounds, I’d written to win. This story I wrote because it was something I wanted to read.

Speaking of which.. One of the things Chyo said was that the story I wrote was a piece which would cause her to look up other work by the same author. She then told me of series of books she’s bought because of short stories she’d come across in an anthology. So, while I’m waiting on yet another person’s thoughts on Ellie’s Elephants, I’ve opened up the third book of the Dreaming Lettie series, and I think I’m falling in love all over again… How could I forget about the Dreads!

Until next time!

*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.