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Posts Tagged ‘Zoetrope’

Kudos to the wondrous Kathy Fish for hosting the Fast Fiction Reunion on Zoetrope this weekend. I met some wildly talented writers and had a blast. Plus, I wrote two new flashes. Yeah! It hasn’t been that long since I finished a piece, but it feels that way. Now, if I could just make time to submit…

6.15.2017A

I’m in the middle of a minor kitchen project and when I say “I,” I mean Husband is doing the work and I’m coping with the displacement of things so of course this morning, Allison suggests coming round to drop off the “appreciation gift.” My life resembles a sit-com at times.

I’m honing “Near Eden, New York,” based on great suggestions from Nina, Mary, and Gina, plus my own thoughts after leaving it alone for a few months. My synopsis needs work, too. Being a writer is such fun, let me tell you. But I do take time to enjoy the roses.

6.15.2017B

Literally. This is the sight that greets me on my way out the door.

6.15.2017C

Sadly, the peonies are already waning.

6.15.2017D

The bulbs that I can’t remember the names of are thriving in these days before the official start of summer. I hope you’re enjoying your time, no matter what you’re doing. As for me, I’ll be diving back into Tara and Pete’s story. It’s a lovely place to be.

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

 

(These are my creekside reflections. No sense getting worked up about them if they don’t agree with yours.)

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This is my last post for the year and — knock on wood — we get to the new one before yet another celebrity passes. Cohen, Bowie, Rickman, Prince, and Princess Leia all in one year is devastating! Sadly, there were even more…

I’ve ended up with a bit of a time buffer that I’ll be using to play catch-up-on-the-paperwork. Such a fun game! I made a decent dent in the filing of my writing over the weekend, have been winnowing the newspaper stack each night, but I’m dreading the receipt sorting/gathering tax paperwork part of the game. Yes, I know, it could be worse and I am grateful for the problems I have, but I still sometimes wish I had a secretary so I didn’t have to play one in real life.

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Speaking of real life, I really was appointed to the Board of Education. Is that life imitating art or me getting suckered punched into a bureaucratic and political quagmire? Either way, it will be more experience to plunder for another story or two…

Writing wise, I only know I’m not getting my hopes up. When I finished Life and Crimes, I thought it was the best thing I’d ever written. Full requests from agents was so damned sweet and then, when they said no, it hurt. This book, tentatively called Near Eden, New York, is better written than that — in my opinion by a lot. What if it isn’t enough though? What if I need to write another book that surpasses this one in quality before I have a book published? It’s such a heartbreaking profession — not at all the way I imagined it would be when I started dreaming about being a best-selling author. I know I’ll get there because I’m not smart enough to quit, but in the interim, I think I’ll return to the Hot Pants office at Zoetrope and start churning out flash.

I stopped in there last night before I glanced at my flash file. I don’t have a lot left to send out. Again, I know, that is the best problem to have — getting so much accepted that I have nothing left to submit. I am grateful. So grateful and I would love to continue kvetching here, but that isn’t reducing the paper stack.

Thanks for stopping by!

12-29-2016

*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

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notblueThe large calendar continues to be useful. I even put the notation, “Blog!” on last and next Thursday’s squares. When I realized that meant writing one during Stepson’s wedding week, I switched that around and so you’re reading this now and not then – or last week.

Husband and I still have a lot to do to get ready for the guests that will be staying with us and normally I’d be outside mowing or weeding, but the humidity is brutal. It was bad yesterday, too, but I managed to get the rest of the wood in, Husband pulled out the old tractor to see if that transmission can be married to the one we’ve been using and I pushed the steps to the south lawn closer together. All of this with chipmunk scurrying underfoot, under leaves, under steps and in the trees. They are plentiful and brave this year.

I had an AMAZING run of acceptances recently. Christopher James took “It Only Hurts When I Smile” which came out of Kathy Fish’s workshop! It’s scheduled to appear in Jellyfish Review on 17 December. Kae Sable took “Something to Talk About” for Dime Show Review and it’s live. I felt unsure about “Birth Control” and put it up in Hot Pants in Zoetrope to workshop…and the incredible Kim Chinquee loved it as is and took it for New World Writing. It’s live HERE. And on Sunday, A. E. Phillips wrote to say she’s taking “An Alice is An Alice is an Alice” for both the print Fall Issue and the 2016 Year End Collection of The Donut Factory. Two weeks, 5 acceptances. Hell yeah!

(I did enter the bizarro world where the rejection from Apogee was welcomed. All that winning was starting to freak me out.)

Both “Birth Control” and “Something to Talk About” are very new and from the stack of flashes involving the characters Pete and Tara.  I thought the piece I wrote on Tuesday where Tara meets Pete’s mother for scones (with clotted cream – Thanks Mary Akers!) didn’t work and I was disappointed in myself. I went back yesterday and found it isn’t bad at all.

I was discouraged that only one sunflower came up this year – I planted two rows – but look at the multi-headed one that came up!

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Saturday, I’m back to my piece of heaven — volunteering at the West Falls-Colden Community Library. I won’t be there as often this season as I’ll be working some Saturdays. (Yes, Virginia, I did get a job.) And I’m glad I put that in the book, because I nearly forgot! So much is going on in the next two weeks from Husband doing things he’s never done before – including getting his hair and beard tended to by a hairdresser – to hosting a group of writers hours (I hope I have hours to prepare!) after our houseguests leave.

So, barring that it’s too much and does kill me, I’ll be back in two weeks to tell you all about with pictures of Husband in a tuxedo!

Thanks for stopping by!

*These are my Creekside Reflections; your experiences may vary.

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This morning, between the spats of rain, I’ve seen a swallowtail butterfly flitting around the flowers. Yesterday, I spotted a newly hatched monarch and I was so grateful that Husband made an effort to mow around the milkweed.

I’ll often stop washing dishes when the hummingbirds come to the feeder on the window outside the kitchen, but Tuesday, it was empty and I washed and filled it. I still had my hand on it – standing right there so it wasn’t like I was trying to camouflage myself – and a hummingbird came to feed. I don’t know if it was extremely hungry or incredibly trusting, but it was a thrill to be so close and feel the wind from its wings. I have this lovely friend who sends out a newsletter about nature, animals, and spiritual concerns. Because of her, I’ve been more attuned to nature recently and noticing strange things like that occurring more often, probably only because I am paying attention.  (Thank you Kellie!)

Recently, I used my gift card to Barnes and Noble to purchase one of those calendar organizers, you know, the ones that look impossibly thick with pages to plan your week and list goals and you wonder why anyone would ever need one that size. Let me tell you, I didn’t realize it, but I have needed one for a very long time. I’ve only had it for a few weeks and I’m already amazed at how easy this has made my life. So, Stepson, if you’re reading this, thank you for the Christmas present.

Yesterday was Husband’s birthday and even though it was a milestone, he didn’t want a fuss, so he didn’t get one, but he did get a card, a pan of brownies instead of a cake, and a case of his favorite beer.

8.17.2016

I posted a similar pic on Facebook and was delighted at the number of likes and birthday wishes it generated. Also, I know it’s small minded and petty, but I do wish people wouldn’t use his first name on Facebook, because, well, I’m not sure he wants to be associated with the likes of me via social media.

And Husband’s birthday is not the only close family member’s birthday this month. There are at least seven, plus two friends that are like family, and there’s a baby shower to attend and an ex-in-law’s anniversary to celebrate, so yes Hallmark, I am keeping you afloat…not that I expect a big company such as yourself to send me a thank you card.

Besides sending out tons of greeting cards, I’ve also been weeding the garden, mowing the trails, weed-eating the labyrinth, reading, making and drinking gallons of sun tea, cooking, cleaning, stressing out over Stepson’s impending wedding and the guests we’re putting up and the accompanying dinner menus, who’s getting where and when, attending Board of Education meetings, Hamburg Writers Group Meetings, looking forward to the novel critique meeting, being thrilled for friends with book releases (Congrats Gina Detwiler, Jeff Schober, Mary Akers, Claudia Cortese), enjoying the results of the Bemer treatments, being excited to start as a Bemer tech tonight, submitting two things a day because I was down to something stupid like only four things out plus fretting over the pink hibiscus and goji plants that I bought at the East Aurora farmer’s market last week which haven’t gotten planted yet, but man do the bees love them both.

 

8.16.2016

If I was reading this, I’d think that was all I was doing, but actually, I’ve been doing a lot of writing. These two characters, Pete and Tara, will not leave me alone. I’m taking old and new word lists from Hot Pants and even though I can’t find a story with the words, “Boogieman, ankle, Dumbo, kiwi and tax,” they do, and make it all about them. I decided to make them have sex so they’d have what they wanted and leave me alone. Was that good enough for them? No, they were right back at it yesterday and used a Kathy Fish Workshop Reunion prompt to get there. I read that piece, “Sweet Spot,” to Husband and his response was “I didn’t know you had it in you,” which made me not want to associate with him on social media.

Oh, and we have new art!

art

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections; your experiences may vary.

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{~Photos graciously provided by Joseph Fleckenstein~}

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Participating in National Novel Writing Month is a process that continues to fascinate me. I won’t say it gets easier, or that I am any closer to having a “real” book by the end, but each time I find a rhythm. I completely “pantsed” this year and so far, I’m finding my way – though by now, the beginning needs major reworking. Oh, how I love the problems I have.

 
I forget which “law” it is, but to me, writing is motion and once engaged, I write even more. My co-workers have been nailing comments on pieces sent to Literary Orphans, so I’ve mostly bowed out of commenting there because, “What Len said” and “Brittany summed it up nicely” grows tiresome, even to my own ear. I do read, and I vote. That is the loveliest thing – if you submit to LO, your piece is read by at least three people.

There’s more responsibility and leeway at r.kv.r.y. I made an executive decision Sunday night. A writer sent a piece and said he’d appreciate any feedback. It’s customary to wait a week before responding – I don’t know why that is, it just is. Anyway, the writing was good but the story wasn’t “there.” I offered my reasons and reasoning as to why I wasn’t accepting the piece. It was a bit scary – one never knows how another reacts – especially to rejection.

In the morning, the writer, Joseph Fleckenstein – my guest photographer today – responded with an abundance of gratitude. My time spent reaching out and talking to another writer ended in an offer of four beautiful images to choose from for my very own. The first was of a thistle. I chose that one because of it being a talisman to the family I married into – a thistle was on Gideon Whitson’s gravestone – and if the story I got from Husband is wrong, I’m sure my beautiful niece will correct me. So at the top and bottom are two gorgeous photos of thistles by Joseph Fleckenstein. My many, many thanks to him.

‘Tis the season to be grateful, isn’t it?

Nancy Leone came by yesterday with flowers, fresh rosemary, and her final notes on L&C. She had one major point I know I should consider fixing. It’s at the end and won’t require a lot, but I wish that book was “done” done. I know, it won’t be until it’s published – should I be that lucky, but it’s gotten to minutia and I’m tired. I want to move on. Is that wrong? Besides which, someone wondered if I wasn’t allowing too many critiquers into the pot, but the last major rewrite pleased him so I just don’t know anymore.

What I do know is that I took a break from a private office in Zoetrope. I didn’t think I was being useful and the prompts weren’t working. Late summer and early autumn are full of depression triggering time bombs. Events conspired, I wrote a creative nonfiction piece – something I shy away from writing, but I posted it and then could see the flaws. It felt great though, to dip back into flash. So, to you Kim Chinquee, I want to give my thanks for leaving that office door open. And thanks to Gina who has been such a positive guide. Thanks to Mary for her belief in me. Thanks to my incredible and kind Husband. To Sidney. To Alex. To Chyo. To XOMan. To my niece.

I could go on for a VERY long time naming people and things I’m grateful for but this post is already topping 600 words. That’s longer than the flash I wrote…which just proves the law I was talking about…

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thank you again, Joseph Fleckenstein!

(These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

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I’m sure it’s a matter of paying attention more than anything, but when I have a certain book on my bedside table and flip through it before I go to sleep, the oddest coincidences occur. It’s called “There are No Accidents.” I’m still not convinced.

Anyway, I’m older. Yeah me for not dying in the last 364 days.

The weather was finally decent and I took a walk to the creek. Surprise! The idiot neighbor placed a branch in the middle of the path. *Sigh* If you happen to know this moron, could you please point out to him that it’s easier for me to walk over there and move his phallic symbol twice a day than it is for him to go up and down the hill? I’m really sorry his brain, penis, and prestige at work are all so tiny, but really, enough. I mean if there was a point to it, okay, but there’s not. All it does it irritate me and he needn’t bother. I have relatives for that. (I’m kidding. Most of them are decent human beings. One or two of them though, I’d like to run DNA tests on before condemning a whole alien species based on the behavior of just a few imbeciles.)

Otherwise, I may be going to the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair with Mary Jo on Saturday. Details are being worked out. I hope she’s feeling well enough to do her reading.

I’m still at work on “The Life &.”  My MC was going to start a fight and I didn’t want to her to, so I punished her by not writing very much for a few days. It’s strange–this writing gig. I love FB and Twitter, Zoetrope and the other sites I’ve been on in the past. If I had these characters in my head and thought I was the only one who knew them to be as real as real people, I’d commit myself.

I have queries sent to three agents. I know, I should get more out, but I’m still dealing with an April Fool’s joke or a missed rejection. I sent two stories to a magazine in January. Only one has been rejected so far. *Sigh* I’d love to think I have a shot, but it’s such a very long shot…

The three types of peppers I planted have come up. I expect to see the tomatoes any day. Spring is a lovely time of year.

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Anyway, if you wished me well on Facebook, I do appreciate the gesture. Sorry I’m not all happy happy joy joy about surviving this year. I took some big hits emotionally. I’m sure you’re sick of my remembrances of the dead and/or dying so I won’t do a recap. Really, that’s what I’m thinking about today. It doesn’t get any better than this does it? First world white girl problems. Yeah!

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

(*These are just my creek side reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

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Summer always seems to be filled with interesting beautiful opportunities, and hard, hot work. On Monday, I went to Burger King and met up with an old friend. He had put out a CD and since he lives in Gowanda, I didn’t see the need to pay postage. We had a lovely catch up and he signed my CD case. He’s putting together another collection and I wish him well on that project. (I’d link a website to plug him, but he doesn’t have one yet.)

On the 11th, I sat in the library and wrote 1500 words–a story and a partial flash. By the 14th, the story “Brown Eyed Bess” was sent out to three places. I don’t know where it came from, but it is good. I sent it to XO man. He loved it. I sent it to an honorary member of Ugly Babies. I asked, “Yes? Or is it lacking?” and received this response, “Yes. This is new, both in timeline and in voice. I like the location very much.”

When I started the celebration thread on Zoetrope, I asked a paraphrased question that Mary Akers had brought up in her office, “How can you tell whether what you’re writing is good or not?” Some people mentioned “flow” and while I understand that, that isn’t what I meant. When I was writing “Brown Eyed Bess,” I knew it was a good story. I can’t say why I knew, but I just took a look at the original draft (written in a font I’ve never used before) and while I polished the piece, the bones were there…and really good bones at that.

Husband and I usually get two loads of firewood per summer weekend and that takes up so much time. This year, after the initial two loads, Husband signed out the white dump truck from work on a Sunday and in two trips, got ten cords that are now sitting in the driveway. I put up the first row in the woodshed on Monday–just moving the wood left over from last year over, really. Yesterday, I put in the second row. I had plans to put up the third today, but I forgot that the picking up the pieces and putting them in the wheelbarrow is different from just moving wood over. So, I’m achy today and I don’t see that happening.

Instead, I’m packing. Since Husband is working in Cuba, we decided we’d stop in at Jeff Rose’s party. Tonight, Dog is going to a kennel. I’m getting up early and going with Husband on Friday. I’ll be camping out in a teacher’s lounge and reading. Then we’re driving to Binghamton, checking into the hotel and walking over to Mr. Rose’s place for a bit. On Saturday, we’re going to the museum, then the party and then home. I’m nervous! New people, which aren’t all that ne. I’ve interacted with them on Zoetrope for years. Mr. Budman is likely to be at the party. He is Editor of Vestal Review where my first flash was accepted. I don’t know why this makes me so nervous, but it does…

So, that is a roundup of my recent doings and upcoming weekend. I hope yours is fantastic and filled with no stress at all. Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.)

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