Love, Loneliness, and the Spaces Between Us

Dear Reader,

I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I hope this post will touch your heart.

One of my favorite bands is Muse, but their song “Aftermath” has never sat well with me, and in this time of social distancing and uncertainty, it feels like a good time to breakdown with you the issues I have with it (and other things – love, loneliness, and the spaces between us). Continue reading “Love, Loneliness, and the Spaces Between Us”

50 Publications Accepting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Submissions – Winter 2019

Dear Writers,

In Fall 2019 I made a list of 26 magazines accepting Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy submissions. This is the updated list for Winter 2019 – there are some removals due to closing, hiatus, or reading period limitations. Many additions have been added – I’ve really scoured the web this time.

I’ve broken this into three groups:

SFWA Qualifying Markets
Qualifying Rates but Not Approved SFWA Venues
Non-SFWA Markets

New to magazine submissions? Then this link will take you to something I previously wrote – What the ****? Things Beginners Might Want to Know about Magazine Submissions.

Continue reading “50 Publications Accepting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Submissions – Winter 2019”

5 Reasons I’m Attempting NaNoWriMo This Year

Long time readers may remember my lamentations about National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo).

I know what I said:

The “at this rate you’ll finish your novel on x date” ticker in NaNoWriMo is stressful for me.  It causes undue stress…

That was a few years ago. It’s been long enough that I’ve been able to forget some of the stress.

This year I’ve succumbed to the madness. Here are my thoughts on why I’m attempting it this year:

Continue reading “5 Reasons I’m Attempting NaNoWriMo This Year”

7 Things I Wish I’d Known about Beta-Reading

Earlier I mentioned that I am reviewing others’ books as an attempt to practice better literary citizenship, being a better member of the #WritingCommunity. Reviewing self-published books isn’t the only way I can or should contribute as a literary citizen.

Woman reading off an e-reader. Today’s topics range from unpublished writers to debut to NY Times journalists to bestsellers – I’m sharing with you my thoughts, and their quotes in regards to literary citizenship, critiquing, and beta-reading. [If I mentioned you and for some reason you prefer not to be included, please let me know.]

The 7 points I cover would have helped me provide better critiques and better receive feedback when I was starting to read. Continue reading “7 Things I Wish I’d Known about Beta-Reading”

26 Magazines Accepting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Submissions

Dear Writers,
If you’re in the quest for publication, like I am, then knowing where to submit your short stories may be daunting.

Steaming coffee cup next to a stack of newspapers. Text : 26 Magazines Accepting Sci-fi/Fantasy Submissions

Many of the periodicals listed by the SFWA are closed to submissions for the foreseeable future, and many of the smaller non-qualifying markets I saw on other guides were also closed (some permanently and others temporarily).

To share my efforts with you, here are 26 magazines accepting submissions as of September 2019 or in the near future, with notes about them – especially response time.

Since so many markets for short fiction don’t allow simultaneous submissions, response time can be important to me for prioritizing whom I should query next.
If you have a different approach for prioritizing, please let me know. I’d love to hear it.

I’ve broken this into three groups:

SFWA Qualifying Markets
Qualifying Rates but Not Approved SFWA Venues
Non-SFWA Markets

Also, I have two post scripts on Yes, I was Rejected and What the ****? Things Beginners Might Want to Know about Magazine Submissions

Continue reading “26 Magazines Accepting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Submissions”

The King of Ash & Bone Review

Legends sometimes have roots in reality, a grain of salt that’s too much to bear but too chilling to be forgotten. As society crumbles around Mackenzie, she trusts a stranger. The fellow survivor is a means to the end of reuniting with her brother. As tensions run high, she’s plunged into a nightmare beyond her imagining. She has information about the invading species, but can she get it to the army in time?

Continue reading “The King of Ash & Bone Review”

“It’s Not About You” (Or Me)

It’s about the audience!

Often as I’m using Twitter (not as much on WordPress), I see tweets that don’t make me as a reader want to a) read more tweets by the author, or b) want to read the author’s book.

The reason that so many of these tweets are off putting is that they are hard sells. The hard sell is all about the writer. A soft sell is all about the audience. The generally accepted ratio of output for marketing is 80% content and 20% sales. The hard sellers output mostly sales pitches and do little to engage their audience.

Here are the five points I use in approaching my writing platform:

Continue reading ““It’s Not About You” (Or Me)”

Why I’m Against Bondage

Okay, so, this is not about sexual bondage in any way shape or form. If that’s your thing, then good for you. I have no commentary on what consenting adults do in privacy.

This is about a different kind of bond – the day to day interactions between a couple. If you’ve ever heard someone call their significant other the “old ball and chain” then you know what I mean.

In “On Marriage” by Khalil Gibrain, he says:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be
alone–even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver
with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not in each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the Cyprus grow not in each other’s shadows.

The National Catholic Register has an article titled, “Please Don’t Read This Poem At Your Wedding“. They state that it’s a “reverse how-to guide”. I’m here arguing that it works.

“Make not a bond of love”.

Relationships can be unhealthy. If you’ve never had a bad relationship, then you’re lucky. I can’t always tell from the outside if a relationship is healthy or not. We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.

However, there have been relationships that have seemed unhealthy to me from the outside.

I’ve known several women over the years who upon dating new men changed their interests, their behavior, their looks. It’s one thing to finally feel comfortable being yourself. It’s another thing to completely change yourself to acquiesce to another’s ideal. I can’t think of any examples of men in cis relationships or any homosexual relationships with this much kowtowing. I’m sure it happens but I guess with gender dynamics it happens more frequently when someone feels that the other person has all the power.

The masculine equivalent in our patriarchal society, I suppose, is the very reserved man who espouses an overbearing woman.

My husband told me about a friend he had that liked having someone else make decisions for him. The friend’s mother picked out his clothes when he was in high school. As so many of us do, he dated someone reminiscent of a parent – his mother. We’re pretty sure his spouse still lays out clothes for him in the morning. If that’s what he wants, then I’m glad he found it. It would not be what I would want.

If you’re a slave to another person’s ideas of what a mate should be, then how can you be true to yourself? Maybe you can, but I don’t know how I could.

“A Moving Sea.”

There’s going to be give and take in any relationship. Sometimes you’ll have to help the other person, and sometimes you will need help. It’s important, though, that this ebbs and flows – if water stops moving then it stagnates, so it is with people.

“Each One of You Be Alone”.

Just as diversity in larger groups of people adds richness to the whole, with romance I’ve found that differences make our relationships more interesting.

My husband and I share some of the same interests, but we also have different ones. He and I often find we’ve read the same articles without planning it. There’s no one else I enjoy talking to more.

It’s good that we can share but aren’t the same. Sameness limits us.

“Stand Together but Not too Near”.

A tree in the shadow of another cannot get the light it needs to grow. Boundaries in any relationship, whether romantic or not, are a good safeguard against bitterness.

I think the whole point of the poem is the adage to be true to yourself, and that’s especially important in our closest connections.