Friday, June 27, 2008


I got my first official rejection in the mail today. Surprisingly, I'm not all that upset.
At my first Pennwriters meeting, a lovely lady named Jan showed me an issue of a Christian Poetry magazine called Time of Singing that she had illustrated. I used to write poetry in my high school days, and thought, "why not just try?"
I visited their website and got their submission requirements and printed out three poems that I thought might be a fit, though in truth, none of them seemed very similar with those I had read in that issue. Most of my work covered topics such as teenage angst and newfound love and were not at the same maturity level that they were probably looking for.
Still, I sent off three that seemed the most "grown up", one dealing with nature, one about introspection, and one about the poverty issue in third-world coutries and our Christian duty toward them (this one probably would have been the best fit, had it not been just a little preachy). These went into the envelope along with a SASE, and I did my best to put the issue out of mind.
Today, approximately one month later I received a response, thanking me for my interest, but letting me know that my poetry wasn't the style they were looking for. Perhaps that was just her nice way of saying "You stink!", and if so, I'm grateful for her subtlety.
I'm going to take it, as Steven King did, as the mark of a true writer. Rejection is just a part of the process. It's proof that you're putting yourself out there.
And so, I'll file it away as tangible evidence of my rite of passage, and try again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Weekly Wednesday Writing Prompt

Write a story that begins with an explosion.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Into the Unknown

It was Martin Luther King, Jr. that said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Though he was speaking of our faith in God, I believe that the same holds true in writing. In fact, I think there are many parallels between faith and writing.
Like Peter, we Christians are asked to step out of the proverbial boat into uncharted waters. To believe in something we cannot see, yet feel all around us and in the depths of our soul. Sink or swim, we leap blindly into the unknown, praying that grace will buoy us up. In her book, Chapter After Chapter, Heather Sellers notes that, "Like writers, people of faith focus on processes, not results." The joy is in the journey. It's where we learn, where we grow, where our relationship with God is formed.
As writers, we often start out with just an idea. A bit of plot line or a compelling character. We have no clue where it's going to go, but we step out on faith that one sentence will lead to the next, and the next, and with any luck, the next. Before the words hit the page, we feel it, sense it deep within that here is a story that must be told. But it is only on the way, when we're smack dab in the thick of it, that we truly discover what the story is all about.
We just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and step out into a world full of possibilities.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dream Jobs

5 Occupations I'd like to hold
vicariously through my characters:
(in random order)
1. florist
2. own and operate a children's bookstore
3. jewerly designer on the craft show circuit
4. design fabulous nurseries for expectant parents
5. pirate princess
What's your top 5?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Spark Words

Today's Spark Word is:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weekly Wednesday Writing Prompt

By the early 1990s, more than 30,000 Americans held reservations with Pan Am airlines for a trip to the moon.
Write about one of these people.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Time Tip

Here's a Writer's Tip out of the pages of The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspiration for Writing by Monica Wood:
Just for today, try writing at an unaccustomed time. Night owls can fire up the coffee pot and get cracking by dawn; morning folk can investigate the wee hours, just to see what happens.
Try it and let me know if it gives your creativity the jolt you've been needing!