Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rejection is Part of the Job

I read somewhere that writers (presumably of short fiction) should strive for 100 rejections a year.

This sounds harsh and counter-intuitive, but not submitting because of the inevitable rejection is like a software developer never going live because they fear someone will find a bug in the code (and they will) or because potential users won't love it. Developers write it anyway. They go live. They know more people will reject the program than embrace it. This is life.

I'm going for 100 in 2017. One down, 99 to go.

(I will post a link to the article when I find it.)

Tonja

Monday, January 2, 2017

Exciting News


Yesterday, I was asked to do a public reading that I believe is hosted by the Columbus Creative Cooperative, the organization that published the short story anthology that my story is in.

I agreed to do the reading. But it's about two hours away, which is a little problematic. I will do it anyway because I said I would. I get to read for up to twenty minutes, which is awesome and terrifying. Mostly terrifying. But probably good for me.

I will post the details when I have them.

Here's the Amazon link to the anthology that includes one of my stories: Best of Ohio Short Stories: Volume II.

If you read the story and think I'm talking about you, I'm not - It's fiction, for the love of God. :) FICTION. (But that's another story).

Tonja

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On Poetry

When I was in high school, I used to write poems in physics class to keep myself awake. My eyelids feel heavy right now from the act of typing the word physics. The poems were always nonsensical, gravity-defying, a fight against the certainty of physics.

I have one more creative writing class to take before my master's degree is done (yay!) - and the only open class is poetry. This week, I'm taking a 2-day poetry workshop to see if I would like a 16 week class. To get in, I had to submit two poems. I had one that was solid. The rest were full of teen-angst. I haven't been a teen in a long while, so I decided use anything else. I typed out a long text message rant I had sent to my husband on a day when I had been pushed to the edge. (I did ask him first - he's the kind of guy that never minds.)

In the workshop, they compared the two poems, one I spent weeks on - the other about two minutes.

In the end, they hated my "good" poem and loved--LOVED--the text.

I'm left not knowing what to think.

Poetry, I do not love you so much anymore. I want the certainty I get from a well-composed story.

And I would give anything for a face-on-the-desk 30 minute nap right now.

Tonja

Monday, October 17, 2016

Progress

I haven't been posting much lately. That may be an understatement. I've had my head down and sleeves rolled up, writing short stories and working on my novel. Moving forward, I will commit to writing here at least twice a month, probably focusing on the history I've been researching for my novel.

For today, I have exciting news!

I mentioned this in my last post, but I'm still really excited about it, so I'm going to say it again. My short story, "Hostess of the Dead," will be included in Best of Ohio Short Stories: Volume II. I had the amazing experience of receiving author proofs, and I was asked to read the story at an author event in Columbus. How cool is that?

My new is exciting news is a two-parter. First, my story, "Life is Now," won second place in the Books by the Banks writing contest in Cincinnati. Second, I also received a notification that another short story, "Invisible Girls," will appear in Streetlight Magazine. I feel joy.

All of the stories will be available online. I will post the links here when I have them.

In my next post, I'll share some fabulous writing workshops I've attended.

Tonja

Friday, August 26, 2016

Getting a Short Story Published

My short story, "Hostess of the Dead," will be published in the Best of Ohio Short Stories: Volume II anthology. How awesome is that?

I have been super-busy working on my novel and writing short stories. I am very close to getting things done. Please forgive my absence. I will be back on a regular basis soon.

Tonja

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Novel Workshop

I haven't been here for a while. I've been writing. I attended an amazing novel writing workshop in August. It turns out that graduate school has been keeping me from working on my novel. So I'm taking a break - probably a permanent one.

If anyone is interested in a fantastic week-long novel workshop where your novel is what you work on (rather than spending your energy critiquing other peoples' novels), definitely check out the Kenyon Review Novel Writing Workshop. It was worth every dime. You will get an honest critique from several professionals who know what they are doing. By honest, I mean direct and to the point. It's what I needed.

I probably will post once or twice a month now while I'm revising my novel (again). I hope you all are well. I would love to hear if you all have had things published since the summer or have had any successes of any kind.

Tonja

Sunday, June 7, 2015

IWSG - June and July 2015

Well, it seems I missed Insecure Writer's Support Group day. On the up side, I've been busy writing and preparing for what I hope will be a totally awesome novel writing conference.




When I attempted to get to this page to write this apologetic post, Blogger threw literally a dozen errors at me. Is Blogger not working well any more? I suppose it's time to move to something that's actually being supported. Any recommendations?

As for the insecurity, I'm actually feeling pretty good now that I've regained my momentum on my novel and have figured out the sequence of scenes for the middle of the novel. I will be at my writer's conference for the next IWSG day, so please take this as my post for July as well. Last year, I was so insecure, I could not have gone to this intense of a conference. Now, today, I'm ready for it - and I'm ready to get done with this one so I can get rolling with the next.

Did I tell you all that I received a grant from my university to do research for my next novel? I'll be doing that research in October (probably) and will be visiting the gravesite of my mother's great grandmother. She was Cherokee and was a dead end on the family tree. I've uncovered some evidence that she was a child apprentice (basically an indentured servant) at a boarding house in Tennessee. I'm not sure if she will literally be the main character or if she will simply inspire the story. I'm really excited for this project and to finally finish the one I'm on now.

Have a lovely summer. My apologies for being absent. I may sneak in here or there, but this may be it until August.

Tonja