Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HOW many inches?!

I had the very great pleasure of attending World Fantasy Con this year, and fortunately my friend Laura warned me about the bag of books given to attendees. Free books?! How wonderful! But oh my aching shoulders - what a heavy carry-on bag and suitcase!

While in the midst of unpacking, I realized yet again that our bedroom bookcase was absolutely stuffed, and my bedside table already moaned beneath two piles of books stacked to the edge of the lampshade. I put away my suitcase and wandered into our office. Nope, that bookcase was also full, as was the one in the hallway, and there were even three unread books on the coffee table in the living room. I shrugged and headed back to the bedroom, where I stacked the new books between my dresser and chair.

Then I wondered how many inches of unread books I really had.

For a true picture I would need to include the unread books on my Kindle as well as the ten or twelve books tucked here and there on the bookcase. Oh, and then there’s the thirty-some odd books I have noted on my Goodreads “to-read” list – books I know I want to read but haven’t yet purchased. Could I count those? Should I? My husband has a stack of books that he’ll eventually share with me, and there’s usually at least a few books stashed beneath the Christmas tree as well as those three on the coffee table.

Hmmm. Forty-four inches beside the dresser, approximately twelve inches on the bookcase, seventeen inches on the bedside table, and on my Kindle I’d estimate at least twenty-five inches. My husband has to have more than twenty inches, and…

…books, book, BOOKS!

How many inches do you have?

-- Folio

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I’m grateful for my sisters…who have helped me never give up. Today I review my submission spread sheets - those that query agents and publishers, those that approach directors and producers, and those that offer fiction and nonfiction to magazines. I find 200 + entries detailing what I sent, why I chose to send to that person, and when I can expect to hear back.

Occassionally good news arrives. I record acceptances and requests for fulls, etc. More often my work is praised but not a fit, close but not there, doesn't fit with the exact needs at this time...Writers know this drill.

The one change I’ve recently made to my attitude about it was inspired by Sister Folio. Instead of typing in Rejected … I now type Declined . Feels less permanent, less personal, less negative. I’m grateful after all these years that I’ve finally learned to be kinder to myself in this small way.

My sisters inspire me every day. In uncountable ways.

Someday I’ll be published to a wide audience and I’ll be able to use these spread sheets to demonstrate to other aspiring writers that it takes hard and focused work and unending perseverance. I am grateful for my gifts. That includes the small ones and the greatest ones: Folio, Nib, and Storm Petrel.

Love and gratitude spilling from the Inkpot.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I made a questionable move this week. I offered up erotica (or as my husband dubbed it – porn that could come back to haunt you if you become a big-time author—--now let’s go do research). Two flash fiction pieces to be exact. They were published in the Halloween issue of an on-line magazine that seeks: “sexually adventurous and sexually ghoulish works” – Tawdry Bawdry.

I treated it like any other publication of flash fiction.

I posted the links to the two stories. The only difference between advertising for this and my last G-rated flash fiction publication was a pseudonym. Not meant to hide from writers I know but to hide from readers I don’t know.

Response to the post: virtual silence. No doubt many writers had their notification dump right into their JUNK/SPAM files (X-rated was in the subject line after all), some must have burned with disdain and deleted it faster than a rabbit….

A few women feigned neutrality, were embarrassed, or refused to go see such a thing on line. I did get four male responses to the story. Three complimentary…”va va voom” “didn’t know you had it in ya” sorts of responses. One a suspiciously grateful one.

I won’t name the responder who asked “paper or plastic?” You had to have read one of the stories to know what plastic he referenced. Coincidentally, yesterday after posting about the explicit pieces, I HAD gone to the grocery store and HAD asked for paper bags for the first time in ages.

I understand. Truly, I understand. I even blush. The stories were far from tame, but what the heck, I’m an adult and followed the rules: no animals or children or violence. Was it a mistake to bring attention to that particular genre of the many genres I write? Maybe. Who’s lining up to judge me? Who is now wishing they hadn’t deleted that posted announcement? Smile.

- from the Inkpot