At the beginning of the month, I had a goal in mind. I wanted to finish the first draft of my domestic suspense. I knew I could get it done if I put my mind to it – I’ve got a lot of time on my hands right now, and I like to keep myself busy with writerly things. I kept an accountability thread going on Twitter – if put it out in the wild, others will see it, and I’ll hold myself to my goals. Did it work? YES.
In between writing big stuff like working on my novels, I enjoy writing small literary stuff – short stories, flash fiction, and even micro fiction. I’ve been submitting to various online publications and competitions, and while some might say that distracts me from writing the “main event,” I like to think of it like this: It keeps the creative juices flowing and challenges me. I like a challenge. I get to explore with other kinds of literature outside of the typical genres in which I write. I get to be emotional and raw and real. And if I have a story to tell that meets the guidelines of a publication or a contest, of course I’m going to enter. It’s fun and exciting!
In the last full week of March, I reached the end of my novel, and since I had about nine days left, I let it go for a few days. The ending was difficult for me to write, and I was also preparing to attend a writing conference. There were seven workshops I attended during the last weekend in March, and after every one of them, I was so excited to get started on editing. So excited, in fact, that I went ahead and began the editing phase before I even finished the end of the book. I knew how I was going to end it, but I procrastinated, knowing I still had a few days left. Not ready to write the difficult stuff.
Yesterday, being the second-last day of the month, I decided I better get it done. I spent the afternoon wrapping up the first draft, and even if I choose not to keep the words in the final draft, I still had to type the words THE END. It was so satisfying to write those words! I’m a habitual list crosser-offer, so this satisfied that need.
The editing and revising phase will take a while, and I’ll have CPs and beta readers give me some feedback before another round of edits and revisions… and eventually, it’ll be ready for querying. This excites me more than I can put into words.
About 90 seconds after I posted about my accomplishment last night, I got an email from a new online magazine called Eucalyptus & Rose Literary Magazine. I had submitted a piece to them for consideration in one of their upcoming monthly editions, and as it turns out, they loved the story I submitted and offered publication!
I. AM. STOKED. This not only topped off my day, but the entire month of March! Even the year so far! So without further ado, I am pleased to announce that my wee heartwarming story about how a bunch of unsent love letters became the will to survive some unimaginable circumstances will be published around the middle of May, 2021! This is my first ever publication and I cannot begin to describe how happy it makes me. Getting your first piece published is validation, it’s confirmation that what you’re doing is enjoyed by others. It gives your work purpose. It means people out there in the big wide world are going to read my story and, hopefully, love it as much as I do.
Writing is no easy feat, let me just say. It takes a lot of hard work. It doesn’t stop when you put some words on paper. It’s ideas, it’s careful consideration of what words to use where, it’s editing, it’s revising, it’s questioning everything you’ve written, it’s nerve-wracking. Blood, sweat, and yes, even tears. Well, maybe not the blood, but still. I’ve been dabbling here and there for many years, and written a lot of stuff, but I didn’t officially begin this journey until last fall, when I got super serious about writing. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS. DECADES, even. And when you want something bad enough, you just have to start. You won’t get anywhere unless you start. I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, I’ve met some wonderful, amazing people online in the writing community. I’m proud of what I’ve done and having this little story of mine published brings my heart so much joy. It is relief and excitement and nervousness all wrapped up together. I can finally say, “I did that” and be proud.
And I know it is the first of many yet to come.
A huge thank you goes out to Nicole and Britain at Eucalyptus & Rose for believing in my work and wanting to share it with everyone out there. Virtual hugs all around.
Please watch this space for updates. I’m definitely going to post about it as soon as it gets published! I’ll link to it here on my website, and you can also find me on Twitter and Instagram where I’ll post links to it there, as well.
UPDATE: The lovely folks at Eucalyptus & Rose have published a second, very dear-to-me story called THE MESSAGE. It was born out of an experience I had with a friend who passed away in 2018, one of my biggest supporters in my writing endeavours, my Jamie. You can read it here.
Thanks so much for following me on my journey thus far! I’m so glad you’re here and hope you enjoy my stories!