Random Fact

I’ve long wanted to start posting occasional random facts about me that might be interesting or unexpected but I didn’t know where to start. However, Aubrie Dionne asked a question on her Livejournal today that inspired my first random fact about myself.

We were pretty poor when I was a kid and one year my Halloween costume was a garbage bag. It was orange and had holes cut out for my head and arms. You guessed it, I was a pumpkin.

That definitely counts as my worst Halloween costume ever. What was yours?

It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again *sigh*

It’s almost November that around here that means NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is a huge part of my life. Historically it’s important. Winning my first NaNo honestly changed my life. It showed me that I could write a novel, it infused me with confidence about my writing (which is odd because that novel was freaking terrible) and it was the beginning of NaNoLJers. It lead, directly or otherwise, to my leaving my former job and really making writing more than a hobby.

I’ve done NaNo every year since 2003, I’ve won every year since 2005. There is no challenge in it for me anymore.

I could just try for more words, but despite the whole quantity over quality thing, simply writing more for the sake of writing more doesn’t make sense to me. As it is I keep writing until the story is over, I don’t just stop at 50,000 but intentionally padding it wouldn’t really make NaNo more challenging, it would just make it take more time.

A couple years ago Danica did NaNo. That helped me stay engaged. I got one of her friends involved as well and saw it as my sub-mission to help herd the two of them toward the finish line. It worked. I wrote my 50k and helped Dani and her friend reach their goals through write-ins, pretzels and encouragement.

The next year (last year) we created teams on NaNoLJers and I used that as my motivating factor — I wanted to win NaNo and lead my team to winning the NaNoLJers cup. It worked. I was engaged with the process, I finished my novel and helped my team win the cup. Yay!

This year… this year I don’t have any external motivation and I’m not feeling it. I’m detached. Danica is doing NaNo again, and we have teams on NaNoLJers. It’s my intention to help motivate both my child and my team toward victory, and of course I’ll write my 50,000 words (at least), but I’m very lethargic about it. I wish I were impatient for the month to start, or excited, or hell, even nervous, but really… mostly I’m bored.

And that sucks.

Especially since I talked the teacher I volunteer with into doing NaNoWriMo in her classroom this year.

Hopefully I’ll find some motivation somewhere, some driving force that will infuse me with some enthusiasm. The grade twos, maybe. If I don’t I’ll still do NaNo, I’ll still write 50,000 words (or more) on See The Sky Again, and I’ll still win, but it would sure be nice to enjoy it while I’m doing it.

How about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Are you excited about it? What are your goals?

October Newsletter

I just sent out the October newsletter a moment ago. This month it has a bit of my rambling (sorry) as well as a poem and a bit of flash from ‘back in the day’. I hope you enjoy it.

If you’re not subscribed and you’d like to be, check this out –> Newsletter

I plan to have a contest in November for all the people subscribed to my newsletter. The basic idea is that all subscribers will get to guess what day they think I will cross the 50,000 word finish line for NaNoWriMo and the winner will receive a prize. It should be fun 🙂 I’ll be mailing out the details and telling everyone how to join up in the next few days so if you want to play make sure and subscribe soon.


“I absolutely LOVE this story.”

I stumbled across a review of Sister Margaret today that said that. “I absolutely LOVE this story.” Well, I have to say, I absolutely LOVE this review 🙂

Sister Margaret at GhostWriter Reviews

That reviewer will be happy to hear that Shades of Green (my upcoming release from Sam’s Dos *squee*) is set in the same world as Sister Margaret -and- I’m still working on a sort of sequel to Sister Margaret too. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may have heard of it…it’s a little novel I like to call Shadows 🙂

The Biggest One

I should have made this the #1 thing I shouldn’t have to tell you. I really should have, because it’s huge and so obvious.

I shouldn’t have to tell you to read the submission guidelines.

Seriously. You think you know what they say, but you don’t. Read them. I will know that you haven’t. I really will and it’s not going to pre-dispose me to like your submission. Seriously, at least read the short version, it’s right up there at the top and it says:

Short Version:
Simultaneous submissions: Yes
Reprints: Yes
Attached as .doc or .rtf files – NOT in the body of email unless they are poetry
NOT indented

I highly suggest reading the long version because I am rejecting stories unread if they fail to follow the guidelines. I don’t have time to do otherwise

Do you have any idea how many submissions I get that are indented? Would you care to guess how many of them I read?

If you read the long version it says:

Do not tell me what your story is about or include a synopsis in your cover letter. Let the story sell itself.

Would you care to guess how many submissions arrive with a synopsis?

The end of the submission guidelines says:

My name is Rhonda Parrish. I am not a ‘sir’ and I get cranky when you address me as such.

The magazine’s name is Niteblade. Not Nightblade, not Niteblayde, not even Knightblade. It’s Niteblade. I get cranky when you spell it wrong.

I get cranky when I have to read stories in the body of an email (poems are okay).

If your submission includes a synopsis I’ll know you haven’t read these guidelines and I’ll be cranky.

It’s best if I’m not cranky before I even start reading your submission.

Just sayin’.

I quite often get submissions that reference the fact they didn’t want to make me cranky. That tells me they read the submission guidelines and makes me like them right off the bat. That puts me in a good mood before I read their submission, which makes me more likely to enjoy it. You don’t need to tell me you don’t want to make me cranky for me to know you’ve read the guidelines — following them tells me that.

I love people who follow the submission guidelines.

Just sayin’.

ETA: I had bad timing for posting this. I apologise. In response to a couple comments on my Facebook about this post I would just like to re-assure people this has nothing to do with reading for the new Niteblade anthology. It’s an ongoing issue not specific to the new anthology (which I haven’t started reading for yet).