Writing Process Blog Hop

Bambina che scriveThis is a blog hop. Each participant in it is meant to blog about their writing process… I’m going to be faking it a bit because, frankly, I don’t have a writing process LOL I’m getting a little ahead of myself, however. Because hop is chain/train-like in style. I was one of three writers invited by Kristina Wojtaszek to participate and I in turn invited a few writers. Kristina posted her blog last week, and the people I invited will blog next week. So the chain goes on, and on, and on… 😉 Before I start talking about myself and my, ahem, “writing process” let me tell you a little bit about Kristina, since she’s the one who invited me to play along 🙂

Kristina Wojtaszek grew up as a woodland sprite and mermaid, playing around the shores of Lake Michigan. At any given time she could be found with live snakes tangled in her hair and worn out shoes filled with sand. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management as an excuse to spend her days lost in the woods with a book in hand. She currently resides in the high desert country of Wyoming with her husband and two small children. She is fascinated by fairy tales and fantasy and her favorite haunts are libraries and cemeteries. Follow her @KristinaWojtasz  or on her blog, Twice Upon a Time.

I met Kristina when she submitted a story to Fae. A story, titled Solomon’s Friend, which I accepted. It was a pleasure to work with Kristina on edits and all the other minutiae that come with anthologies. I’ve not yet read her longer works (Kristina’s page at World Weaver Press) but Opal is on my TBR list and I liked her short story, Cinder, in the Specter Spectacular anthology from WWP.

Now, though I could keep talking about Kristina, I’m actually supposed to answer some questions about my writing process. Let’s give it a go, shall we?

1) What am I working on?

So many things. No really. Maybe that’s part of the reason I don’t have a writing process — I absolutely fail at single-tasking. I wish I didn’t. I wish I could focus on one project at a time, but that doesn’t seem to be the way my brain works. I’m pre-scheduling this blog post, so when it goes live it may not be 100% accurate, but as of the time of my writing this I am working on:
  • Editing the stories for A is for Apocalypse (almost done!)
  • Revising a Canadian apocalypse story (no where near done)
  • The first draft of my YA horror novel (almost done!!)
  • Poems for a collaborative project (spec)
  • Writing a ‘setting the mood’ scene for a collaborative short story (horror)
  • Copyediting a small collection of my reprints I’m going to self-publish.
  • Short story for a pen name project

Actually… that’s it for writing/editing projects which are super active right now. O_o Might be a new record, actually LoL I’ve also got a wish list of sorts of a bunch of stories I want to write, but either I haven’t quite figured them all the way out yet, or haven’t found the time to sit down and get ’em done. That list obviously doesn’t count things like Niteblade, promoting anthologies I’ve edited, paperwork, blogging challenges (I start one tomorrow), etc. etc. But it gives a pretty good idea of the files currently open on my computer.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, it’s mine, isn’t it? That sounds kind of like a lame or a smart ass answer, but it’s the best I’ve got. Everything I write is informed by what makes me, me. By my past, my present, my favourite words, my strengths, my weaknesses…
Interestingly, I think for a long time I was handicapping myself. One of the things I do best is write description, but for years I’ve been cutting it out of my work because of the idea ‘if it’s not absolutely necessary, cut it’. Which is silly, when I think about it now… but there you go.
It’s always a learning process, right? The stories I write today are going to be better than the ones I wrote yesterday. The anthologies I edit this year are likely to be stronger than the ones I edited last year… it’s just how it goes. The novel I’m working on right now is still a work in progress, and very much a first draft, but it has loads of description in it — and I love it. That’s subject to change, of course, but right now I feel like it’s the thing I’ve written which most closely shows who I am as a writer. I can’t wait to share it 😉
3) Why do I write what I do?
Two reasons, I think. First, because it’s what I would want to read, and second, because it is what interests me. I guess those things are almost the same thing… but not quite.
All rights reserved by Rhonda Parrish4) How does my writing process work?
Uh… I don’t really have one. I used to try to force myself to do things one way all the time, but that resulted in long periods where I wasn’t “blocked” but I wasn’t writing either. Now I do whatever it takes to get the words on the page.
Ideally, I prefer to write all my first drafts longhand, on my bed (the picture to the left is a pretty accurate representation of how that goes LoL). Because I type far quicker than I can write, forcing myself to slow down really helps me refine the words as they are coming out of my brain and onto the page. Afterwards, when I transcribe them from book to computer it’s an opportunity to do another edit without really editing. I let the story/poem/novel rest for a while either before or after transcription, and then it’s time to revise the hell out of it. I do most of my revisions on the computer, but when a project is super important to me I print it out and edit the hard copy, then transcribe those edits back into the computer again. I know I should do this with all my work because it produces a far better project, but honestly? My printer’s not doing so well these days and I feel bad for all the dead trees >_<
So that’s my ideal process. In reality though, like I said, I do whatever it takes to get the words out. Sometimes that means using Write or Die on kamikaze mode with a low tolerance (so it will start deleting my words if I stop writing them), sometimes I go to the university my husband teaches at and hide out in an empty room where there are no distractions and no excuses for not getting words done. Sometimes I complain on twitter for two hours about how I should be writing but I’m procrastinating instead, then I get so tired of my own whining I just shut up and write. Whatever it takes, man. That’s my process — whatever it takes.
Well, enough about me 🙂 I’ve invited a few of the other contributors to Fae to participate in this blog hop. Next week, April 7th, you’ll be able to read posts from:
  • Laura VanArendonk Baugh
    • Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame her childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth and unable to walk, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer.
      Laura writes historical and fantasy works as well as non-fiction in the art and science of behavior and training. Follow her exploits at www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com.
  • Rhonda Eikamp
    • Rhonda Eikamp grew up in the heart of Texas, fell in love with words and languages and moved to Germany. Her story-writing started with a Nancy Drew novel written at the age of ten, but only really took off after 1996, with stories in venues such as Space & Time and The Urbanite. Since rebooting in 2012, she has published stories in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Colored Lens and Daily Science Fiction. She lives with her husband, two daughters and a cat, and spends non-writing time translating legal texts for a German law firm or photographing the idyllic places of her youth on trips back to the States.
  • Beth Cato
    • Beth Cato’s debut steampunk novel THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER will be released by HarperCollins Voyager in September 2014. She’s originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at http://www.bethcato.com.
  • L.S. Johnson
    • L.S. Johnson lives in Northern California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such venues as Corvus, Interzone, and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Currently she is working on a novel set in 18th century Europe. She can be found online at traversingz.com.
  • Alexis A. Hunter
    • Alexis A. Hunter revels in the endless possibilities of speculative fiction.  Short stories are her true passion, despite a few curious forays into the world of novels.  Over forty of her short stories have been published, appearing recently in Kasma SF, Spark: A Creative Anthology, Read Short Fiction, and more.  To learn more about Alexis visit www.idreamagain.wordpress.com.
  • Shannon Phillips
    • Shannon Phillips lives in Oakland, where she keeps chickens, a dog, three boys, and a husband. Her first novel, The Millennial Sword, tells the story of the modern-day Lady of the Lake. Her short fiction has been featured in Dragon magazine, Rose Red Review, and the upcoming anthology Fae from World Weaver Press.


Because, go big or go home, right? 🙂 I hope you’ll pop by these ladies’ blogs next week. I certainly will be 🙂


Published: What Won’t Wait

The Stray BranchMy poem, What Won’t Wait, is included in the current issue of The Stray Branch. Some of their stories and poems from this issue are available on their website for free. Mine is not among them LoL but they may give you an idea of whether or not you’d like to purchase the full issue.

It seems appropriate that this poem be published now. I wrote it as a part of a poem-a-month challenge, just like the one I’ll be starting on April 1st 😉

Cover Reveal Sign-Up

Question MarkThe official reveal of the A is for Apocalypse cover is taking place on May 13th, and I would like you to be a part of it.

I want our cover (which is amazing) to appear on as many blogs, websites, Facebook pages, Pintrest boards and Twitter feeds as we can possibly arrange. Will you help?

If so, please leave a comment on this blog post (the original one or any of its mirrors, it’s all good) and let me know how you would be willing to participate in the cover reveal for A is for Apocalypse. If you will be doing a reveal on your website or blog I will send you a copy of the cover and the back cover text on May 11th so you will have plenty of time to schedule a reveal post for the 13th*. If you’d rather help us share via social media I will email you a link to my reveal blog post on May 13th.

As a small token of my appreciation for your help with this, everyone who participates in this reveal will have their name put into a draw for an ARC of A is for Apocalypse (which I expect to be ready by early summer).

Thank you, in advance, for your assistance with this. I really appreciate it 🙂

*It’s super important that you not reveal it anywhere prior to May 13th.

Resale: Vampiric Fluff

Sky Warrior BooksMy poem, Vampiric Fluff, has been accepted for inclusion in the forthcoming These Vampires Don’t Sparkle anthology from Sky Warrior Books edited by Carol Hightshoe. Carol and Sky Warrior Books are the same team behind Zombiefied! An Anthology of All Things Zombie a few years ago, which included one of my poems. Zombiefied is remarkable to me because it’s one of a very small number of anthologies I’ve been published in which has earned enough royalties that I received a royalty cheque in addition to my original payment.

Anywho… Vampiric Fluff was originally published back in 2007, so it’s been a while since it has been in print. I’m excited that it found a home with These Vampires Don’t Sparkle 🙂

Mythic Delirium 0.4

Mythic Delirium 0.4Remember how a while back I mentioned that my short story, Seedpaper, had been accepted for a future issue of Mythic Delirium?

Yeah, well, as if that wasn’t freaking amazing enough, look at this TOC:

Featured in April
“Seedpaper” by Rhonda Parrish
“a recipe” by Lynette Mejía
“Princess: A Life” by Jane Yolen

Featured in May
“Milkweed” by Cedar Sanderson
“The Silver Comb” by Mari Ness
“Never Told” by Jane Yolen

Featured in June
“The Giant’s Tree” by Yukimi Ogawa
“Unmasking” by Sandi Leibowitz
“Nisei” by Beth Cato

Holy. Shit.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t swear, but look at all the amazing people I’m sharing a table of contents with!

You’ll be able to read the stories and poems online eventually (starting in April), or you can show Mythic Delirium some extra support and get to read everything sooner rather than later, by subscribing.

Oh, and also, how amazing is that cover?


Help Me Use My Stock Photo Credits?

I’ve mentioned before that I have a fondness for stock photography, right? Well, I have some credits that are about to expire and I don’t know what to use them on. I asked on Twitter the other day if anyone had any ideas or wanted to pick an image and collaborate on a story for it, but I got no replies and now I’m kinda getting desperate LOL

How about you pick an image and challenge me to write a story to go with it?

Head to http://us.fotolia.com/, pick out a picture and leave a link to it as a comment here. I’ll license the art and then work on writing something to go with it*. If I’m successful I’ll dedicate the resulting story to you.

C’mon, you know you wanna…

*I’m kinda busy at the moment, so this may take a while LoL But it’ll happen.


Blogging from A to Z – Theme Reveal


Dudes. It’s a blog hop within a blog hop. It’s so meta I *had* to play along 🙂

This year I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge again. The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is where in the month of April you blog everyday except Sundays, and each blog is meant to have a topic based on a different letter of the alphabet (Kinda like the series of anthologies I’m editing which begins with A is for Apocalypse… and the stories within those anthologies… except, ya know, with blog posts instead of stories…).

Anyway, I digress…

There is a separate little hop which is for people to reveal what their theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is going to be. And that is what this is. Because you’re dying to know what I’m going to be blogging about for all of April, I just know you are :-p

*insert a drum roll here*

This April I’m going to share some of my photographs. Each day I’ll post one or more of my pictures that goes with that day’s letter. I’ll try to be selective (and let’s face it, on some days it’s going to be impossible not to be LoL) but I thought it might be fun to share some pictures instead of words for a little bit. I hope you agree 🙂

If you’re curious to find out what other people’s themes are going to be, you can check out a list of people who are revealing their themes at the Theme Reveal Blogfest.

Niteblade’s 2014 Fundraiser


It’s that time of year again, the Niteblade Fundraiser. This is our third fundraiser and like last year we are using IndieGoGo to run it. We have some fantastic perks again this year too, all the usual suspects: books, critiques, cookies and also a couple less common things: your voicemail message recorded by Bill Ratner, goodie packs, choosing our next theme issue…

What’s more, our fundraisers are the only time we have subscriptions available for purchase. $10 guarantees  you the next four issues in your inbox upon their release. That costs less than buying the issues individually and you’re sure to not miss one. We even have a special deal if you and a friend both want a subscription (or you want to give one as a gift, or whatever). Those are offered at an even greater discount — because I want as many eyes on our pages as possible.

There’s 12 days left and we’re just over 30% funded. Why not take a look and see if there’s any perks there that pique your interest — then you can support Niteblade and get something awesome out of it too!

Win/win, dudes.


Niteblade’s 2014 Fundraiser


Habit RPG

My to do list has a mind of its own. Seriously. It’s kinda crazy. Jo (my husband, who has a pretty big to do list of his own) saw it today and he swore. It’s pretty epic. I used to use the EpicWin app on my iPod to try and make it fun (and not go through reams of paper) but my iPod is old enough now that none of my apps will update and it can barely bring itself to turn on most days, so I thought my time of getting experience points for real life tasks was over. I was wrong.

I’ve recently begun using HabitRPG.com which is rather a bit like Epic Win on steroids. With HabitRPG you can not only get experience and level up by doing the things from your to-do list, you also get drops, and gold which you can use to upgrade your gear. I’m told once you reach level ten you can choose a class and do quests with the people in your party (there are parties!! And guilds!). I’m only level 7 so far, but I’m looking forward to the whole questy part 😉

Also? I’ve noticed that not only does HabitRPG help me keep track of my to do list (and the habits I want to develop), it actually encourages me to do things. Because I want the experience, the gold, or the chance at a drop. The other day I was about to walk away from the computer and rot my brain in front of the tv, but I glanced at my character and noticed I just needed to do one more thing and she’d level. So I put my butt in the chair and did the top item on my to do list before I called it a day.

Anywho… if this sounds like something you’d be into, the website is at http://www.habitrpg.com – check it out. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? It’s free. They accept donations and there is a subscription option, but it’s totally functional at the free level as well.

B is for…

BrokenI wanted to thank you all for helping me figure out the theme for the next book in the alphabet anthology series. It turns out that:

B is for Broken

I’ve sent invitations out to those people who participated in the A is for Apocalypse anthology (coming later this year) and I look forward to announcing our line-up in the near(ish) future.

If you are one of those authors and you didn’t receive your invitation let me know and I’ll correct that. If you are not one of those authors but you’d like to be added to the waiting list for any open spots, also let me know (rhonda@jofigure.com).

If you are a reader, get ready for a hell of a ride 🙂