I’ve been incredibly busy of late. With Christmas coming up, volunteering at my daughter’s school and working for clients I haven’t had much spare time left over for writing or submitting. Maybe I was just burned out from NaNoWriMo though because last week I started writing again, short pieces mostly, but on Saturday I started working on a novel. I even submitted a couple things to publishers today, so hopefully I’ll get back into some good work habits 🙂
What Can You Do?
By Rhonda Parrish
The ice caps are melting, oil companies are destroying pristine land, children are starving, genocides continue unabated, oceans are being over fished, forests pillaged and human rights are being trampled everywhere you look. What can you do? Everywhere you turn there are wrongs that need to be righted, things that need to be changed — but you’re just one person! What can you do?
Well, you can sit around feeling bad and thinking about how much better the world would be if people listened to you, you could talk to your like-minded friends about why the world is going to hell and why the human race deserves destruction or you could do something about it.
So you’re only one person, so what? What starts with one person can grow to be more — and if you’re just going to give up rather than TRY to do something to make things better what makes you better than all the people whose actions you despise? I hate to say something as trite as ‘if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem’ but to some extent it’s right. Sure, you can’t save the world all by yourself, but you can make a difference — if you try.
What are you doing to prevent global warming? To protect the environment, stop over fishing and over farming? What are you doing to stand up against the oil companies you rage against? Oil companies, the fishing industry and the lumber industry all spend millions, probably billions of dollars to protect their interests; they advertise, they lobby, they put their money where their mouth is — do you? Have you written a letter to your mayor? Your premier? Your senator? Prime Minister? President? Have you donated time or money to the causes you DO support? Do you refuse to buy products with too much packaging? Recycle? Compost?
Children all over the world are starving, living in poverty without clean water to drink, food to eat or schools to go to. What are you doing to help? “The governments of those countries are so corrupt,” you say, “that when we give them money only a fraction of it makes it to the people who need it.” So? So what? In a world where $100 can make a huge difference in a child’s life, isn’t it worth spending $400 to get that $100 to where it needs to be? So what if most of the money doesn’t get where it belongs –do you think not sending any is the answer? It’s only money. How much is a child’s smile worth? The feeling of a full belly? A mosquito net to prevent malaria? Clean water? How about supporting impoverished children in your home country? Are the food banks too corrupt to deserve your donation?
Genocides occur — still. Despite all the protestations of ‘never again’ they go on. What are you doing? Have you marched against them? Written letters? Sent money to support those who are there dealing with displaced persons and war orphans? Have you educated yourself about what’s going on in your world, or have you just covered your eyes and ears and waited for it all to go away?
Don’t say you can’t afford to do anything — many things that you can do won’t cost you anything — hell, lots of stuff will save you money. Have a yard? Grow your own vegetables. Walk to work instead of driving or take the bus if that’s not plausible. Write your government officials — let them know how you feel. Refuse to support companies whose practices you don’t approve of. Educate yourself and other people about issues going on in the world. And yes, put your money where your mouth is. It’s ridiculous to say that you can’t afford to donate anything to the causes you believe in when you sit in front of a big screen television every night, eat good food and have a roof over your head. Donate something — anything. Give $10 to the food bank, or to feed hungry children in other countries, or buy mosquito nets. Adopt a child in a developing country through Foster Parents Plan or a similar organization. Give money to Amnesty International or environmental groups.
Do something! Anything is better than nothing — the only thing that doing nothing accomplishes is ensuring the status quo. While one person may not be able to save the world all by themselves, they can make a difference. And who knows if people see what you’re doing they may just decide to follow your example and then you just might save the world after all.
Writer’s Market appears to be back to 100% again — yay! I wish I had more acceptances to update it with and less rejections, but it’s all a part of the process right?
Speaking of the process — I’m looking for someway to email myself to remind myself about upcoming contests and reading periods for some of the markets I’m likely to submit to most. I’ve heard rumors that Outlook can be taught to do this, but I haven’t figured out how. If anyone wants to instruct me, or knows of a website/program that will email me at pre-scheduled times, I’d love to hear about it.
I forgot to post on the day it happened, but I finished my NaNoWriMo novel — yay! On the 24th I breeched the 50k mark, that’s a full three days faster than last year. The novel is…well, terrible — but it’s done and in 30 days. I’ll be adding it to the ‘never to be seen again’ pile where it belongs 🙂 Already I’ve got ideas for next year’s novel though, so hopefully the quality will improve for 2007. It would also be nice if I managed to finish editing my 2005 novel before 2007, but I’m not holding my breath 🙂
I co-run a drama club at my daughter’s school (is co-run even a word?) and for Christmas the school wanted us to do a small play that involved some audience participation. I offered to write the script for it thinking a) it would be more fun to have a unique script rather than something pulled out of a book somewhere that had been performed thousands of times and b) it would be a fun challenge to write.
I haven’t written a script since junior high, and this script had a lot of requirements. It had to be short and simple enough for elementary school kids ranging from grade 3 to grade 6 to perform without much rehearsal (the performance is on December 20th and we only meet for 1/2 an hour a week). It had to be Christmas related and have audience participation with ‘sound effects’. The drama club has 8 students in it, so that was a consideration, plus we wouldn’t have much, if anything, in the way of props, costumes or set.
So I wrote it — and I’m remarkably happy with it. I sent it off to the teachers who are running the drama club with me, we’ll see what they have to say, but over all I’m extremely pleased with myself. I’ve got a solid plot, some funny jokes, a good message, a Christmas theme and it fits all the requirements. Plus, it builds on the skills we’ve already been teaching the kids! Yay!
It’s called Aurora, The Littlest Reindeer and I think after some fine tuning I might even send it out to a couple publishers — which will be interesting, I never thought I’d try to market a play. It was fun to write too — very freeing to be able to occasionally just tell (via stage directions) rather than having to show everything.
I’m pretty happy with myself. Now I just have to wait and see if everyone else agrees with me about it’s awesomeness 🙂
Dude! Writer’s Market rocks! Okay, I know I’ve said that before, but really. I sent them off an email, as I mentioned, and they’ve already gotten back to me. Not only did they reassure me that no data was lost, tell me that everything should be up and running within two weeks and offer me compensation for the ‘down’ time, they also sent me an .xls file that has my complete submission information in it. Awesome!
I love Writer’s Market!
In other news my haiku, Sandcastle #5, has gone live at WildChildPublishing.com — if I may quote part of the introduction to the November poetry page…“This month, Wild Child presents its first haiku in many moons. I hope you find this succinct verse, fashioned upon the ancient style, as trim and evocative as a Japanese garden.” Talk about making my night!
Writer’s Market released their new look today, and I admit — it looks wonderful…however, I can’t figure out how it works anymore LOL I wanted to go and update the status of some of my manuscripts (one acceptance and one rejection) but I can’t figure out how to change that — and I’m really missing the ‘Quick List’ button. With it I could see at a glance if I had any manuscripts that weren’t currently being considered by a publisher — without it I feel lost.
I’ve sent out an email to them begging for help, and hopefully they’ll reply. Their submission tracker was my most favorite writing tool ever and I’ll be very sad if I can’t figure out how to use this new version. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they are still working on the site and will add a quick list button and such — or that I’ve just been a goofball and missed the obvious.
If anyone out there knows how to update manuscripts with the new Writer’s Digest or has found a quick list button hiding somewhere PLEASE let me know.
In other, more cheerful news, I’m at over 30k in my novel. Alas, the quality has taken a rather large turn for the worse, but it’s okay — quantity over quality right? And if worse comes to worse I can always cannibalize what I’ve got so far 😉
Alright, time to go on another hunt for that quick list button! Wish me luck!
I thought I was going to be writing a post today about how my NaNoWriMo effort is going (well by the way, 26,094/50,000) and that would be it for today, but nope — I have even better news.
My haiku, “Sandcastle #5”, has been accepted for the November 15th edition of WildChildPublishing.Com — yay! I’ll link to it from my publications page once that edition goes live. 🙂
I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year, and I’m off to a good start — yay! However, I felt a need to procrastinate a bit today and so I whipped up a MySpace page for myself. Rather silly since I’ve got this site to use, and especially since I don’t plan to give up on this page at all, but it seemed like the thing to do.
I also whipped up a few more links for the horizontal nav bar up there *points* so now it doesn’t look quite so empty.
Alas, as much as I’d love to just keep writing here I really ought to get back to my NaNo novel — wish me luck!
NaNoWriMo Word Count:
5,065 / 50,000
‘They’ say if you’re going to be serious about writing for a living you need to have an ‘Author’ website. Of course, ‘they’ say alot of things, but I suspect that in this case ‘they’ may be right. So I’ve created this website…now I just need to think of things to put on it 🙂