Tag Archives: blogging from a to z

Rejection Rebooted

A couple years ago I wrote a post on Rejection that I thought was pretty good. Today I want to talk about rejection again, and because I’m lazy I am going to do that by rebooting my original post. So, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, some of this is going to sound eerily familiar, but some of it is brand new too 🙂

Around and around we go...My acceptance ratio, according to Duotrope, for the past twelve months is about 10%.  That means my submissions get rejected 90% of the time. 90%! That’s nine times out of ten. Crazy!

You need to develop a “thick skin” or find a way to deal with rejection if you’re going to keep plugging away in the face of that. As if that weren’t bad enough, I’m told by Duotrope that my acceptance ratio is higher than the average for people submitting to the same markets as me. That means I’m stinking lucky to be accepted 10% of the time.


Compounding the number of rejections we, as writers, have to deal with is the way we perceive those rejections. We give them so much more weight than they deserve. Truly.

As an example, a couple years ago NaNoLJers did a group poetry project where we wrote a poem together. Eventually we placed the piece to Sorcerous Signals. When that happened, Arnold Emmanuel,  one of the people who worked on the poem blogged about it and said:

…Rhonda sent out submission requests and omg, lots of rejection letters.  I thought to myself “Oh well, it won’t be published, that’s okay, least we tried,” and then one day all of a sudden I get an email that says something like “Remember that poem Alone we worked on,” and I’m thinking oh, and another rejection letter, but no, we got published!

How many rejection letters did we collect on the poem before selling it? How many ‘nos’ did we get before he figured ‘Oh well…’ and gave up on that poem being published?



And not two markets that are easy to place work with either. I’m talking about Lone Star Stories and Goblin Fruit. I’m not picking on Arnold, I’m not. I’m just using his words to show how subjective our perception of rejection is. We give it too much power.

I’ve another friend who wrote a story with the intention of submitting it to a specific market, sent it to that market and got turned down. His reaction is to trunk the story. I was shocked. Really? All that work and you’re going to say ‘Oh well…’ and give up on it after one submission? See? Again, giving a rejection notice too much power.

As an editor I can tell you, someone passing on your submission does not mean the submission is bad. It really doesn’t. Honest, honest, honest.

Rejection is a part of writing for publication and it sucks. It really does. It’s something we all need to deal with and the better our coping skills are the more likely we are to succeed because, when it comes down to it, perseverance is a HUGE ingredient in the recipe for success.

Sometimes I feel so worn down by all the rejection letters and the ‘close but…’ letters. I begin to feel like I’m never going to break into my dream markets, or find the perfect agent* and I begin to wonder if it’s worth it. Is it time to give up? To move on? But I grit my teeth and keep grinding away, and then when an acceptance does come it’s all worth it… for an hour or two. Then it’s back to the grind.

One way I’ve found to deal with rejection is to dwell on it as little as possible. When one market passes on a story or poem I don’t waste any time sending it off to another. I figure that way instead of dwelling on how disappointed I am in the first rejection I can focus on how hopeful I am that work will find a home with the new market I’ve sent it to. It’s a little thing, but it helps, and dude, lemme tell you, I’ll take all the help I can get.

How about you? How do you deal with rejection? What sort of tricks do you use to keep yourself going?


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter R. Check back tomorrow when I plan to be talking about some of my stories that begin with the letter S. Apparently I write a lot of them LOL Shades of Green, Shadows, Sister Margaret



In doing this Blogging from A to Z challenge (which is more difficult than I’d expected) I was stuck for a topic to go with Q so I asked people to ask me questions I could answer. Thankfully people took pity on my pleading and asked me some questions. I answered the first couple on my “I” post (I Lied), and now I’m going to tackle a few more. I’m not going to answer them all though, because, um, well, I may need them for another post later this month LOL

Huushiita asked:

What are some of your WIP that you have? Do you even have any? lol

I have several. It’s actually kinda tricky to set a definite number because I have dozens of poem first drafts in notebooks that are resting before I revise, polish and submit them. If we don’t count them though, or the stuff I’ve started working on and then filed in my “In Progress” folder (likely) to be never seen again I have four novels in various states of done-ness, three short stories in desperate need of attention (two are unfinished and one is in need of serious revision) and two pieces that I don’t know how long they’re going to be when they are done. You could say that focus is not my strongest skill.

ETA: Apparently answering questions also isn’t my skill. I went to bed and then realised I hadn’t actually answered this question and worse, I knew I’d never sleep until I did.

So, to answer the question you asked (what are some of your WIPs) rather than the one I read (How many WIPs do you have?):

I’m working on Twixt which is a YA novel about a girl who is trapped in the land between this life and whatever comes after. I’m also working on a genie novel currently titled Consequence and I’ve got parts of my brain chewing away on another novel set around Krakatau right before it blows. That story doesn’t have a working title yet, but it does have a lot of awesome. I mean, a monster volcano and shapeshifters erm, that is, secret awesomeness.

On the short story front I’m struggling to work on a rather classically-styled ghost story, an Antikythera machine-inspired piece, and a couple stories about some sexy demons. I don’t know yet how long those last two are going to turn out to be… I’ll have to find time to start working on them some more to start figuring that out. I’m also working on a graphic novel with Danica that has a lot of fun (a lot of challenges too, as you can imagine) which really deserves more of my time than its getting.

This blogging challenge and the poem a day challenge are consuming all my writing time right now, but thankfully the subconcious keeps chewing away on things when I can’t devote all my attention to them LOL Come May my priorities are going to be Twixt and whatever else looks shiny when the time comes 🙂

Do you write with music on? If so, what is your go-to song/band/album? What music do you prefer?

It depends. When I’m writing poetry I prefer to have the radio on low and in the next room, it provides some background noise without actually being influenced by it. When I’m working on fiction, however, it’s anyone’s guess LOL Sometimes I need the low radio (I positively cannot work in silence) and sometimes I like having identifiable music playing. For example, when I wrote the last draft of Shadows my playlist was mostly Taylor Swift, but I also wrote a novel while listening exclusively to King Diamond.

Do you ever get cravings for ice cream from out of nowhere? What’s your flavour of choice?

Nah, not really. Ice cream isn’t my foodie weakness. Right now I’m all about stuffed jalapenos. Om nom nom. I did talk about ice cream in my previous question post though. You can check it out here, iffin yer curious.

Why must you be so damn bloody awesome? <3

I wasn’t sure if I should post this question or not LOL I don’t feel particularly awesome, but saying that feels like fishing for compliments, which I most assuredly am not. If I truly were awesome, I’d have had a super funny response to make to this question, but I don’t, I only have thanks, for making me smile 🙂

Ness asked:

what happened to your newsletter?

It fell victim to a combination of a bit of impostor complex (Who am I to have a newsletter? Does anyone even read this thing?) and a particularly bad depression that forced me to seriously cut back on the number of things I was doing. I’m feeling a lot better these days so perhaps it’s time I considered sending it out again. After all, there are still subscribers there… Hmm… We’ll see, we’ll see…

have you had ‘the talk’ with dani yet?

I honestly thought about making this it’s own blog post, I could talk about it quite extensively. However, I decided that I’d take the lazy way out and just address it here instead, in short form 🙂

Personally, I don’t believe in ‘the talk’. I believe in a dialogue, a continuous dialogue that takes place over many years. Jo and I have always spoken openly with Danica about sex, keeping our answers age-appropriate, of course. She knows she can come to us with any questions she may have (and she does) and receive non-judgemental, correct information in response.

In all honestly, the more difficult questions to answer are not about the biological / physcial things about sex. Much, much harder are the questions about relationships (romantic and otherwise). Emotions are so much trickier than mechanics LOL We try to answer those as openly as we can, giving Danica information, advice or sharing our own similar situations, but then leaving her to make her own decisions and act on them.

you’ve written a lot of things set in aphanasia. do you have more? how many more do you think you’ll write?

I do have more. A lot more LOL And I will write them, someday. Right now, however, I really feel like I need to take a little break from Aphanasia to work on a couple of the other stories that are tossing about in my brain. That being said, even now, when I’m trying to devote all my attention to revising Twixt I’m still occasionally struck with an idea for See The Sky Again, which is another Aphanasian novel I started working on a while back and plan on finishing someday (oh, and I didn’t include that in my count of WIPs. Sorry Huushii, I guess that makes it five novels).

Thank you guys for your questions 🙂 I’m going to tackle a few more in the near-ish future 🙂


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter Q. If you come by tomorrow I’ll be talking about Rejection. In the meantime, don’t forget about Niteblade’s fundraiser. I know I’ve said it before, but we really, truly need your help.


My definition of poetry, if I were pressed to provide one, would be deliberately vague. Actually, I don’t know if I could give one even if I tried. I consider song lyrics to be poems, and often as I’m composing a photograph (or editing it afterward) I think of it as a poem. Those pictures up there, for example, are a few I picked out of my photostream over at Flickr that seemed poetic to me.

I write a lot of poems, and I have made much more money selling poems than I have selling fiction. Even so, I always feel almost, halfway embarrassed about my poetry. I think because it doesn’t feel “intellectual” enough. That’s probably not the right word, and I’m worried now that I’ve insulted someone somewhere, but… it’s the best word I can think of for now.

My poems are accessible. No one has ever read one of my poems (that I know of LOL) and said ‘I don’t get it’. On one hand I feel like that’s a good thing, but on the other I’m always worried someone is going to be like “Dude, that’s not a poem, it’s not nearly obscure enough!” or  jump out of the proverbial bushes and point at me and be like “You call that thing you wrote a poem? It doesn’t even have any *insert something here* in it!”

It’s stupid, really. I know it is, but that doesn’t make it go away. Alas.

Now I’ve written and deleted the last bit of this post four times in the last hour. I need to get this blog entry finished and scheduled, but by choosing ‘Poetry’ as my topic I’ve picked something too broad and I’m having a hell of a time keeping this post focused. Therefore, in order to avoid rambling off onto a million other topics I’m going to share three poems I’ve written over the years. I’ve covered the spectrum here from super cheesy to (hopefully) less so LOL I hope you enjoy at least one of them 🙂

The Sepultress
(first published by NewMyths.com in December 2007)

Her silken song of wind and wave
Called unto those beyond the grave
“Awake!” she cried, “And come to play!”
“I’ve only ‘till the break of day.”

And to the shore the dead did come,
In groups of two and one by one
Once there they danced upon the sand
Whilst wicked waves served as the band.

A thousand corpses bobbed and swayed—
Cold bones ratt’ling a serenade
“Dance my children,” I heard her shriek
And terror made my knees go weak

From the shadows I watched their throes
While a foul stench assailed my nose.
With my shirt up over my face,
I loosed my guts, to my disgrace

Above the bluffs, I spent the night
Afraid I might just die of fright
And when the dawn at last did break
All of the dead began to quake.

The power drained from empty eyes
As sunlight reached across the skies
Touched, she writhed upon the beach
Yet further still the beams did reach.

They swept across her gory crew
Who fell; puppets with strings cut through
I stood, transfixed as the tide rose
And shivered in my filthy clothes.

I watched the corpses float to sea
And knew no one would believe me
If I to them, did run and tell
About the night I spent in hell.

Because the water swept away
All evidence of their soiree
I lack the courage to be bold –
This pen’s the only soul I’ve told.


(first published by Star*Line Fall 2008)

Where river meets bank
We linger, yet again, with
Your fin in my paw


(first published by Daikaijuzine June 2010)

A lame name, perhaps, but I wasn’t feeling creative
that day when I found her, hiding under the porch
at MacPherson’s old place. The same deck I ducked under
when I saw the shuffling mob coming down the street.
I’d seen her, a shadow within the shadows, her eyes
so wide open her iris was the thinnest band of gold;
like the ring Jo had given me, before this all started,
the one I lost trying to pull away from the shambler
the week before. She hissed, and arched her back,
not at me, but at the dirty feet, some shoeless, some
stumps, that marched past us out there.
I reached, with fingers shaking like the last leaf clinging
to the trees, and ran my hand down her back,
praying it would hush her, and not make her louder.
She pressed against me, rubbing my palm with her greasy fur,
a low rumble, like gargled gravel, emanating from her throat.
It had been so long since I’d heard it, or any sound
reminiscent of joy. For it to be now, while the battered
battalion of undead dragged themselves by, made tears
creep into my eyes. Silent tears, thank God.
Now, as the snow blankets the ground, she rests
spread across my lap, vibrating gently, warming
my legs and my heart. The only other thing,
within hundreds of miles, perhaps,
with a heartbeat.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter P. Tomorrow I’ll be answering some of the questions people asked me last month 🙂

Other Writers

I feel like I’ve been talking about myself an awful lot this month, and you’re probably more than ready for a little break from all the ‘Me, me, me’ stuff So…

See that photo? I took it while I was at a retreat for writers a while back. I flatter myself that it could be considered inspiring, which is what makes it the perfect image to go with this blog. You see, I’m going to talk about other writers. Writers I find inspiring.

In trying to decide who to include on this list I found that really it wasn’t all about what these people wrote, or even how they wrote it (though they are all super freaking talented and often inspire sparks of envy in me). The main reason I picked these people to share as the writers who inspire me was because they are good people. They inspire me to want to be a better person, not just a better writer.

In no particular order, let me share introduce you to some of the people who inspire me.

Beth Cato: She’s probably going to blush when she reads this, and that’s part of why I love her so much, she doesn’t seem to know how awesome she is. One of the things I like the most about Beth is that she sets goals and then she reaches them. It sounds so simple, until you think about it. It doesn’t matter what distractions, what obstacles, what things come up to try and make her stray from her path she doesn’t. She’s human, so I’m sure she’s missed deadlines on occasion, but it’s not for lack of trying.

I really got to know Beth after I published her story The Pacifier (which is freaking awesome, and you need to read it. Now. Go ahead, I’ll wait) and she’s become one of my dearest friends even though we’ve never met in person. Yet. I really can’t emphasize enough how inspiring and motivating it is to watch her pursuing her goals and accomplishing them, one by one.

Carrie Jones: Carrie is nice. No, she’s not nice in that that sugar-coated fake way that so many people are, she is honestly and sincerely nice. Carrie is the kind of person who will (and does) go out of her way to help a stranger. She’s got one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever *met* and also has an ability to really evoke emotion in her readers without slipping into the realm of melodrama — I suspect the two are related. She’s goofy, and fun, and, did I mention nice? One day I’m going to meet her in like, three dimensions, and that will be a good day. A very good day.

Jim Hines: Jim. What can I say about Jim? He makes me laugh and he makes me think — often both at the same time. I respect his no-nonsense straight talk about controversial issues, his ability to listen to other people’s opinions and respond thoughtfully, and his willingness to pose like women off book covers. He donates his time to charity auctions (and know from experience his critiques are incredibly valuable) and when Danica (a few years ago) sent him a piece of fan art for one of his goblin books, it made her month that he took time to send a personal reply. In my opinion he is made of win.

Kyle Kassidy: I know Kyle more for his photography than his fiction writing, but there is no question in my mind that he belongs on this list. I was introduced to Kyle through his blog on Livejournal, which is a complete adventure in itself. What I love the most about Kyle is how completely non-judgemental he is of people and the positive attitude he always seems to have. Also, he seems so. freaking. unselfish. It’s amazing. When I read his blogs or look at his pictures it almost always picks me up. When I grow up I want to be more like him. Truly. He once wrote ‘Make something beautiful’ and those words have stuck with me ever since. It’s how I’d like to live, making everyday into something special, and Kyle gave me that image, that ideal.

There are a great many other people I could have included, though, but this is only one blog post and I had to stop at some point. Maybe I’ll continue to expand on this list over the coming months as time allows.

Who would you have included that I missed? Why? Do they have a blog, or a book out, I’d like to get to know them if I don’t already 🙂


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter O. If you come back tomorrow I’ll be talking a bit about Poetry. Also, don’t forget to check out Niteblade’s Fundraiser. We really do need your help, and we want to give you goodies for offering it 🙂


*sang Batman-style* Na na na na na na na na na Niteblade! Niteblade!

I freaking love Niteblade. Love it. I have a fierce pride and an overwhelming affection for the publication and everyone who helps make it happen that I could do a whole Blogging from A to Z challenge with ‘Niteblade’ as my theme and still have blog topics left over at the end of the month. Truly. In fact, maybe I’ll do that next year. For this year, however, I only have one blog day to dedicate to it in this challenge. Today.

Niteblade, for anyone who is new to my blog and my life, is a fantasy and horror magazine I founded nearly five years ago (that’s like a billion years in internet time!). Since that day when it was me doing everything but the .pdf layout (which has always been Jo’s responsibility) Niteblade has grown to have several great people working behind the scenes.

We publish high-quality fiction and poetry and our pages are illustrated by original art.

Put simply, Niteblade rocks.

Unfortunately, it also costs money, and money is short these days. I’ve always hated asking anyone for help, for, um, anything, but Niteblade is something that means enough to me I decided I was willing to break that pattern and have a fundraiser. It was with more than a little trepidation that I put the call out ‘Niteblade could use your support, can you help?’ but the response I received was fabulous.

People donated loads of awesome stuff to our first (hopefully annual) fundraiser. Lots of stuff. Amazing stuff. I’m talking about critiques, handicrafts, signed books, food, art… the list goes on and on. People who couldn’t afford to donate *things* donated links. They donated time. They told their friends, and their friends told friends.

Our fundraiser starts today, April 16th and will be running through until the end of the day on April 20th. Check it out, we really do need your support:

Niteblade 2012 Fundraiser

This fundraiser will be the biggest single factor when it comes to determining our budget for next year. That means it directly effects how many stories and poems we can include in each issue and potentitally how many issues we put out. Every dollar makes a difference. Every one. Seriously. And if you can’t afford to donate cash, you can show your support by sharing the news of our fundraiser. The more people who know about it the better and we’re giving away a great collection of goodies to one lucky person just for telling people about our fundraiser. It could be you.

And thank you. Thank you so much.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter N. Please check by again tomorrow when I’ll be talking about Other writers.



Motivation. It’s one of the things I struggle with the most.

Well, actually, not motivation, per se, but more the willpower and the focus to sit down and freaking do the work.

But motivation is related to that, so it’s my topic for today :-p

I’m not alone in struggling with this. I think it’s pretty nearly universal. A lot of people have trouble getting their butt in the chair and their words on the page (figuratively speaking, of course, especially since I don’t write my first drafts at a desk these days). Kern Windwraith had a guest blogger, JoAnne, over at her blog the other day talking about this exact thing. Her point? Just Do It.

It’s fantastic advice, but doesn’t necessarily make it easy to follow.

Over time I’ve slowly begun to understand the things that motivate me. The two biggest ones are Deadlines and Accountability. I’ve totally signed up for workshops and paid good money just to have deadlines I had to meet. I’ve used my critique group meetings the same way. I didn’t win NaNoWriMo until I founded the NaNoLJers group (now run by the awesome Amber Stults) and knew that people were watching how I did and would notice if I slacked off.

Deadlines and Accountability. Those are the tricks for me.

This year, not only did I post a list of goals for the year publicly on this blog where everyone can see them (and see if I don’t meet them), but I also signed up for Write 1 Sub 1.

Write 1 Sub 1 has been fantastic for keeping myself motivated, largely because it combines accountability and deadlines together. The idea is pretty much summed up in the challenge’s name — you write 1 piece and you submit 1 piece. In my case my goal is to write (at least) one story or poem a month and submit (at least) one new story or poem a month. Some super ambitious people are writing and submitting at least one story a week. I’m not that brave or masochistic LOL I think most people doing the challenge write and sub the same story, but I’m not like most people.

When I write a first draft of something (especially poetry) I like to let it rest. A lot of people do, I know, but I like to let it rest a good long time. Like, at least a few weeks. At least. That means I’m never writing and submitting the same piece of work in the same monthly period, but I am writing and submitting, so that’s good.

We’re only four months into this year and already if it hadn’t been for W1S1 I wouldn’t have written anything new for at least two of those months. It’s easy, for me, to get caught up in the novel I’m revising or Niteblade, or whatever and just not write anything new, but W1S1 keeps that from happening, which is a good thing. A very good thing.

It’s not too late to join in if you haven’t already and this sounds like something you might find useful. You can check it out at Write 1 Sub 1 Do you use another similar challenge/website/program/group to stay motivated to write? I’d love to hear about it. Sometimes diversity helps and you never know when I may need a little extra something to help keep me motivated.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter M. Please come back on Monday when I’ll be talking about something near and dear to my heart — Niteblade.


Kidnapped by Klingons

I grew up in southern Alberta. For the first half of my childhood we lived in the MD of Willow Creek, but when I was in grade four we moved to the County of Vulcan (it’s like the wheat capital of Alberta so I’ve totally got the wrong grain in that picture, but whatcha gonna do?). Around about the time I was in grade seven the county began a promotional thing — they started taking advantage of their name.

Suddenly there were Star Trek-themed paintings in every business’s windows, and on one corner of main street, right by the old town bell (they used to ring at curfew) one of those stand things where you could stick your face through a hole and look like you were a crew member of the Enterprise. The Home Hardware began to sell Vulcan ears, and I think they even had three-sided coins that were only good in Vulcan. Best of all, was Spock Days.

I understand that these days Spock Days are pretty big, there’s a rodeo and they get Star Trek-related celebrities to come hang out, but from what I remember of that first year it wasn’t quite as big a deal. In fact, the evening I have in mind may have been part of some sort of midnight madness-type thing rather than actual Spock Days.

A friend and I went to the pool hall, where all our friends hung out, and we were having fun. Shooting pool, listening to really, really outdated tunes on the juke box (Queen of Hearts anyone? Did I mention this was like 89-90ish?) when suddenly her parents came in. Not to kick us out, we were allowed to be there, but to embarrass the hell out of us. They were wearing Spock ears, acting dorky and making sure every single person in the pool hall knew they were her parents. Now, as an adult I think what they did was awesome, but to two teenage girls who cared very much about looking cool (though we’d have denied it with our last breath then), it was horrifying.

Mortified, we fled the pool hall and went to hang out on the street. Main street had been blocked off I think, so there was no vehicle traffic, but man, was there ever a lot of pedestrians out. And in costumes too! There were loads of random red shirts and I remember another friend’s mother was dressed up as Amanda Grayson (I remember because she was mortified that I didn’t know she was Spock’s mother and I got a 5 minute long “education” about his heritage), and the Klingons. There was a group of men who were dressed up in the best Klingon costumes you’ve ever in real life. I think they were actors who had been hired by the town to kidnap the mayor as part of the festivities.

My friend and I were just walking down the street, checking out cute boys, looking cool, and all those things that teenage girls do (or at least the ones I did when I was a teenage girl LOL) when the Klingons came up from behind us and swept us away. Neither one of us was very big and a Klingon just picked each of us up, tossed us over their shoulder and kept on walking. It was all in good fun, and flattering, of course, to be the subject of their attentions, so while we squealed and kicked a little bit, neither one of us actually wanted to get free. Where would the fun be in that? And besides, how many girls can say they’ve been kidnapped by Klingons?

…so, I should leave that story as it is, but I can’t. The truth is, while most of it is the truth, I’m not sure about the last paragraph. In fact, I’m pretty much sure that’s an outright lie. Here’s the thing. The line between truth and fiction is sometimes blurry, and this is one of those cases. I’ve told that story a lot. A lot. It’s a good story… but it’s a lie. My friend and I made it up (for whatever reason, I don’t even remember now), but I’ve told it so many times that I remember it. I remember it as though it really happened.

As frustrating as I find that in reality, it is that merging of truth and fiction that I’m striving very hard to reach in my writing these days. I’m learning how to weave reality with lies to make a good story. It’s been a slow trudge so far, but I think I’m getting it. I want my readers to know what they are reading isn’t true, but feel like it is. The same way I feel about the Klingon story. I expect this is sort of at the core of good writing, the balance between truth and lies, and it’s something I will be continuing to work on until the day I die, but I feel like I’m making progress, and that’s a good feeling.

Now if only my conscience would let me stop ruining my “kidnapping” story by telling on myself after every time I tell it and letting people know it’s part fiction 😉


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter K. Please come back  tomorrow when I’ll be talking about Lost and Found


So, I’m not actually a jealous person, but I am rather prone to bouts of envy. Unfortunately (?) my ‘E’ blog post was already claimed and I needed a J post so… Yeah.

(The difference between jealousy and envy)

It’s not that I think other writer’s successes somehow take away from my own and I don’t want to take them away. I am honestly and truly happy for my friends when they reach a goal or have good things happen to them. Sadly, however, I usually feel a little twinge of ‘I want that too!’.

It kinda sucks because it gives me a weapon to beat myself up with, and frankly, I do that far more often than I should already. I’m trying to learn to use it as a motivational tool though. I’ve had mixed success so far, because sometimes telling yourself ‘They achieved that goal because they did the work. They didn’t take the afternoon off last week to go raiding’ is a double-edged sword. It’s true enough, but it’s also really close to being that weapon again.

Someday I’ll either learn how to stop envying people for what they have that I don’t (Heh! Small chance of that, really), I’ll learn how to use their victories to motivate myself toward my own, or, more likely, I’ll just have to keep feeling the twinge and going on. One step at a time. It’s how they earned all their achievements, it’s how I will too… even if I am a little bit behind them. That’s okay as long as I keep moving.

…or that’s what I’m telling myself this week, anyway 🙂

How about you? Do you get envious or jealous of other people’s achievements?

I did a quick google before I started this blog post and this seems to be a rather common problem. Writer’s Relief has a blog about how to deal with jealousy, Absolute Write does also and even The Rumpus. Their advice mostly seems to be (though you really ought to read all the articles if you struggle with this) not to let yourself get too hung up on what other people are doing, sincerely wish your colleagues well and  trudging on, so I guess I’m doing the right things. Sometimes it’s stinkin’ hard though. Not the wishing people well part, I truly do, but the not getting hung up and trudging on bits.

Do you have anything you do to help you deal with jealousy? Any words of advice to pass on? I’d love to hear them. You never know what’s going to help until you try, and frankly, every little thing I can do to boost my productivity is a good thing. A very good thing.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter J. Tomorrow I’m going to tell the story about the time I was kidnapped by Klingons. You don’t want to miss that one, right? 🙂

I Lied

So, I lied.

In yesterday’s post I said I was going to talk about Inspiration today, but once it was time to actually write the post, well, I didn’t wanna LoL. I strongly suspect that most of the people who read my blog are creative people, which means you don’t need me to tell you all about inspiration. You know how it works (or doesn’t). You get it. And you probably don’t want to hear about all the myriad of inspirations for my various stories.

Mostly though, I’m feeling lazy today and I don’t want to have to organise my thoughts as clearly as will be required to do that. The inspiration for any one story is made up of a half dozen other things that are interconnected in complex ways that require a lot of thought to sort through.

So, instead of that I’m going to do something different.

Last month I asked people to ask me questions I could then answer for my letter Q day (on the 19th). I was pleasantly surprised by the number of questions I received so on my cheating I day I’m going to answer a few of them. If you want me to find an honest way to make this topic begin with I (other than the oh so clever “I Lied” that I’m going with now) we could call it I Think or All About I* or something, but… meh. Again, that requires too much thought LoL

Alexa asked:

What’s your fave ice cream flavor?
Oh, hell, while I’m at it:
Favorite poet and poem?

My favourite things change as I do. When I was younger my favourite ice cream flavour was Bubble Gum (back when it actually -had- bubble gum in the ice cream), then in my early teens it shifted to Cherry Cheesecake (om nom nom!). A couple years ago I discovered Moose Tracks ice cream and that became a fast favourite, but these days I think my preference is just straight-up chocolate. Sadly I can’t have it very often because I’m working pretty hard at losing weight and it’s calorific, but when I feel like spoiling myself that’s the flavour I want 🙂

Choosing my favourite poet and poem is a bit trickier. When I was younger my favourite poet was probabaly Alfred, Lord Tennyson, especially The Charge of the Light Brigade, and around juior high I was in love with The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Around that time I also read and re-read all the poems in Through the Open Window (edited by Shirley I. Paustian) and I had tons of the poems marked for quick access (Farewell by Crowfoot, It is not growing like a tree by Ben Jonson, Then the Child Replied by Joseph McLeod, For a Father by Anthony Cronin, Father by Dale Zieroth and Maternity by Alice Meynell, for example. That last is one of those poems whose last lines always seem to linger around the edges of my conciousness.).

These days I’m finally beginning to enjoy Poe’s poetry in a way I never did before, but also a lot of modern poets too. I’m scared to start listing them, to be honest, because I am afraid of leaving anyone out LOL One of my favourite poems recently is “Initiation” by Caitlin Walsh, which was in Niteblade’s recent poetry issue. Actually, I’m pretty fond of all the poems from that issue. I like poetry that is accessible (if I have to have an extensive knowledge of, um, anything to ‘get’ it, I’m not interested.) and while my tastes often wander to the dark side of the spectrum, I’ve read light poems I really enjoyed too.

Francis W. Alexander asked:

Here’s two questions. Although I write zombie stories and poems, I still hafta ask. Why do they hunger for brains? I know brains look like chitterlings (which look good, but turn my stomach). But why do they want the very thing that’s hard to get to? Do they use a nutcracker to get past the skull?

Well, according to Return of the Living Dead (1985) they want to eat brains because that’s the only thing that stops the pain of being dead… but most of the zombies in my stories and poems are straight-up cannibals and will eat any part of a person, they aren’t all about the brains. Maybe the ones who are just enjoy the challenge?

You know what bothers me about brain-eating zombies? They usually go hand-in-hand with the ‘Shoot them in the head to kill them’ kind of zombies. Think about that. If zombie #1 gets turned into a zombie because zombie #2 smashed his head open and started nomming on his brains — what is the point of shooting him in the head? He doesn’t have any brains there to hit anymore, they’re all in zombie #2’s stomach.


LOL I think that’s it for today. If you have any questions you’d be interested in my answering for my Q post (or any other ones I decide to cheat on LOL) please feel free to leave them as a comment to this post.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter I. Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about writerly jealousy. Should be fun LOL

ETA: I was curious. So I did one of those who do you write like things. How do these programs even judge this stuff? Anyway, I pasted in text from three different stories and got three different authors. First, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle then Oscar Wilde and finally, my favourite:

I write like
Neil Gaiman

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!


Dude, frankly I’d settle for writing half as much as Neil Gaiman.


Hobbies. I haz ’em.

Like I mentioned in my ‘Branding‘ post, I am all about writing, gaming and crafting. My interest in each of these things waxes and wanes, but it never completely vanishes. I bet you know what I’m talking about. I’ll bet you’ve noticed it in your own hobbies and interests 🙂

I think my hobbies fall into two distinct categories, gaming and crafting.

When it comes to games I prefer RPG & story-based games. I don’t like first person shooters, and really, my favourites are the ones that don’t require me to have uber reflexes, hand/eye co-ordination or remember five million control combinations. Up until quite recently I was a pretty serious World of Warcraft addict, but I’m um, ‘in recovery’ for that now. I’m currently only raiding one day a week (a couple hours) and plan to drop even that when the new expansion comes out. It’s the people, not the game, that I play WoW for now. Nowadays I’m enjoying games that actually have endings, like Dragon Age: Origins (I’m on my second playthrough at the time of this writing). Sadly, I’m also still playing Sims 3 — whenever my tolerance for the never-freaking-ending bugs is high.

When it comes to crafting, I enjoy crocheting, quilting, cross stitching, fabric painting… Um, I think that’s it, these days. Like I say, it’s cyclical. Right now I’m crocheting a baby blanket for a friend, and once that’s done I have a mystery quilt to finish designing and sew, a picture of a loon I’m cross stitching for another friend, a quilt to “restore”, and did I mention my sister is expecting? She’ll need a baby blanket…

It never ends LOL But I love it.

I also love taking pictures. Don’t ask me any technical questions about focal length or anything like that because I won’t know. I know how to make my camera do what I want it to do, and when I need to, I know how to look up tutorials on the interwebz to learn new things, but I never retain the technical knowledge, just the practical stuff. All the pictures you see on this blog are by me (except in very, very rare instances when I note otherwise) and I think some of ’em are pretty good. I’m not shooting a lot right now, because most of my “spare time” and energy is being spent on crocheting at the moment, but eventually the tide will change and I’ll be all about photography.

How about you? What are your hobbies?

Do you know any awesome new games I ought to try out? I’m hungry for something new LOL We have an Xbox 360, Wii and PCs. To say I’m open to suggestions would be an understatement.

Have any fantastic craft projects you’ve finished that you’d like to show off? Link me, I’d love to pop by and admire your work.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter H. Please pop by tomorrow when I’ll be talking about Inspiration. I think. That’s the plan anyway 😉


Okay, I admit it, the link between the topic of this post and this picture is pretty weak, but it’s the best I could do without actually taking a photo specific for this, and because of procrastinating I just didn’t have time for that. Whee! So, this blog post is going to be about Goodreads which is about books and that’s a picture of a replica of an 1885 Canadian schoolroom. School / Books. It’s the best I could do.

Well, I could have put a Goodreads widget there, but I couldn’t get the formatting to look right. I tried. Honest.

So, about Goodreads. I really like it. I think the main reason for my affection for this particular website is that it makes reading cool. You get to share what you’re reading, what you’ve read, and also your thoughts on each book. You get to use cool little widgets on your website to show off your library or challenge yourself to read a certain number of books every year.

When I first signed up for Goodreads I actually tried to add all the books that I owned to it. I don’t think I made it through more than one bookshelf (we have ten… ish. I can’t remember off-hand and I’m too lazy to get up and count) before I came to my senses. Now I just add books as I’m reading them. I love that Goodreads will share them on my Twitter feed for me, and I usually remember to update my status for #Fridayreads (though I never remember to tag it LOL).

What’s more, Goodreads hosts giveaways. I ran two giveaways of Shades of Green there when we released it, and I’ve also entered to win a great many books. So far I’ve only won four, and unfortunately I didn’t like three of them LOL But still, it’s better to find that out without having to spend any money, right? And happily the people who won Shades of Green (and reviewed it) seemed to like it, so yay!

If you’re not using Goodreads you ought to take a peek and consider it, and if you are, I hope we’re friends there. I don’t usually post on forums, join groups or send out messages, but I do often decide what books I’m going to read based on what my friends are reading and what they’ve enjoyed.

~ My Goodreads Profile ~ Goodreads Giveaways ~ Goodreads Reading Challenge ~


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter G. I’m taking tomorrow off, but if you come by on Monday I’ll be talking about Hobbies.