Stranger than Fiction

As if I didn’t have enough to do this month, I’ve just got to weigh in on the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway questions. This used to be the Writer Mama Back-To-School-Giveaway at one point, and what I enjoy the most about it is not only the chance  to reflect on my writing life and have an opportunity to win great books, but also the sense of community it provides. I’ve connected with far more other writers online in the past few years, than in “real life”. Not that online life isn’t real in its own way…. 😉

Today’s question: Which do you prefer writing: fiction or nonfiction? And why?

My response: Count me in on the nonfiction side. There was a time in my life where everything I read was fiction, so naturally I assumed I wanted to be a fiction writer when I grew up. But here I am at midlife, still waiting to grow up, and now what I want to read and write is nonfiction. I’ve been grappling with some pretty heavy issues in my life the last few years: a cancer diagnosis, losing both parents within months of each other, and children growing up and leaving home. Writing creative nonfiction satisfies the creative side of me, while still helping me to process the new reality I’ve found myself in, and make sense of it all.

The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

Writing Reflections- Day 30

And this concludes the re-postings of my last year’s responses to the Writer Mama’s Back-to-School Giveaway prompts, as well as this year’s WMBTSG. My last response for this year can be read on the Writer Mama blog: http://bit.ly/VThzc

Thirty days, thirty prompts- whew! But it’s been fun, I learned alot about myself through reflecting on the various aspects of writing, enjoyed  sharing with other participants and reading their responses, and oh yeah, I’m looking forward to receiving and reading the two books I won this year!

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

and

2010 Poet’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer

September 30, 2008- At this point in time, I’ve only submitted to anthologies and websites/ezines, and I rely almost exclusively on online calls for submissions. I suppose my method is a tad hit or miss, but so far I’ve managed to find enough markets to be able to submit on a regular basis. All that I know about creating Google search terms that net results, I’ve learned from my 13-year-old son, who is just the master of finding information if it indeed exists anywhere out there on the World Wide Web. There’s actually a trick to it, and due to the vagaries of the internet search engines, a subtle shift in search terms results in a totally different set of hits, so it pays to play around with it a bit.

The most steady anthology markets are of course the Chicken Soup series, that has plenty of titles in the works at any given time, A Cup of Comfort, and the Ultimate series, but there are plenty of one-time anthologies out there if you look hard enough.

Writing Reflections- Day 29

Continuing on this blog are re-postings of my last year’s responses to the Writer Mama’s Back-to-School Giveaway prompts. My response for this year can be read on the Writer Mama blog: http://bit.ly/vZ7Ad

September 29, 2008- This is all purely hypothetical right? Because if truth be told, I wouldn’t know what to do with an agent right now. I am years away from even attempting a novel, let alone seeking a publisher for one, and it  really hasn’t been all that difficult to find potential markets for my personal essays and creative nonfiction so far. I’ve earmarked a few likely markets, and have established a rapport directly with the editors. That being said…

I have absolutely no background in marketing, P.R. or even creative writing or journalism, if we’re going to be particular. Just an overwhelming desire to express myself through the written word. What I would bring to a partnership with an agent is honesty, a fresh, unjaded outlook on writing, ambition, determination, creativity, enthusiasm, organizational skills, and an open mind. I am more than willing to listen and learn, and am quick to adapt to changing situations. And no one could be a better cheerleader for my own work, than me!

Writing Reflections- Day 28

Continuing on this blog are re-postings of my last year’s responses to the Writer Mama’s Back-to-School Giveaway prompts. My response for this year can be read on the Writer Mama blog: http://bit.ly/1a59VG

September 28, 2008- When I first started looking for markets for my writings, it was positively overwhelming. It seems there are no shortage of contests, literary magazines, journals, websites, ezines, anthologies and print magazines out there looking for submissions. The trick, I think, is to narrow your focus and concentrate on those that are the best match. This of course takes a fair amount of time, to research possible markets for my submissions, but I find it time well spent. At this point in my career, my ideal markets are websites, ezines and my favorite of all, anthologies.

The beauty of anthologies is there is no strictly set format you must adhere to, besides a general topic and a maximum word count. Of course, each anthology has its own flavor, with “uplifting” seeming to be a common buzzword among them, but as the aim is to gather a variety of writing styles and experiences, I find that this is where I can be the freest in my writing, which for me, after all, is what it’s all about!

Writing Reflections-Day 27

Continuing on this blog are re-postings of my last year’s responses to the Writer Mama’s Back-to-School Giveaway prompts. My response for this year can be read on the Writer Mama blog: http://bit.ly/3bTLs4

September 27, 2008- I’ve had a burning passion for writing all my life, but didn’t really take myself seriously as a writer because I thought of myself as a mathematician. Now I believe you can be more than one thing at a time. Only last week, when someone asked me if I work, I took a deep breath, held my head up and said proudly, “Yes, I’m a freelance writer, I work from home.”

What gave me the confidence? I think it was seeing my first piece in print. I know I really shouldn’t need someone else to validate me, but it’s one thing for a daydreamer like me to build up a fantasy world in my head, and another when my writings actually see the light of day.

As for dedication and focus, I grew up in a household where my parents had the highest expectations for us, and they taught us that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. It was better, they said, to aim for the stars and land on the fence, then aim for the fence and land in the mud. Or something like that.