Prompt: Write Fast

I’ve been told recently that I write too slowly.  I will admit, my process is meticulous.  I follow in the footsteps of Tom Robbins (swoon)* in which I try to make the most perfect sentence possible before moving on to the next one.  There’s all kinds of research that happens and word-associations and trials and retrials.  I realize that this flies in the face of most writing process advice, which is to just get as much down on paper and then edit afterwards, but I have to admit, that’s just not the way it comes out for me.

Lately, I’ve been trying to exercise my “sprinting” muscles a little bit more and one way of doing this is with oneword.  It’s lovely for speed-thinking and writing and a nice little way to start a story.

So, here’s my challenge.  Go on oneword, write for the sixty seconds that they give you and use something you write in those sixty seconds as the start or end of a story.

Ready?  Go!

*It has recently come to my attention that for years I’ve been fostering a schoolgirl crush on a 77-year-old man.  I am not sure how I feel about it, but Switters would be proud.

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Racking up More than Rejections: Shards in Exegesis

So, the ripples of goodness from July’s Submission Bonanza! are still rolling in.  (Rejections are still rolling in too, so it is true that I am racking up rejections, but these small victories overshadow the rejections by so much.)  It’s amazing what happens when you just decide to put yourself out there.  I wasn’t expecting much back except for some experience and some notches on my writing bedpost.

But I’m in the latest issue of Exegesis, an academic journal at Royal Holloway, University of London.  They published Shards, a short short of mine, in their third issue: Landscapes:Digital, Real, Imagined.

Woohoo!

Sharing: What Reconciles Me by John Berger

“What reconciles me to my own death more than anything else is the image of a place: a place where your bones and mine are buried, thrown, uncovered, together.  They are strewn there pell-mell.  One of your ribs leans against my skull.  A metacarpal of my left hand lies inside your pelvis.  (Against my broken ribs, your breast, like a flower.) The hundred bones of our feet are scattered like gravel.  It is strange that this image of our proximity, concerning as it does mere phosphate of calcium, should bestow a sense of peace.  Yet it does.  With you I can imagine a place where to be phosphate of calcium is enough.”

John Berger

Call for Submissions: Yemassee

The good folks over at Yemassee are open for submissions.  Check them out!

 

General Guidelines

Yemassee publishes all genres and forms of writing, including poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, reviews, and interviews, along with visual art. We publish in the fall and spring, printing three to five stories and twelve to fifteen poems per issue.  We do not favor any particular aesthetic or school of writing. Quality of writing is our only concern.

We’re seeking quality, previously unpublished work in these genres.  We are open to submissions year-round, and we suggest you familiarize yourself with our journal before submitting (Back Issues are available for $5 each).

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, given that you identify them as such on your cover letter and immediately notify us if the submission is accepted elsewhere.  Once you have submitted, please wait three months before submitting again.

We accept online submissions through our submissions manager at http://yemassee.submishmash.com/  As of May 2012, we no longer accept paper submissions.  Any paper submissions we receive will be recycled.  

Submissions Format

Submissions for all genres should include a cover letter that lists the titles of the pieces included, along with your contact information (including author’s name, address, email address, and phone number).

You should be sure to look at our masthead and address your submission to the appropriate editor.

Poetry submissions should include 3-5 poems combined into a single document, with no more than one poem per page.

While we have published longer work, we typically prefer fiction and nonfiction pieces be 5,000 words or fewer.

Art submissions should be uploaded as up to five separate attachments.  The following file types are supported: jpg, gif, tiff, png.  All art submissions must be at least 300 dpi at  6 inches x 9 inches or the equivalent.  Submissions that do not meet this requirement cannot be considered.  Yemassee prints in black and white, but we may consider color art for the cover or the website.

Guidelines specific to our contests are also available on our submissions manager.

Visit our submissions manager here.

 

Rights and Compensation

Contributors receive a copy of the issue in which their work appears, with the option to purchase additional copies at a discounted rate.

Yemassee acquires first-time North American rights. Copyright reverts to authors upon publication.

More Good News: Nominated for Best of the Net!

There’s been so much commotion and excitement around here lately that I almost forgot:

I owe a big thank you to the folks over at Flash Frontier.

They nominated my story “Cicadas,” which appeared in their November 2012 Issue Eye Contact, for Best of the Net!

Check it out!

Reaping Rewards: Word Flood in Yemassee

YemasseeCover20v2 web

 

 

Here’s another non-rejection that I’ve racked up from my original Submission Bonanza! 

Word Flood,” my first published creative nonfiction piece, just came out in Yemassee.

I’ve pasted the original text below for your reading enjoyment!

 

Her words sank.  Not quickly like an anchor, or with a splash like a rock.  Instead as she spoke, her words fluttered in the air, held afloat by the humidity.  They tickled earlobes, in a language half a world away. Pieces of ideas curled with the wind among tendrils of jasmine, leaving a heavy scent wafting through the city.  Nouns and verbs together toyed with bodhi leaves, pulling them along as they flitted to the ground.  They landed gently on the Chao Phraya, quivering on the surface of the river and leaving ripples too small to be noticed.  Amongst water hyacinth and coconuts they floated, gathering silt and absorbing the wetness of the city.  In this way, the words gained weight and began to drown.

Before long, they swam in the wake of snakefish and nestled between the scales of water monitors.  The more weight they gathered, the more they were immersed, the harder it was to see them. The light had trouble reaching them between algae and waste and even apsaras would be hard pressed to find them.  They landed on the river bed, stirring up the bottom and throwing silt into an already murky darkness.  Covered.

And soon all her pen could do was draw the curves of the paths her words had taken, as if trying to retrace their steps.  Searching between the roots of ficus trees and the stamens of hibiscus for where she had misplaced them.  A world made of tendrils and bubbles, floating in a silent and wordless black and white.  Sea horses and leaves and turtles all swirled with a silent current.  Owls became nok hoo, knock, who? and lost their edges and their names.  Questions were gone and statements no longer made sense.  The world churned as if everything were from the point of view of those lost words, staring up at far away surface of a river that always was moving.

And then there was a flood.  The water seeped slowly, climbing up through sewers and along the streets.  The river rose past dams and sandbags bringing pythons into houses and buoys into cars.  It brought everything from its depths, decay, sand, and her words, which huddled against a curb and waited for the waters to recede.  After months, the river left, burrowing back into its banks but leaving its refuse to dry in the sun.  The sediment cracked and caked.  Mosquito larvae dried like tiny raisins.  The decomposing river sludge made banana trees greener and left seedling strangler figs sprouting along sidewalks.  And, as if growing out from cracked pavement, her words dried, too, finally able to breathe and soak up a little bit of the warm winter sun.

 

Submission Bonanza!: Second Time Around

submission bonanza logo 2 copySo, you might have noticed that it’s October 19th.  You might have also noticed that it’s not September any more.  In fact, it’s nearly three-weeks-not-September already.

Way back in July, I set myself a challenge to do a Submission Bonanza!  It was incredible and successful.  I learned so much, and I’ve been published in three magazines so far (more on that to come later!).  It was so successful that I resolved to do it again in September.

Some of my cohorts looked at me like I was insane — and with good reason.  In September, I started an M.F.A. program, began lecturing on writing at university, and moved to the frontier (Why, hello, Alaska!) all in the same month.

It’s true that I didn’t finish my 30 litmags in 30 days.  It’s an ambitious challenge amidst so much transition.  I have, however, finally finished!  It took me much longer than I had hoped, but I still got work out to 30 litmags and ok, it took me 50 days, but better late than never, right?

So, in true Submission Bonanza! fashion, I’ve pasted below links to all the literary magazines that I submitted to.  They’re all magazines that accept submissions online and accept submissions for free, because those are some of the restrictions that I’ve currently set for myself.  You’ll notice that some of the magazines here are quite ambitious for such a fledgling like me to be submitting to (cough, cough, New Yorker, cough, cough, The Atlantic).  One of the things I learned during my first Submission Bonanza! was that I needed to be more choosy.  Once a piece gets published, those First Time North American Rights that all the magazines are asking for are gone, gone forever.  Because of this, I figured I’d start with the big boys and get real about racking up the rejections.

So, here it is, ladies and gents:  an incredibly ambitious September Submission Bonanza! 30 litmags in 50 days.

1. Glimmer Train
2. Subtropics
3. American Scholar
4. Podcastle
5. Writing Tomorrow
6. New Haven Review
7. AGNI
8. Nashville Review
9. A River & Sound
10. Journal of Compressed Creative Arts
11. The Pedestal
12. Poetry Magazine
13. Kenyon Review
14. Shenandoah
15. Devil’s Lake
16. The New Yorker
17. The Atlantic
18. Tin House
19. Cincinatti Review
20. TriQuarterly
21. A Public Space
22. Bomb
23. Chicago Review
24. One Story
25. West Branch
26. New Ohio Review
27. Willow Springs
28. Third Coast
29. Southeast Review

30. Pleiades