Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Stories!!!

I am excited to share two new stories with you all!

 Reaction GIF: excited, Eric Stonestreet, Cameron Tucker, Modern Family

1:1000 is a fantastic online journal with the premise of turning a picture into a thousand words.  They provide a gallery of images to choose from.  You claim a photo and then submit a story that uses the photo as its inspiration.  A friend suggested the website as a place to send a story that I've been having trouble placing.  I decided instead to follow their creative model and write a story specifically from the photo I selected.

beauty animated GIF Uncle Pug is inspired by my real life uncle whose name was Pug.  He was also an amputee and had a thing for Blanche Devereaux.  Everything else in the story really just came to me from the image I selected, this wonderful shot of an old house taken by Garrett Carroll.  

The entire process with the editorial team at 1:1000 was so much fun.  They work almost like a workshop where each editor comments on the story's strengths and revision opportunities and then, if accepted, the writer has an opportunity to review those comments and edit the final draft.  I found the experience to be more than just helpful for this piece, but it illuminated "ticks" of mine that I need to pay attention to in all of my stories.  Overall, fantastic experience, fun editors, and, in submitting to them, I didn't break any of my submission rules (although they do not pay, they do not charge a fee either).

I am also blessed to have a short piece in the current issue of Tahoma Literary Review.  I am full of emotion when it comes to this piece.  Going through the experience of having this story published made me feel like a professional writer for the first time.

I say that for a number of reasons.  First, there is nothing more professional than seeing your name in print, on REAL paper.  Don't get me wrong, a byline is a byline and online is where its at.  But, there is something tangible about a story on paper.  I can touch it, hold it, press it against my face, smell the pages.  Its special and the reason why I know physical books will never become extinct.

Secondly, I got paid.  TLR is one of the few journals that strives to pay their contributors and remain transparent when it comes to their compensation practices.  I didn't have to search Duotrope to find out whether or not they pay contributors.  The editors have it all laid out in black and white on their website.  I respect that so much.  To me, it is an expression of how much they value their contributors AND those who submit to their journal.

Third, I felt like my piece was in great hands with the editors of TLR.  They were pleasant yet professional.  I also feel like they have done a marvelous job at promoting my work on social media and their website.  I penned a blog post for them as well provided audio for my piece.  They are the reason why I decided to finally get with it and join Twitter (yes, I am old).  In fact, my experience with TLR has actually made me really consider what it means to be a professional writer, whether part-time or full-time (maybe, hopefully, one day).

All in all, I feel blessed to have been a part of these two wonderful magazines.  Now, I back to pretending to work on my thesis.