An unseasonably warm February has put me right in the mood for spring. I’m so glad we got to skip winter almost entirely. This year is really starting to feel like a year of change and growth already, and the seasons seem to agree.
The Ampersand Project, the publisher that accepted my first painting, decided to make it a featured post instead of just using it to illustrate a story or essay. They really liked the story behind it, and (while obviously biased) I do too! Anyway, I just wanted to share.
And to wrap up this brief update, I just wanted to share that Ephemeral Elegies is going well – we’re currently scheduling our May issue, so feel free to send over any confessional poetry you have sitting around!
The first month of 2020 seemed to last forever. Cincinnati has had a very mild winter so far, which I greatly appreciate, but there’s something about not seeing the sun that really makes the days seem to all blend together. Still, January (and the beginning of February) have produced some exciting things already!
Two poems have been released already in February:
“The Vanishing Act” is now available in the February Aurora Issue of Down in the Dirt Magazine. This issue can be viewed digitally or a physical copy can be purchased as well.
Lastly, Ephemeral Elegies has celebrated its first official month! In January, we published 9 poems by some amazing people. I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback and volume of submissions. It’s looking like 2020 is going to be a very good year!
It’s been a new decade for a whole week now, and this has already been a great one! I’m trying to embrace the things that make me happy, even if they’re not things that other people support or understand. For me, that’s coming in two forms: Painting and Poetry.
I’ve always loved painting, but it’s a point of insecurity for me. I like abstracts, and I know that these are not super popular kinds of paintings. Still, I’m getting too old to avoid things I love just because they’re unpopular. So, I’ve set up a small gallery here as well as on ArtPal.
Regarding poetry, I’ve already been hugely encouraged by the volume of poets who want to join in the experience of Ephemeral Elegies (still open to submissions!) There are so many amazing poets who want to share, and it makes me want to share too. I’m feeling really confident that this is going to be a creatively productive year. This is the year that I’m going to take myself seriously as a writer and artist. I’m going to take risks and really work on removing the plague of self-doubt.
Thanks for reading and coming on this journey with me.
I can’t believe the year is almost over. It’s been a huge year of growth and discovery for me, and while that process is never-ending, I’m so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the people I’ve met on my journey this year.
In terms of the writing life, there have been a few milestones:
I finished my novella Suburban Secrets (stay tuned for more information about this project in 2020!)
I have many pending submissions with a variety of online and print publications.
Ephemeral Elegies has launched – This is a poetry-centered publication I’m running to help support new and emerging poets.
So, what’s in store for 2020? I hope to be a lot more consistent when it comes to writing and submitting. I’m also going to be putting a lot of energy into Ephemeral Elegies and poetry in general. When I was younger, I wrote to escape into a different world and explore new ideas and emotions. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of that. While I loved college and my MFA experience, writing became a performance for others. My main writing goal for 2020 is to go back to writing the subjects, styles, and forms that make me feel most alive. And for now, that means poetry.
I have exciting news! One of my favorite short stories is now available to read FREE on Fiction on the Web. I wrote “St. Isabelle’s Downfall” as an undergrad, and it took a really long time to find it a home. It’s a psychological horror story about a character I was developing at the time for a novel that I finished but was never happy with. I know I’ve grown so much as a writer since this story (this was pre-MFA!) but I just have always liked the concept and couldn’t give up on it.
Going back through the short stories I’ve workshopped over the years has really reminded me that I prefer shorter mediums. I just don’t think I have the attention span needed to be a good novelist, and I honestly prefer the brevity and experimentation that are allowed in short stories and flash fiction. Hopefully, I’ll have more stories to share soon!
Becoming a successful writer is hard work (I assume, since I’m not yet a successful writer). Still, you will never get published if you don’t put yourself out there and submit your stories, essays, poems, etc. Once you’ve written something you’re proud of – what next? Where do you go? I have found one resource that helps me with these questions – Duotrope.
Duotrope is a website that helps connects writers with publishers. It mostly deals with places to submit shorter works like individual poems, short stories, or essays, but there are a few publishers listed that take unsolicited larger works for consideration as well such as novels and poetry or short story collections.
There is a $50 annual fee to use Duotrope, but I think it’s worth it. If you’re not so sure, consider giving their free trial option a try and check it out for yourself. Duotrope allows you to search for the perfect home for your writing. You can put in your genre and the length of your work, and it will give you places that are looking for that. You can even limit it by how much you want for your product: no payment, token payment, semi-pro payment, or professional payment. They are constantly adding new publishers or contests for you to consider. This website has helped me cut down on my googling considerably by bringing the publishers to me.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was six, but I still feel like I’m still at the beginning of my journey as a writer. I’m taking baby steps and still trying to find my voice, but I’m going to get there! And you can too! I’m glad that I’ve found Duotrope to help me along the way, and I just wanted to share it with you in case it helps you too.