Tuesday, December 31, 2002

So I ended the year with a bang! In today's mail, on the last day of the year, I got an acceptance and a check from On the Line magazine for my children's story, "All's Fair at Science Fairs." It was my first-ever acceptance for fiction, so it's a nice validation of my desire to write fiction, and particularly fiction for children. I had actually prayed on the way to the mailbox that there would be an acceptance in there, and when I saw my SASE in the mailbox, I assumed it was a rejection instead. Nope! I literally jumped for joy when I saw that it was an acceptance!

We were supposed to celebrate New Year's with some friends, but many of us were sick (myself, my husband, and our friends), so we stayed home. But I got a New Year's tablecloth, plates, hats, noisemakers, decorations, & serpentine, and we had sherbet punch and cookies, then counted down to the new year with the kids a bit early...about 9:30 pm. But Ryan is still up, so we may let him watch the ball drop in New York on TV in a few minutes.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

YES! My impulsive submission last week paid off! A small quarterly publication called Peeks & Valleys is buying my poem The Diet, which I actually wrote the first version of 21 or 22 years ago, when I was 13 years old! This version was almost completely rewritten, but some of the lines are the same, and I have not found any appropriate markets for it in the past (not many markets for light verse). The editor actually said if she'd gotten it a week earlier, she would have included it in the January issue, but since that issue is already out now, it may have to wait until they have space in the October 2003 issue. Fine with me! I'm just amazed to have gotten 5 acceptances this year, including one for something I only submitted around Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2002

OK, make that 33 submissions. I heard about a small market that might take light verse, and impulsively sent off an old poem I had never been able to find a market for (not that it was rejected a lot--I think I only found one or two places to ever submit it). It's easy to be impulsive with e-mail submissions... I know it's silly to submit something the Saturday night before Christmas, but I thought I might as well strike while the iron was hot, even if they don't get around to looking at it until the new year.

Speaking of which, I can't believe it's going to be 2003 soon! I'm excited. I don't know why, but I just like the sound of that number.
Wow, my article "Goofy About Writing" is in the new ByLine magazine I got today (Jan. 2003 issue), only 3.5 weeks after I got the acceptance letter and check! Amazing! What a nice way to end the year.

I just realized that I've gotten 4 writing acceptances this year, which has doubled the number of acceptances I've gotten since my first one 8 years ago! That is, I got 4 acceptances over 8 years' time (1994-2001) and then 4 in one year, 2002. Of course, I've submitted much more this year than I ever did before--in all, I sent off 15 contest entries this year, and 16 submissions to editors, for a total of 32 submissions representing 18 different manuscripts. In any case, it's nice to see myself making progress!

This month alone, which I thought would pretty much be a month "off" because of the holidays, I've submitted 5 manuscripts to editors and 2 to contests, plus sent off 2 others for a conference critique. I've also gotten 3 rejections & 1 acceptance, & gotten a copy of a magazine with an article by me in it. Last month, I drafted a whole novel, wrote about 12,000 words on two other novels, sent 1 story to a contest & 1 to a magazine, got an honorable mention in a short story contest, got 1 acceptance, & got another magazine with an article by me in it. It's definitely sounding like I'm a writer! So it's very fitting that I got a Snoopy "Literary Ace" ornament for my Christmas tree this year, with the year 2002 on it and Snoopy pounding away at his typewriter.

Monday, December 16, 2002

I got a letter from Welcome Home today about the humor essay I sent them 7.5 months ago (though I still haven't heard about the one from 11 months ago!). It is sort of an acceptance...though they're not very committal about it! It says, "We like it enough to consider it for publication, however at this time we cannot assure you that it will be published." They enclosed a publication agreement and said they'll probably be able to use the article within one year, and will notify me in advance before they print it. It also says they appreciate my patience as I await publication of it, but then again says, "This is not a contract to publish your article (or guaranteeing the publication)." So, we'll see!

I'm getting a little more into the holiday spirit now that I've mailed out most of the gifts I needed to mail ($22 postage for 3 packages!!) and am more than halfway done with my shopping. But I'd still be happy to wait another month before Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2002

Magazines that accept submissions by e-mail are kind of a mixed blessing. On one hand, it's nice to be able to send something out so quickly & easily, and getting to hear back sooner in most cases. On the other hand, getting rejections within 24 hours can get old! I've submitted 5 manuscripts by e-mail this year. One was accepted, which took 8 weeks, but the other four were all rejected in less than 24 hours...one of them in a mere 19 minutes!

I am so not ready for Christmas this year. Some years, I've been almost done with shopping by December 1. This year, I've barely started or even thought about it. I wish it could be pushed back a couple of weeks! On the other hand, after Christmas is going to be awfully busy, too. I need to set up a web site by January 1, Kyle's 2nd birthday is January 14th, and I'm also vaguely hoping to finish 2 novels by the end of January, when I'm going on a writers' retreat! (It's not crucial, but it'd be nice....)