Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fall 2018: On Writing - & Spinning for Inspiration

As September rushes in and Autumn begins, I find myself writing here for the first time in three months! After breaking my arm & wrist in July and putting my manuscript for Dragon Kingdom & The Wishing Stone, Book 3 of The Dream Chronicles, away for a while - I've hunkered down to begin polishing and readying it for publication this December. These days, my day hours are filled with amazing magical creatures and exciting adventures with Suzie, Jack, Elena & Liam - the young characters who've become almost as real to me as my own children. And while I don't want to part with them, I'm certain that Book 3 will give a satisfying end to their stories and The Dream Chronicles series. 

My penchant for poetry and short stories hasn't abated, and my pen fervently continued working (while my arm & wrist healed) on drafting some new pieces through the end of summer. I hastened to get some submissions in to literary reviews, journals and magazines in August, knowing that when the season changed I'd want to put my focus back on Dragon Kingdom. Having submitted them, I closed my spiral notebook, began to force my healing hand to type again - and got to work. 

Last week, I received my first two responses from editors. Rejections - albeit personally written ones, which to any writer almost counts as a success. But not quite. I filed them in a folder, and kept on working. 

After a weekend filled with kid's activities and friends - I felt far away from my writing when I woke up Monday morning. Though this is normal, because weekends are family time and never writing time for me - it's also true that the rejections were stuck in the back of my mind like leftover gum, just hanging there making a sticky, unproductive mess.

Instead of sitting down at my desktop computer at 8:30am and pulling up my manuscript, I headed to the gym. Sometimes a 60 minute, high voltage spin class is like turning on a faucet, clearing my mind enough to make way for writing inspiration to begin to trickle in. 

And so, I spun. 

Once I had reached the 60 minute mark, I kept going for 30 more. And anyone who's been in spin class with me knows that if it goes beyond 60, I get a little crazy. But for me, it's a good crazy. A sweaty, dizzy, singing like the late Queen-of -Soul-Aretha crazy. 

Showered and home later that morning, I sat down to my desktop and began to write. After a good hour of steady work that I felt was passable (though maybe not as inspired as I had hoped), I checked my email. I had another response from an editor. 

The first lines began, "Thank you for your interest - and the effort you spent on your submission.." 

Certain that this was a rejection, I almost didn't continue reading the email. But then my eyes spied a word partway down the page. 


My work had been accepted. And to any writer, this is a thing worth celebrating - no matter how small the piece you wrote, and no matter how small the press publishing it. Someone has acknowledged that what you wrote is good and is willing to help it find an audience - someone (other than yourself) thinks that it matters. And that's a wonderful thing. 

(Side Note: If I've quoted Elizabeth Gilbert's novel on creativity here, Big Magic - I assure you it's unintentional. But I recently finished listening to the audiobook (read by the author) and know she spoke about this part of a writer's experience in a similar way. Guess what? She was right.) 

For now, I'll let the joy of my latest small publishing success spur me forward - as I endeavor to keep creating, keep writing - and bring Dragon Kingdom & The Wishing Stone to life for my readers. For now, I hope you'll enjoy my latest published work - 2 poems in MUSED - Bellaonline Literary Review, the Autumn Equinox 2018 issue.

And thank you for visiting my author blog. Happy Fall! -Stacie 

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