Friday, September 29, 2006

Literary magaiznes>bad reality T.V.

I finally got my September 2006 issue of Writer's Post Journal! YAY! There was a small typo in my story but it was my fault so I'll just have to live with it. I suppose there could be more than one typo. Maybe I just didn't notice.
My story wasn't the only one with a typo so that made me feel slightly better. Not that I want to feel better from others misfortunes. Maybe the editor should of caught theses things but I'm not going to be picky because they published me and I know running an independent literary magazine is tough.
Lately I've been getting a lot of letters from companies I submitted to saying they are going out of business. While I am a little annoyed that my precious stamps were wasted I'm more sad than anything. It's hard for these literary magazines to keep running. Everyone wants their story published but no many are buying. I know a lot of writer's don't have the extra money. I try to buy as many different ones as I can but I can't really afford it either.
It just seems that in general the only people reading literary magazines are the writers. It's good to support others but I just want to live in a dream world where people chose to read over watching bad reality T.V. shows.
Sorry about the rant.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Vampire ballet and an unfinished story

I just got back from seeing the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company performing Dracula. It was based on the original Bram Stoker novel.
The dancing was wonderful and they told the story very well. I had already read the book so I knew the story but they gave sufficient back ground information in the program, a narrator started the show by telling you what was going on and after intermission they did a hilarious quick dance that was the whole story but told in a very funny way. So if you didn't know the story already it was okay. The lighting and stage settings looked so creepy. I just loved it. It was a one time performance in Lansing but if you ever get the chance, check it out.

There were a few young guys that were probably sci-fi/fantasy geeks (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm one of them). However, they complained about how it wasn't just like the book. It's a ballet, how can it be exactly like the book? And please stop complaining about the costumes. If you go to a ballet and expect guys not to be in tights that's your fault. They so reminded me of being at a first showing of a comic book movie.

Anyway, I know this seems more like an entry that I would put in my live journal because it really has nothing to do with writing. I wanted to keep my AIDS Walk entry up on my live journal (see previous blog entry) and I can actually tie my ballet story in with writing.

I haven't really written any short stories in a long time because I've been focused on writing Behind the Naugahyde and I've been a little obsessed with sending out submissions of my previous short stories. In fact I haven't written any new short stories since my last creative writing class. I actually have a half finished story from my last writing class. What's it about you ask? Vampires.
It's actually a story I had an idea for about the time I started blogging. I came up with it in hopes of getting a job writing a vampire comic. When that didn't turn out I kind of left it until I needed a story for class. Then I had a rough time with my last writing class, for a lot of different reasons, and I never ended up finishing that story.
Now that I've seen Dracula and realized that I haven't written any short stories in a while,
I guess I will set a goal of finishing it.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

One Step Toward A Solution

A quick but very important non-writing blog post:

On Sunday, October 1, I will be walking in AIDS Walk Michigan. The money raised goes to HIV/AIDS prevention, education and services.

If anyone would like to sponsor me by making a donation you can send a check payable to Lansing Are AIDS Network. (Please comment or e-mail for address). I know it's a lot of hassle to mail a check so if you would still like to help, LAAN accepts credit card donations on their website. Or you can also join me in the walk. Feel free to leave me a comment or send an e-mail if you have any questions regarding donations or joining the walk.

This cause is very important to me and I appreciate the support. I realize not every one has money to donate.

Please get tested, stay informed and pass on the message.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is changing good?

In an earlier post I mentioned getting a rejection notice with critiques and the opportunity to resubmit. After re-reading the letter I started to think there was a slight chance that this wasn't something they did for everybody. That's when I decided I should get my butt in gear.
Once I read through the critiques and then back through my story, I became a little frustrated.
A lot of the suggestions were good and I immediately realized that they were valid points. I struggled with how to fix them but I think in the end I did okay.
There were a few things that I didn't understand. One of the things that I think makes the story truly unique is one of the things that they seemed to not like. I was really worried about what to do.
I didn't want to change it and not because I refuse to be wrong. The other suggestion were great suggestions and I went a long with them happily. I know that I'm not a great writer and even if I was, nothing is going to be flawless. Writing can always be improved on is some way. I know this.
My reason for not wanting to change it is that I really wanted the story to be funny and unusual. I think the character's ridiculous thoughts make the story unique but the critique mentioned focusing on a different train of thought.
I wanted to explain why I didn't change it in my cover letter but I also didn't want to seem defensive.
Getting published would be wonderful but I can't talk myself into changing what I love best about a story just to see it in print.
Who knows? Maybe I read way too much into the comment. Maybe they won't even notice that I didn't fix it. Maybe they send everyone these letters to make them feel special and I'm stressing over nothing as usual.
Oh well, I did the best I could and what I thought was best. And now if this story doesn't get published I can make a huge post about how I was robbed of being published because I didn't sell out to the man!

Just saw: Little Miss Sunshine
Just watched: Dancing with the Stars ( what did I tell you about me and cheesy dancing?)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Jump and pop ups

This probably sounds really crazy. When I get really excited about something I'm writing my fingers can not type fast enough. My head is way ahead of my body and I have to jump out of my chair and move. Last night I was really on a role with what I was writing. I just loved every thought in my head and it just filled me with energy. It's awesome. I know, weird but I wanted to share because there really wasn't anything else to say. is still really cool to me, especially now that we have people signing the guest book. I'm a little bummed. We agreed to have ads on the sight. It's the cheaper version and we're poor artist here. Anyway, for a while there were no pop-ups or banners and I thought that we were having some good luck. Well the pop-ups and banners are there now so I'm bummed that our luck ran out or was never there really. But the site is still awesome. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll upgrade.

Friday, September 15, 2006

After hours of fumbling with HTML I finally got the guest book working at .

I was going to work on more submissions now that I finally purchased stamps but my great flyer escapade of 2006 left my printer empty of paper. Better paper than ink. I'll have to get some tomorrow.

An exciting reject notice came for one of my short stories today. They sent me notes on how to improve my story and a note saying that if I make the corrections I can send it back for reconsideration.
I have tomorrow off from work. Hopefully, I can get that done.

It's been a crazy weeks so not much else got done.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Flyers and the fest.

I forgot to update yesterday and give details of the 'Reading, writing, and rockin' fest'.
I made a flyer using the "about the book" section of our website and then put the sample pages from the book that I had previously posted here. Then I wrote a little blurb(featured below) about why we we're handing out flyers and had a website before the book was published.
Fortunately for me, Jenni caught that I had one minor and one major typo after I had printed all of the flyers. So that was not so good. That's okay because I went through all the flyers, crossed out the typo and wrote "obviously we need an editor too,' hopefully adding to the attempted funniness of the paragraph.

As for the show itself. It was cold, it was windy. Few people were set up to sell and promote things, even fewer people came to the show. So the flyers that were given out are probably still blowing around downtown.

Don't worry, we're not giving up. We're going to stick with the flyers. There is a huge college campus not far from here and several other places to promote the site.

Two struggling writers are creating a hilarious novel, Behind the Naugahyde, and all they want is to get it published so that their moms can buy it. They've sent out letters to agents and publishers from all around and while a few have been interested, they've mostly just acquired a stack of 'Dear Author' letters. To help their publishing plans along, Ashley and Jenni came up with an idea.

They made a website for their book, Behind the Naugahyde. This site features details about the book, its authors and notes from the characters. Now all they need are people to stop by, enjoy the website and tell the world about it. Then publishers and agents will check it out and say " Wow! So many people love this book, we have to publish it!"


Saturday, September 09, 2006


The big news has finally arrived! is here! Jenni and I have set up a website devoted to our novel. Even though we haven't gotten it published yet, we thought it would be really cool if we had a website. Then we could send the website address to publishers and they could see what are book is about.
Tomorrow I'll be going to the 'Reading, Writing, and Rockin' fest' in downtown Lansing. I've made flyers featuring information about our book and the website. I'll be handing them out at the event. Hopefully, we'll get some people to check out our website!

Those are the crazy promo ideas I've been talking about. Once the RWR fest is over and we've put a few finishing touches on the website, it will be back to the business of writing and submissions.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Soon to be announced?

The promos are in the works and if all goes as planned I should be announcing them by Saturday!
Jenni and I also came up with an awesome surprise ending for the book. I can't wait!

Nothing else really exciting happening. I worked on submissions since my new business cards arrived. Tomorrow is pay day so I'll be able to buy stamps and send them out.

Listening to: The Bee Gees
Just watched: Maria Full Of Grace

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dead pens and burnt popcorn

Finally, I heard from Jenni. She liked the promo ideas. We're working out a few details but hopefully they'll get done super soon. That's my plan anyway but who knows.

Other than that, I've just been working on the promos for when we do decide to get them going.

My favorite pen died tonight, then my two back up pens went. I'm sad.

And in case you're wondering, burnt, lite popcorn that my grandma accidentally ordered from a fundraiser, that's what poor writers eat for dinner while they wait for pay day. Yum!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Possible promos?

The past few days I have been working non-stop on "Behind the Naugahyde". I got stuck on chapter six because it took me a while to figure out how three different characters would each react to seeing a giant picture of.... well, I can't give too much away so let's just say it's not a pretty picture. Anyway, I got a little stuck so I took the time to develop some possible promotional ideas.
I know it sounds crazy to promote the book before it's even finished but the concepts are cool and I think in a way they might even help us get the book published. I'm not sure if Jenni agrees because I haven't heard from her yet, but I think the work I've been doing this weekend may help convince my partner that these unconventional promos might just make our book a minor success.
Other than that I did go to a few websites that feature blogs by writers. I applied to have "Ink On Paper" added to the lists so hopefully I get a few more visitors. It's also been interesting reading other writer's blogs.

Currently watching: Going back and forth between the CSI marathon on Spike and the That 70's Show marathon on FX.
Just read: A ton of comics. I got really far behind and I haven't even got last weeks books yet.