Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quote for 11-27-10

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.

-- Thomas Berger

NJ looks like it's on the map

Gotta call somebody on Monday, but it looks like I'll be reading poetry in Jersey.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quote for 11-26-10

Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them.

-- Allan Gurganus
There's a quote I love that talks about learning to wish for things to come about exactly as they come about. Sometimes it's hard to stick with that idea-- it requires a degree of faith and acceptance. I'm getting better at it, not quite as near where I want to be with the idea, but sometimes progress is slow and maybe that's why I have a thing for turtles and snails-- anyway

I've been writing more regularly than I have in awhile because of NANOWRIMO and I was a tad disconcerted about not making the mark, but this morning, a short story I'd started at least six years ago finally concluded itself. I woke up with the last scene in my head. (Yes, I scrambled out of bed to get it down!)

Anyway every moment comes out of every moment lived before and if I hadn't done (or not done as the case may be) what I did (or didn't do, as the case may be) in regards to NANOWRIMO then this story would not be finished and I wouldn't be able to send it to a themed anthology whose submission window closes Tuesday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quote for 11-25-10

I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

--Ernest Hemingway

just about ready to cry 'uncle' on NANOWRIMO

Am way behind and would have to write like a crazy woman to catch up and that's probably not going to happen 'cause it is bear-buying season and I've got to get bears done and I've got short stories that I need to get finished and submitted. Both Ellen's and TJ's books come out in Feb and I've committed to sending the reviews to an online publication, which mean the reviews have got to be done by December. And it's actually FIVE books I'm working on reviewing. The two by Crystal Wilkinson and another by one of uber-cool editors over at Poor Mojo's, David Nelson, called SNIP, BURN, SOLDER, SHRED: SERIOUSLY GEEKY STUFF TO MAKE WITH YOUR KIDS and I want to make those things. And did I mention I have a piece that's related to Black History Month and it so needs to get in the mail before the year ends?????????????

And I haven't mentioned I still have a week and some days to teach, grade final essays and semester portfolios!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111 And the elementary school tutoring begins in Dec.

So what I'm saying is I'm done. Another November can end and I didn't write a book but that's okay. I got a starting point and paragraphs like this:

He’d make it to the bedroom though Macy sometimes wished he’d trip over something and fall down boom to the floor. She'd imagine finding him in the morning, head busted open, blood dried and caking, him desperately in need of care, and Honey, her stepping right over, fixing herself some breakfast. Singing as the bacon fried and the biscuits baked

Will most definitely follow this woman on a literary journey. Just not this month;-)

HUGE Kudos to Jessica who's already at the finish line with 5 days to go! YOO WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!


Pursuing a reading in New Jersey.

The residency gives writers an opportunity to read and so there's Vermont off the list but I've got a lot more states to conquer.

Yet another opportunity to read in NYC but I've read there~ I need to go where I've never been-- New Jersey's a start.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quote for 11-24-10

Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.

--Joseph Conrad

my stuff

On my way to pick up my grandson and to the post office to drop the contracts into the mail for those 4 story acceptances for the anthology. It's a quarterly publication, Daily Erotic Fiction, and I will have work in the second, third and fourth quarterlies.

Deadline approaching for two other anthologies, a contest I always enter, because I always win something, and other misc.

Be good and write.

Ellen's book

scored my third book to review. "The Other Life" by Ellen Meister arrived in the mail. There are only 6 days left of school-- wish they'd hurry so I can jump on all the other I want to do.

TJ's book

A giveaway at Goodreads.

Go here.

"You're gonna love it here"

that's what the guy at the Vermont Studio Center told me. I called to confirm acceptance of the residency. I don't know if he meant the center in particular or Vermont in general, but I agreed.

I'm excited! Pulled out my "Vermont" folder-- stuff I was working on when I was trying to get to Vermont before. Maybe this time, these plans can happen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quote for 11-23-10

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.

--Mark Twain

Something else I need to focus on

is getting into print. The agent I met at Antioch said I needed to make that transition. And I know that.

I'm good enough for print-- I just have no patience. Really. But perhaps this is the way to learn it.

There's a workshop I would loooooooooooooooove to attend and of course have the cost picked up for me via a fellowship but one, if not two, of the awards are linked to publication and they want writers publishing in the upper tiers of print journals.

Incentive. Incentive. Incentive.

what do you *really* want

Was working on the application for one of the other residencies I spoke of and I realized that it is not what I want. It requires a 7-month commitment and I don't want that.

What I want is exactly what I have: a temporary place in Vermont that will allow me the time and space to find a permanent one. I will be one hour away from the city I was trying to get to before.

There is another residency that has space available before I'm expected to be in Vermont. I can do that- if I get accepted. But my goal is Vermont and once there, I'm not looking to leave.

So I'm getting very clear on the things I need to support my writing. All the other is just me being silly and greedy.

Focus, Gwendolyn, FOCUS.

Also, I'm getting a kitten and some turtles and I have a dog. I have someone willing to watch them for me temporarily (once I get said kitten and turtles) but what would be the point of getting them if I'm just going to leave them in someone else's care?

Nope. The goal is to settle down.

Focus, Gwendolyn. FOCUS!!!!!!!

it's too early to do the actual math

would have to go back to see where the submissions were since I last counted but I have gotten 2 rejects (reprints sent to the same mag) and 4 acceptances (reprints sent to an anthology).

I didn't think the rejects would be accepted. Not my strongest work but was still hoping, you know. . .

up, this morning, scrambling

and not eggs. Some lines from the book creeping into my waking brain. I have learned (oh, how I have learned) that I have to record them immediately 'cause I WILL NOT remember them later. Tangled up in and stumbling out of the covers to get to some paper and a pen, a pencil, a crayon, a knife to draw blood-- anything to get those lines down!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quote for 11-19-10

I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That's the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about.

--Chuck Palahniuk


woke up to an acceptance ( a reprint that fell off the web to be back up) and a rejection (photos of trees)

I've been busy with bears so the writing has been neglected. Next week-- no school so it's catch up time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quote for 11-17-10

Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things--childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves--that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.

— Salman Rushdie

Vermont! Vermont! Vermont!

In the mail was a letter from the Vermont Studio Center. It was a chubby envelope so I KNEW that it had to be good news and it was.

My application for a residency was accepted and, although I wasn't awarded a full fellowship, I was awarded an Artist Grant and other financial aid to help defray costs.


So now that I have a date for this residency, I can finish my other application for another place in New England and there's still a third; hopefully I'll be bumming through the east coast next year, writing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hint Fiction Reading/Signing

Friday, November 19 · 7:00pm - 8:00pm


Location Big Blue Marble Bookstore
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA


Created By Hint Fiction


More Info On November 19th, Big Blue Marble Bookstore will host a reading and signing of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, edited by Robert Swartwood.

Guests include Randall Brown, Frank Byrns, John Cashman, Bruce Harris, Minter Krotzer, Don Lee, and Robert Swartwood.

Launch day

Today the anthology My First Time was released.

It's available on Kindle and will be available for iPad shortly.

I have a work there under the micro stories.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quote for 11-10-10

One writes out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from the experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give.

--James Baldwin

and from the "this-blog-is-not-to-be-just-about-you, Gwendolyn" file

I met this wonderful, risk-taking writer named Jessica at Antioch and she has a story here.

One of my favorite people in a favorite mag-- does it get better than that?


that's what I got accomplished last night. Done in/sidetracked by "Pawn Stars." It was relaxing anyway.

Got a rejection, sent the story out again. So it's still 23 submissions.

Oh, wait! An acceptance and immediate
publication takes it back to 22 stories out.

I'm feeling a bit like Sisyphus but I'm smiling while continuing to push that rock toward 50 submissions.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quote for 11-09-10

Put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.



Don't think I'm going to NY this weekend. Darn. But if you're in NYC go to the Mom Egg Reading. Bowery Poetry Club. Go in my place.

not quite 25

was up to 24 submissions, mostly reprints, but some new Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz works in the mix. Still a rejection just hours after submission takes me back to 23.

Today I hope to get to 30, but I'll be happy with 25-- the 1/2 -way mark or 1/4-mark, depending on how many subs, and not one simultaneous, I might add, that I want to get out at one time; again mostly reprints that have fallen off the web and some new works, one I'm especially proud of:)

And yes, I'm still working on a book (though there were some days when, well. . . just well. . . ) but I think I'm going to hold off discussion of that till the end of the month. See where I get to. Also I read somewhere that if you talk about something too much, you lose its power, so end of the month it is. (Jessica, my friend, how's it going???)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quote for 11-02-10

The mere habit of writing, of constantly keeping at it, of never giving up, ultimately teaches you how to write.

--Gabriel Fielding

another anthology appearance

"Best of" sort. Yay!

day two

Yes, I wrote.

No, I didn't meet the daily quota.

Still I wrote.

But man, am I going to have some catching up to do. Yikes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote for 11-01-10

The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.

--Thomas Mann

T.J.'s book

digital access granted so I should have a review/interview soonish.


I have a work coming up in an anthology which I thought was going to be on Kindle and iPad but there's evidently going to be a book form which is cool.

I missed the deadline for an anthology. Had the story for the most part worked out in my head but no chance to sit down at the computer and get it down.

Oh well.

There are still another 13+ anthologies on my list.

a rejection, a publication and a rejection

A micro gets a no. "Los Prisioneros Pequenos" is up at Linnet's Wings. A photo gets a no but it's cool 'cause I sent 4 and the other 3 are still being considered.

day one

so I spent the weekend trying to finish my unpacking and sorting and getting stuff to the garbage, to Goodwill, etc. so I could be ready for today. Sidetracked by laundry and the discovery of story drafts and momentarily I was going to chuck in this novel writing thing and just work on short stories. I had to go to the post office and prepare for my class and cook for the kids.

But it's still November 1st and I've managed 354 words- a fifth-ish of the daily total, maybe? Don't care-- I did something and I'll make it up in days to come.