Third Time’s the Charm

Writers have to have thick skins. By putting ourselves out there, we risk the possibility of being told no. It’s easy to take such rejection personally–we put so much of ourselves into our writing that any rejection of it feels like a rejection of us.

But it’s not. Receiving a rejection doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. It simply means your writing was not meant for that place, but there are hundreds and thousands of other places it may find a home in.

I have been rejected three times now. I won’t lie, it stings a little, but I try to keep in mind my own advice. I allow myself to be sad for five minutes (okay, maybe more like five hours), and then I try again.

And my perseverance has paid off. I am happy to announce I have just been accepted for the third time! My poem A Day in the Life of Henry VIII, which you can preview here, was accepted by The Copperfield Review and will appear in the Summer 2021 July edition.

As this is a poem I am most proud of, indeed, it may be one of the best poems I’ve ever written, I am beyond happy. And to think, I almost backed out of the query!

If you’re struggling, if you feel like your writing will never be published, if you’re considering giving up–this is your sign not to. Keep going. Keep fighting for your writing.

Your time will come.

Caution; Slippery Floor: A Poem

This is something fun I wrote last night. It was meant to be a serious poem but I lost focus halfway through and it became this. I feel it’s a perfect embodiment of ADHD.

Side note: Richard Siken is one of my favorite poets.

Richard Siken speaks often
of cutting off his head;
I think I might too.
Maybe I could trade it
for another,
try on new brains
like I try on clothes.
Who do I want to be
today?
Let’s see how neurotypical fits.
What is it like to not
be at war
with yourself?
To be able to hold
a thought;
mine are as slippery
as a Minnesota winter.

At least on the floor, my
brain can feed the rats; the
only thing it feeds me is
song lyrics on loop while
I forget, again, to call my
dentist, to pay overdue bills,
to take blood pressue meds–
oh, shit, I left the stove on.

Traffic Line Romance: A Poem

I was going through my poems and separating things into various folders (I’m stupidly organized in ways that don’t matter), when I came across this gem. I wrote it over a decade ago and still love it. How many writers can say that about their old writing?

A drop falls
and then another.
Falling, falling
across the yellow traffic line.
The ripples slowly
spread outward
like fingers
seeking, seeking
the touch of another.

Writing Goals

It’s no secret that the biggest roadblock along my path to success is my lack of self-motivation. Depression, anxiety, and ADHD team up to make sure I rarely have any. Anything I manage to create is done so whenever the fog of mental illness dissipates enough for me to see a little sunshine through the clouds.

I keep trying, though, and for that, I applaud myself. It’d be all too easy to give up for good. But I won’t. Though writing is hard, unbelievably hard some days, it’s still something I love to do, and I think I’d go crazy if I couldn’t write.

I have a couple of writing goals I’d like to accomplish this year. I’m going to record them here for some accountability. By the end of 2021, I would like to have at least 15,000 words of my novel written. I would also like to have my poetry chapbook ready for publication. I plan to go the traditional route first. If that doesn’t pan out, I will consider self-publication.

I’m both excited and not. It’s going to take a lot of work. Depression is telling me I’ll never be able to do it, and anxiety is telling me even if I did manage to finish my chapbook, no one would want to publish it. I wish there was a way to make them shut up forever.

All I can do is try my best. Onward!

A Day in the Life of Henry VIII: A Poem

Na/GloPoWriMo has come out with some interesting prompts these past few days. Yesterday’s prompt to write from the perspective of the dead had me writing about Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. Today’s prompt to write the to-do list of an unusual person or character birthed a Shakespearean sonnet about King Henry VIII.

See below for a short preview.

A Day in the Life of Henry VIII


Whether by ties or death should he sever
them from this most sacred and solemn vow,
he can be assured of his rightful choice
and take such succor as offered him now,
be it food or skin above a rich bodice!
Whoever she be, shall she be my queen
or be hanged for failure to make a king?

To Tell a Fib

I’ve been very casually keeping track of what’s going on over at Na/GloPoWriMo. I haven’t written every day, and what I have written has been off-prompt. I liked today’s prompt, though, which was to write a Shadorma or a Fib. Each are six-line poems with specific syllable counts. The Shadorma syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5, while the Fib’s syllable count is 1/1/2/3/5/8.

I, naturally, chose what felt like the harder of the two. I like to challenge myself this way; it makes me more conscientious of the language I use, and I think, by doing so, I write better poetry.

Here’s my contribution for today:

opera games

an
act
two-faced
masquerades
or opera games
a riddle behind ivory
peel away the venetian lace
you still won’t see me
I’m hidden
by more
than
masks

Silence!

Everyone who has ever written anything knows writing is hard. There are many reasons why, and every writer’s journey is different. Something I struggle with may be easy for someone else and vice-versa.

I could write a novel about why writing a novel is difficult for me–I won’t. Not today, anyway. I have something specific in mind and it’s universal to all forms of writing.

How does one deal with their inner critic?

I can’t say much yet, but yesterday, I wrote a poem comparing Donald Trump to the Titanic. I wrote it in a rush of creative madness, knocking out a 32-line poem in about twenty minutes. I bragged about it to my friend and on social media, and even texted my husband while he was at work, something I rarely do.

I thought I was so clever, and I was positive I could publish it.

And an hour later, I hated it. The more I re-read it, the more I thought it sounded like pretentious garbage, and I wondered how anyone could ever like it, much less anything else I write.

For the record, I’m back to believing in my cleverness. I finished editing the poem and have already scouted out some places I’d like to submit it to. Wish me luck!

But I know it’s just a momentary respite. Once I hit “Submit,” my fears will return.

So…how do you silence your inner critic? A girl could use some advice.

Oh, is This Your First Time?

Among all the changes to my life I’ve made since I turned thirty, I also decided I was going to begin submitting my writing. If I want to be published someday, I have to start putting myself out there. Opportunities aren’t just going to fall into my lap, after all!

Though, wouldn’t it be nice if they did?

During my research, I stumbled across a great online literary magazine called Mother’s Always Write, and I thought, why not? I’m a mother, and I write. Sometimes I even write about being a mother. Perfect fit, right?

I am proud to announce that my poem, “The Robin,” will be published in the late summer issue on Monday, August 24th. Please look forward to it!

In the meantime, enjoy this short preview:

The robin bops
along, hurried,
harried,
at wit’s end—
I reckon she regrets
ever lying with a man.