We’ll get back to your regularly scheduled Pitfalls of the Slush Pile blog series soon, but I have a lot of news and wanted to update everyone on what’s going on with me writing wise (and mental health wise).
As a lot of you know, I had zero publications in 2017. Well, 2018 is already off to a great start! I have a story already up in Cotton Xenomorph! Cotton Xenomorph is wonderful lit-fic magazine for flash fiction and poetry that I adore. Not only do they publish wonderful and stunning work, but also my experience with them was stellar. I am looking forward to working with them again.
My story is called Rose Garden Funeral of Sorts. It’s a jilted lovers tale of gardening gone horribly wrong. It’s a piece I started at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop in Fiction last summer. For those of you who saw the YouTube video of my reading there, it’s the complete story from there.
I have been going at 150% since October (according to my husband, James). And that’s true. I have a small break coming up soon, and I’m going to see if I actually take a break, or if 150% becomes the new 100%.
My 150% has included completing five new short stories (more on those later), becoming a first reader for Apex magazine (and starting the Pitfalls of the Slush Pile blog series), almost completing the second draft of my fantasy YA WIP (I’ll be done next week!!), and going to a writing retreat at a convent (I did not burst into flames, but I do only own three appropriate tee shirts for a convent).
Well, friends. One of those five stories ("The Hollow Tree") sold to Beneath Ceaseless Skies! It’s my third sale there, and my third pro-sale overall! I am now an Active Member of SFWA, which has been a goal of mine since I started writing, and I am thrilled!
But all hasn’t been sunshine and roses and full-steam ahead. In early March, I climbed out from under a six-month depression I didn’t even realize I was under. Then, a week later, fell prey to disabling anxiety that refused to leave and caused shortness of breath and a lot of staying in bed for two weeks.
How did I make it through? Writing.
Writing was one of the only things that got through the day during all that time. I’m happiest when I’m writing, because for those few hours, I forget that I’m mentally ill and I just pour myself into my characters and my worlds and become lost in them. The same thing can happen with reading, but when I’m reading, I still get distracted intrusive thoughts. When I’m writing, intrusive thoughts can’t compete with my intense focus.
But it wasn’t only writing. I had a lot of help, too.
I want to thank James, my therapist, Stella, and my friends who really helped carry me through those six months and those two weeks. Because of their help, I am ahead of schedule on all my projects and ready to attend the Futurescapes Writing Workshop in mid-April!
Thanks for sticking with me, everyone. Thanks for reading all of this, and thanks for your support of me. It really helps. Not only my writing confidence, but my belief in myself.
Keep watch here for your regularly scheduled blog series. It’s coming in the next few days. Thanks again.