Tag Archives: Fiction

Sucker Literary Blog Hop: the hop continues!

Sucker Literary Magazine Vol 3As promised last week, Shelli Cornelison is continuing the blog hop for Sucker Literary Magazine.

So hop on over and read all about her writing process.

Also, you can read a review of Volume 3 over at Wendi Kay’s blog.

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Sucker Literary Blog Hop

Sucker Literary Magazine Vol 3It’s the Sucker Literary Blog Hop! I’ve been tagged by Kip Wilson (you can see the answers to her questions here), and at the end of this post, I’ll tag the next writer on the list.

So, it’s not often you come across a group of questions that can be answered with the same phrase. In this particular case, that phrase would be:

You got me.

Along with a shoulder shrug.

But since these questions are part of the blog hop, I will give them a go.

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on a story that has been knocking around in my head for about four years now. It’s … whimsical. Also, it’s not YA. But one day, I said to myself: why not write it? Nearly 80,000 words later … I think I’m nearing the end. It’s been a lot of fun and a great exercise in third person POV. I spent last year writing a lot of first person POV, so I felt out of practice with third.

In the end, this may simply be a practice novel, but I’m having too much fun with it to care.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You got me. Seriously. I don’t know. Anyone want to answer this one for me?

3) Why do I write what I do?

I’m tempted to answer: Because it comes out that way.

More seriously, I write what I do to fill some sort of hole. I want to hear a story this way, or see a character do that. The opposite is also true. I often write to get something out of my head (see #1 above re: the story knocking about in my head for four years). If my thoughts keep returning to a character, story, situation, it means I’m not done with it yet.

4) How does my writing process work?

I’ve been writing long enough that it’s clear (at least for me) that there is no one perfect process. Each story is different. I’m a different writer after I finish each story. The one thing, however, that is crucial is this:

Finish.

It doesn’t matter so much how you finish the work, just do so. When I reviewed what I did last year with Write 1/Sub 1, my biggest regret was over the stories I didn’t finish–mainly because, at the time, I thought they were stupid or silly or not good enough.

And really, what you think about a story in the moment has little or no bearing on what it really is or what it might become. So. Finish.

That is all.

Next up is Shelli Cornelison. Shelli lives just outside of Austin with her husband, too many dogs, and just one cat. They’re occasionally graced with the presence of a college student home for the weekend in search of food and money. Shelli is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Writers’ League of Texas.

She primarily writes picture books and young adult novels, but she sometimes ventures off into a short story. Her young adult short fiction has been published in the literary journal, Sucker Literary and at Young Adult Review Network (YARN).  You can find her on Twitter at: @Shelltex.

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Write 1/Sub 1 check in: week 8, the one with the weird prom date

Week 8! Oddly enough, after I complained about last week’s ebb of creativity, I was struck with a story. Or rather, struck with a title and first line.

The title:

The Most Miserable Prom on Planet Earth

The first line:

My prom date is a space alien.

Despite its beginnings, it has no trace of science fiction or fantasy. Really. I scribbled down the title and that first line on Sunday, then wrote the story on Monday. I won’t say it came from nowhere, but it was unexpected. So considering how busy the week was, I got my writing and subbing in and I was quite pleased.

Writing:

  • The Most Miserable Prom on Planet Earth, ~ 2,000 words
  • Breaking the Unwritten Rules in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction assignment: 350 words on a dialogue scene

Rejections:

  • The Madness in King’s End But! This is a rejection-plus. I didn’t win the contest I entered it in, but the story was one of two honorable mentions. This pleases me immensely, since the contest was for mystery fiction, and this story is more mysterious than mystery.

Submissions:

  • The Madness in King’s End (and yes, I sent it right back out again)
  • It Only Takes a Minute (this one too from last week)

Acceptances:

  • None

Published:

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Write 1/Sub 1 check in: week 7, the one with all the rejections

Week 7! I’m hanging in there, although I must admit, I slowed down a lot this week, got all panicky, and then topped off my week with three rejections. However, I do feel stories and words gathering in the back of my mind. With a little luck, the ebb will soon be over.

Writing:

  • Lost and Found
    • Poem of this title
    • 100-word flash fiction of this title

Yes, it’s true. I wrote two very short, but different, pieces and gave them the same title. I. Was. Inspired. (Not.) Neither one may go out, but when I made this Write 1/Sub 1 pact with myself, I defined “write 1” as something I could potentially send out, not a scene or rambling words, or whatever. But, speaking of rambling words:

  • Breaking the Unwritten Rules in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction: 1,200 words on a character sketch assignment

Rejections:

  • Just a Matter of Time
  • It Only Takes a Minute
  • One Good Turn

Submitting:

  • Just a Matter of Time, back out it goes. Bye-bye!

Acceptances:

  • None

I’ve been waiting for this week to happen, by which I mean, the week where the flood of rejections came in and my creativity was at its lowest. From looking at my submission tracker, I knew I was (over)due for this sort of rejection storm. This is what happens, of course, when you submit something every single week–they come back, sometimes all at once.

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Write 1/Sub 1 check in: week 6, the one with Girl Scout cookies

Week 6! Despite the 200 hundred boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my living room–that need a home that isn’t my living room–I had a very good writing week. Here’s what I did:

Writing:

  • It Only Takes a Minute, 247 words, for the Flash Fiction Chronicles String of 10 contest
  • The Weight of Secrets, short story of some length. I wrote it longhand and it’s still in my notebook, so I don’t know the exact word count.

Submitting:

  • It Only Takes a Minute, since I wrote it for the contest, why not actually submit it too?
  • The Madness in King’s End, to a local mystery contest. However, my story is probably more fantasy than mystery, so I’m not holding my breath on this one.

Rejections:

  • None!

Acceptances:

  • Payment, that even shorter (25 words) version of Cash or Check received an acceptance from Literary Juice for their Pulp Fiction section, where the story must be exactly 25 words with a one word title. (Now you know why I changed the title.) Oddly enough, it’s a story with a Girl Scout cookie theme.

Published:

I also started an online class this week at The Loft Literary Center,  Breaking the Unwritten Rules in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction. I’m all about the rule breaking. The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy, so this Write 1/Sub 1 thing may be more of a challenge. It’s like a cliffhanger–stay tuned to see if I can make it all work. 

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The Burden of So Many Roses: Milestone story

Falling Roses

So today, The Burden of So Many Roses is live over on Kazka Press, where the theme this month is an undelivered valentine. My guess is (I haven’t read all the stories yet) that if you’re not a fan of gooey Valentine’s Day stories, you’ll be happy with the fare offered up this month.

At least, mine isn’t gooey.

It is, however, a milestone story for me. Here’s the breakdown:

1/3/2013: finished the draft

1/13/2013: sent to Kazka Press

1/30/2013: accepted

2/5/2013: published!

Not only is that one of the fastest turnaround times for me, submission to acceptance, it is the fastest I’ve ever drafted/revised/polished a story and sent it out. That being said, Kazka Press has a list of prompts on their submission page, and I had that undelivered valentine fermenting in the back of my mind for the entire month of December. That probably helped.

One of my goals this year is to figure out how to maintain a steady pace of writing while dealing with the ebbs in my creativity. And ebb it does. To the point where I’m all reclined on the fainting couch, hand on forehead, and despairing, I’ll never write again!

But since I always do, I’ve stopped believing myself when I get this way. This is why Write 1/Sub 1 is such a challenge. If I don’t write one, I’ll run out of things to submit. But it’s teaching me that:

  • I can write more than I think I can.
  • I have more story ideas than I think I do.
  • No one story concept is like another. Some tumble out like gifts, some I pick at, bit by bit.
  • There’s no wrong way to draft a short story.

Sometimes, to write, you simply need to get out of your own way.

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Write 1/Sub 1 check in: week 5, the one with no heat and a sale

Week 5! Our furnace died on Friday. It’s also been one of the coldest weeks all winter. Clearly our appliances have a (dark) sense of humor. Yesterday was Girl Scout cookie “go” day, so since the house was cold, Kyra and I bundled up and sold cookies door-to-door. By the time we arrived back home (several boxes lighter), we had heat.

Writing:

  • Poem about the color orange. It is full of whimsy. And adjectives.

Submitting:

  • One Good Turn, (very) tongue-in-cheek science fiction story.
  • Payment, an even shorter (25 words) version of Cash or Check

Rejections:

  • None!

Acceptances:

  • The Burden of So Many Roses to Kazka Press for their undelivered valentine prompt. The story should be “live” in a few days. 

I also spent a good deal of time revising/editing two stories, One Good Turn and another that I’m set to submit in this upcoming week. 

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