Wow, I allowed way too much time to lapse from my last post. I took on a baggage load of commitments and this one was pushed to the backburner. Within this time I took on another workshop via Lighthouse. This time a 2 hour long Saturday course on Fairy Tales as the Foundation for Short Fiction because I’m on a journey of short story, short fiction writing lately. The class was instructed by the luminous Jamie Figueroa
A little bio on the instructor from Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop
Jamie Figueroa is Boricua (Afro-Taíno) by way of Ohio and long-time resident of northern New Mexico. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, American Short Fiction, Agni, and Emergence Magazine among other journals. Jamie received her MFA in Creative Writing from The Institute of American Indian Arts where she is now an Assistant Professor. Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer (Catapult) is her debut novel.
Her class was whimsical, enlightening and fun. The stories from Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales and was assigned reading were interesting, compelling, mystical and magical, from all over the globe. Jamie’s debut novel is available to buy. I always make it a point to purchase an instructor’s novel(s) if they’ve been published to support and promote their art and scour through their spoken example in printed form. I got my copy of Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer yesterday and can’t wait to dive into it.
Jamie sent us a link to Bookshop.org. She supports this independent online bookstore so if interested in buying a copy of her debut, clicking on the title will take you directly to the storefront and book! 🙂
Speaking of short stories, short fiction and fables I’ve been submitting a piece of Creative Nonfiction since May. I’ve researched close to 50 so far and narrowed down the best publications that my piece aligned or fit the criteria of their type of genre/pieces. To date I’ve gotten back 5 rejections out of 6 submitted. Most of them were complimentary of my piece and one even sent several other publications to check out for submissions so my piece could find publication. My heart skipped a beat or two and I was a little teary-eyed, even though I was rejected, my determination seared through my being. A friend of my stepdaughter’s, an English professor from Colorado State University encouraged the idea that my piece was not meant to be published with those particular publications and it would find it’s home. She also added that she too, had a few rejections of her latest poetry submissions and she’s already been featured in several publications and also published her first work of poetry through an independent press, so her declaration of rejection boosted my confidence. Thanks D!
I could’ve allowed rejection to overcome my mind and soul, sucking me down a deep, dark vortex of envy and frustration but that didn’t feel natural for me to absorb in my moment of response. I thank my notorious and generous writing group who’ve taught me the value of constructive criticism/feedback, developing tough skin over the past six years. I’ve been submitting short pieces and chapters for much needed scrutiny of plot, story, structure, format, diction in the most diplomatic presentation and my ability to receive what will only benefit and improve my writing has paid off. I’m not going to lie, some feedback hit hard and not because of delivery but because of expectation of the reader falling short. That’s ok, the reader is always right as “O” told me when I was confused or battling setbacks of the infamous imposter syndrome. Am I even good enough? Will I be good enough? Will anyone care to even want to publish it once I’m done? Why am I even doing this?
We all plummet through the endless rabbit hole of whys and what ifs. It’s a matter of falling to the bottom with a renewed perspective of perseverance that takes the anxiety weight off of us. My writing group designated the last Saturday of every month for submitting our short pieces and poetry to publications for half the day, from morning to early afternoon. I had set goals I didn’t adhere for this month, like posting twice a week on this blog (oops, life happens, sorry) and submitting to at least 10 publications for the month. It takes a lot of work as I’ve learned where reading through the publication guidelines (a must and essential) and the submissions themselves to gain understanding and an idea of the publication fitting what you’ve written. Realistically, you can’t submit a piece of CNF to a fantasy/sci-fi based magazine. Does not make sense at all. Research is imperative and I take that time. I know in my heart it will happen and I will not give up!
A highlight of my past weekend was venturing down to Denver to pick up some native supplies for my Pop. He was like a little kid in a candy store, picking out his sage, spruce and abalone shells for his smudging practice. I drove him to Tennyson St, to the one and only Bookbar! I haven’t been to one of my favorite indie bookstores since geez, I can’t remember when, that’s how long and nabbed these beauties, along with some children’s books for my beloved granddaughter. One is a series of shorts by Haruki Murakami. This is homework, reading tons and keeping those mental notes. Reading is key to improved writing. Rinse and repeat that line.
That’s my update. Goal for the remainder of August. Keep up with blog. The 25th down, six more days to go. Post 3 more before we venture into cooler, crisper weather and colorful landscapes. I love Fall, most likely because I was born in the month the Autumn Equinox kicks off.
Hope all has been well with everyone. Eat that ice-cream, enjoy the outdoors soaking up that Vitamin D, hug your kids, tell your loved ones you love them, sing, dance, laugh, just do whatever makes your heart smile and your soul beam.