Tag Archives: writing

Comment Editing: Can I get an Amen?

Construction is in full swing on booklineandsinker.com, and things are coming along despite the fact that most of the directions and/or instructions I read appear to be written in Chinese or Sanskrit.  Maybe it’s just me.  I keep a brave smile pasted on my face, my techie friend on speed dial, a bottle of wine nearby, and pretend that everything is going swimmingly.  Fake it ’til you make it is my mantra, and the stakes are high!

My husband and I have a wager riding on the development of my new blog; he’s under the impression that I will outsource the design and technical development before it goes live.  He said that my spotty track record speaks volumes, but in my own defense, I only hired the pastry chef to bake my Christmas cookies ONCE!  Dear old hubby went on to remind me of the year I ordered our Christmas tree from the Williams-Sonoma catalog, which happened to be the same year that I invited my entire extended family to Easter dinner and fed them a catered meal that I attempted to pass off as my own.  The jig was up (and we enjoyed a hearty laugh) after a meddling great-aunt found evidence in my trashcan that brought the deception to light.  But I digress. 

Thus far, the most exciting thing about moving to a self-hosted blog is a little feature that benefits anyone who leaves a comment on my blog.  I hope you will be half as excited as I was to discover this little gem.  (Or maybe you don’t live under a rock with me and already know about it.) 

How many times have you dashed off a witty comment on someone’s blog only to discover, after clicking submit of course, that you made a glaring TYPO?  You frantically hit the back button on your browser in a vain attempt to undo the boo-boo, but it’s always too late.  So, what do you do next?  If you’re anything like me, you leave a second comment begging the blogger to correct your mistake.  Am I alone here?  I didn’t think so!

So, the good news?  On my NEW! website, you will be able to edit your comments for up to 30 minutes after leaving them!  Simply use the same computer (IP address) and you can come back and fix any mistake(s).  I know, I know!  I can almost smell the rose petals that are being tossed at my feet at this very minute.  Now I can only hope that it will work. 

Does anyone have the number for a website developer handy?

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The Dejection of Rejection

Last month, after a mere 270 days of editing, I submitted my first-ever piece of literature for publication to Highlights Magazine. 

On Saturday, I received my first-ever rejection letter from Highlights Magazine. 

I’ve come full circle. 

The Editors tried to soften the blow with a form letter telling me that I was “competing with hundreds of other authors” when I sent in my manuscript. 

I was not comforted by this information.  I wanted to be the CHOSEN one.  I wanted Ed McMahon to show up at my door with balloons, an over-sized check, a limo, and a magnum of champagne. 

rejected

My husband tried to bolster my spirits, noting that my form letter didn’t indicate that my story lacked focus or had weak characters.  And yes, it helped a bit.  I know it wasn’t realistic to think I’d be published on my first submission, but a teeny part of me desperately hoped it would be so.

So, it’s back to the proverbial drawing board for me.  I am going to send the piece out to a few other children’s magazines and see how it goes.  I have another story idea on tap and will settle down to write it after we return from our summer road trip at the end of July.  Wish me luck!

Are You Experienced: Have you been published?

Surely I can’t be the only book worm and blogger who harbors secret fantasies about having something published one day.  When I say published, I don’t mean on WordPress or Blogger–I’m talking publication in a magazine or journal, book or newspaper.

Yes, I’ve always wanted to see my name in print, but what steps have I taken to achieve my lofty goal?  Um, until this week, not too many.  Over the last year I’ve written several articles and essays, but have been hesitant to mail them off because rejection brings out my inner crybaby

I changed all of that on Monday by mailing off a short non-fiction piece for a small magazine.  Said magazine receives upwards of 1,000 submissions each month, but I decided to stop editing and procrastinating and just mail my article before postal rates went up again.

Hanging around book blogging land and seeing all the well-written posts and reviews got me to wondering if there are any other writers out there who have been published or are looking to be published.  I suppose that by nature of blogging we are all writers, but have you ever submitting any pieces for publication?  If not, why not?  If so, how was your writing received?

Dear Diary, Does anyone write longhand anymore?

journal-diaryIn 1981, Santa brought me a Hello Kitty diary; I was 7 and totally smitten with Hello Kitty (as evidenced by the infamous Hello Kitty Heist of ’81).  This diary began my 25+ year love affair with writing longhand.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a Commodore 128 and were hip to technology, but I loved to write by hand.  I used this diary (albeit sporadically) until 1988, recording all my pre-teen drama and foibles for my future self to look back on with mirth. 

When I went to high school, I stopped keeping a daily diary and graduated to the marble composition notebooks for vacation journals–notice the personalized one with the collage of pictures on the cover!  Our family vacations are chronicled from 1989 straight through to 2008 (though now I vacation with my husband).  I started using other types of journals because the composition notebooks didn’t weather all that well. 

journal

I love looking back on old vacations–especially with my family–because I wrote down the most august things that would have long since faded from memory.  A family vacation to Long Beach Island, NJ in 1991…I was a chronic overpacker even at the tender age of 16!

journal-page1

Or how about a page (and doodle) from 2007’s road trip that took us to Livingston, Montana?

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My point is that even though I love to blog, nothing compares to keeping a longhand journal of my travels.  But I wonder if anyone else out there does the same?  Is writing by hand a dying hobby? 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for the complete Jessica Darling series HERE.  Contest ends Monday, 4/20 at 10pm EST.