Sunday, March 29, 2015

#PitMad - Twitter Pitch Party

I recently stumbled upon this interesting opportunity to pitch your novel on Twitter: #PitMad. It's a twelve-hour window in which writers can post a 140-word pitch, which will be perused by agents and editors.

It's a quarterly event, and the next dates have already been posted:
June 4, 2015
September 10, 2015
December 4, 2015

I'm sooo going to try to get my manuscript polished by June 4th. ;-)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Win an Inn with 200 Words

For $125 and a 200-word essay, you can win a B&B in Maine.

I have no clue whether this is a scam or not, and even if it's not, I'm sure there are an enormous amount of taxes involved, too. So probably not as cheap a prize as it appears. But the idea in and of itself is awesome, and I like that the current owner is continuing this "tradition".

I'm actually thinking of entering, if more research proves this as legit. I can come up with 125 bucks and 200 words. Experience on running an inn is the more tricky part - does knowing by heart every episode of Gilmore Girls count?


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Take the Time to Stand and Stare

A colleague and friend gave me a card for my birthday, in which he'd written this poem by William Henry Davies - a beautiful reminder not to miss life in the often daunting and hectic process of living it:


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Big 3-0

I'm actually writing this post on the last day of my twenties, which feels almost more momentous a day than the first of my thirties. I'll be three-something for the next ten years, but I'm never getting back those twos.

Not that I'm complaining. I enjoy growing older, because I'm growing more independant, confident and centered as a result - all things I sorely missed as a teenager and in my early tweens. I've been looking forward to my thirties just like Jenna in 13 Going On 30. "Thirty, flirty and thriving" sounds about right, especially where writing is concerned. I may not yet be published, but I can recognize that my writing has improved to the point where I'm super-excited about my current work-in-progress. I feel like this book could be The One.

I have some major life changes planned for the next few years. They still need to be specified and they will take time, lots of sweat and maybe even a few tears. But I'm in a place now where I'm no longer afraid to tackle said sweat and tears.

So Happy Thirties to me. I can't wait. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Missing my Writers Group

Warning: This may turn into a bit of an incoherent rant… 

Until about a year ago, I would start my weekend by leaving work at 3pm on Friday afternoons, and heading to meet my weekly writers group at a cafe in a beautiful old part of town. We would write until about 5:00 pm, then order some wine and maybe dinner, and chat for an hour. The absolutely perfect way for any writer to ring in the weekend.

I never realized what a privilege it was for me to be able to leave work at 3pm to join my group until I suddenly couldn't anymore. I was assigned to a new project at work last year, which included a few more responsibilites than I had in the previous project. This is great, career-wise, but it also means that certain stuff has to get done by the end of the week, that I attend more meetings and overall have more of a workload. Which means that my Friday afternoon writers group (therapy) sessions have become a thing of the past.

In the beginning, I tried leaving "early", meaning just in time to join the late afternoon chat-rounds. But as the weeks went on, even those became more and more impossible. I'd start the day swearing to myself that I'd leave by 4:30 at the latest. When it became clear that I wouldn't make it - again - I felt like locking myself up in the bathroom and bawling. I'd never realized how important these Friday afternoons had truly become to me. Missing them made me miserable. Also, it made me resentful towards my job.

So I kind of gave up. I don't even try too hard anymore. It hurts more to hope and fail time and again, than to just accept the fact that I'll miss my weekend writer fix. I can better forget the thought that my friends are at the cafe, typing away on their laptops, chatting, laughing and having fun, if I don't still hold out hope to be able to join them. Right now, I have no other possibilities, no other solution.

And the moral of this whine-tinted rant? I don't know. Maybe it is that sometimes you have to set priorities which oppose your personal preferences. Maybe it is to learn to enjoy what you have while you have it, and be grateful.

Well screw that. I want my Fridays back.