Tag Archives: fiction

Day 30: Almost the end…

April 30

And then it was almost the end of the crowdfunding campaign. 30 days goes FAST!!! It doesn’t appear that I will meet my goal in time for the writing seminar this weekend, and/or that there is even a spot for me in the class (cue the sad violin music).

Sure, I could extend the deadline, try to raise more so that maybe I can make it to the next seminar in the Fall, but honestly, I’m not going to do that – extend my deadline. Crowdfunding is only fun when people donate, it’s kind of lame and depressing when you don’t reach your goal and you question yourself, your worth, your tactics, your dedication…all of it:

Photo on 2-7-14 at 5.00 PM 2Did I not try hard enough?

Am I not good enough?

Was my idea boring?

Am I presenting it poorly?

Should I have been more annoying and posted about it every day???

Should I have paid for those ads to promote it for me??? (I know, seems counter-productive, right???)

Why why why why why why why??????

(I feel like to be successful crowdfunding would have been my full time job all month, but that’s not possible! I have a full time job, and I volunteer at my kids school, and I write! I’ve stopped doing laundry or cooking or cleaning in order to keep up with all that! Did I take on TOO MUCH??? Ah! More self-doubt!!!!)

Well, those are all notes I can keep in mind for the next time around if I am still too broke to pay my own way to a writers’ workshop…which I realllly hope doesn’t happen because honestly I HATE asking for money, it’s awkward. I would probably be a terrible rich person I’d just give all my money away to things like this and people I run into who are struggling. Actually, that would make a TERRIFIC rich person, I just likely wouldn’t be rich for very long!

I have 8 funders, $140 which is 19% of my goal (THANK YOU IndieGogo for doing the math for me on that one!) And thank you to the 8 peeps who helped me to reach my goal, even if I miss my mark it helps to know I have a little support out there! Will I make up the difference in these last two days??? Only time (as in 2 days) will tell…


Day 24: Only ONE SPOT LEFT!!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.44.42 AMApril 24

Oh NOOOOO!!!!! I have ONE MORE WEEK to raise my funds, but there’s ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!

Will I make it??? Gosh I hope so! I’m trying to keep my sunshiney optimism but it’s looking more and more like this whole crowdfunding for writing thing is NOT going to be a success this time around…awwww poop!!!!

I’m not giving up, just feeling the pressure that I HAVE to find a way to make this work!!!!!

What MORE can I do???


-Promote on Facebook and Twitter!

-Have a garage sale?

Day 17: Birthday card crowdfunding

April 17

Today is my last day of being 32. I guess I’m okay with that. I mean, what other choice do I have? 33 is still okay. As a matter of fact, I think 33 will be my golden year. I mean, I already got the shoes, the rest is just awaiting the Midas touch.

I’m stepping outside of my comfort zones, my little safety bubble. When you’re uncomfortable, it means you are growing (which is true for both jeans and for the more metaphorical personal growth one experiences with age).

I really feel so very awkward to meet new people but I FINALLY got myself to a local fiction writers meet-up, it was at Starbucks so I mean how could I say no when at least I would get to drink coffee. Of course it was awkward , and yet it was great too. Since there were several others who were there for their “first time” too, it was nice to not be the only new face!

I also launched this IndieGogo crowdfunding for writing campaign. And that’s weird for me too! I don’t really like to ask for help. But sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what you want and going for it even when it feels impossible or when the timing is (financially) just not right, but the will and the creativity and time are all aligning…what would YOU do?

Will I stop writing my novel if I don’t make it? Hell no! I’ll get this thing done, but I feel like this could be really helpful for me to get back into editing gear and really figure out the rest of my plot and strategy for these characters who are speaking to me. They have more to say, I just need to tease it out of them.

Day 13: “Yikes! Bikes!”

April 13

biodadandbabySure, this may be my biological father’s birthday today, but that actually is not why I’m celebrating (spoiler alert: I never celebrate his bday, even though he is turning, eeks, I don’t even know, 70??). Okay, maybe not a spoiler, but still, worth mentioning. I am celebrating because my crowdfunding for writing efforts are finally passing $100 today! That means, mathematically speaking, I am 14% of the way to my goal of raising $725 to go see the fiction crime writer Tod Goldberg spew genius advice out of his pursed little lips, hopefully I won’t be in the “splash zone”. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take!

Okay, so what’s with the dumb quote, “Yikes! Bikes!”???

OMGEEEE, if you don’t know, then I’m not going to tell you! Okay, I will. It’s from Drew Barrymore’s cute movie “Never Been Kissed” which is (like, omgee) only one of the best Drew Barrymore rom-com’s EVER made (second only to “Wedding Singer”, amiright???)!

Why does this carry so much weight for me? Well, because I like it. It rhymes. And it’s funny (in that awkward, elementary school humor sort of way)https://www.pinterest.com/pin/529735974893362076/. Because for some reason, I feel inclined to rhyme even when it makes little to NO sense to do so. And so, this is like right there in my heart. She’s my girl. Even though sure, Josie Grossie is fictional, she’s ME!


And that my friends is why I need your help! I know I can write the SHIT out of this book. I can edit the CRAP out of it. I can make it SPARKLE!* But…I could really really use a little help with my fine tuning. It’s been a few years since I graduated college and I feel like I can really use a refresher to kick me in the pants and push me off that cliff to take the next bold steps in my writing and really get out there! Out into the writing world, and dare I say…get published???

I need help! I need a community of writers, a writerly family, who can help me when I need advice. Someone who’s been through it and can tell me what has worked for them and then I can maybe make something work for me! But yea, my book is like Josie Grossie, she’s never gonna get kissed if I don’t let her shine for the world to see. And that’s why I need Tod Goldberg. So he can make my novel shiny, all the while still helping me tell the story my characters are bugging me to tell for them. It’s like they are trapped inside my body wielding tiny little swords and pricking me whenever I’m not writing because they want me to tell their stories! And then sometimes they fight with each other over who’s story gets to come out first, and I’m like “calm down peeps, one at a time, you will all get a turn” only I’m lying because they won’t all get a turn, only the best, the really persistent and really strange ones. Yes, those are the good ones.

Uh oh, I’ve said too much. Now I must go and work (and by that I mean go on Facebook).

*Ugh, flashbacks of working at a “small town” grocery store where the corporate dudes would come in and walk the sales floor and tell us how the displays needed more “pop” and “wow”! Yea, make that happen with corn chips and a chalkboard and YOU can be the next Regional Manager telling other yahoos how to do what they do, only better! But yea, basically what I need is a yahoo to help tell me in more descriptive jargon how to make my story have more “pop” and “wow”, and in my own words “sparkle and shine” (which CAN be a thing, even with violence and sex and magical fairytale happenings, oh yes).

Day 7: What’s in a name?

April 7, 2015

Why name my main character Annie?

Maybe I just picked it out of a hat? Oh no! There are soooo many reasons I felt inspired to name her Annie! Where do I start?

  • My first dog was named Annie. Actually her full name was “Rough-house Annie Grant”. She was a golden retriever and my (wiping tear from eye) best friend growing up. When I switched high schools middle of Sophomore year, Annie was the only one who I could talk to. Great listener, terrible retriever (never brought a ball
    Nothing like a kid with her dog. Or a kid in a chicken coup taking a picture of her dog trying to get into the coup.
    Nothing like a kid with her dog. Or a kid in a chicken coup taking a picture of her dog trying to get into the coup.

    back and chased parked cars). Annie died in 1999, we had to put her down right before a high school football game I went to and then proceeded to cry through the duration of (which I guess isn’t all that different from the other football games I attended, lol, and yikes, I’m pathetic!).

  • Our old next-door neighbor was a bit hard of hearing (or just liked being a jerk) (or both) and always called me “Annie” despite my name being “Aimee”. We lived there for about 7 years and he was my real-life “Wilson” (like from Home Improvement), not for the sage wisdom he offered me, but for the creepy way he was always popping up over the fence when I was in the backyard. For an old dude he sure was a climber (and creeper).
  • I worked with a gal (oh shut up, yes I say gal, does that make me an old lady trapped in a 30-something body? perhaps…) named Annie, she was awesome! Super tall, blonde, hard-worker, mom. I never knew her well, but she was a great “work friend” and someone I looked up to as a newbie in the grocery store business. I’ve always liked nice people, and she was no exception.
  • Okay, okay. I knooooowwwwww. Annie sounds a lot like “Aimee” but the book is NOT about me. It’s about Annie! And for some reason the name just fit! It feels like a fun name, an innocent name, maybe even a bit like a tom-boy.
  • Her middle name is Sue. And it sounds just perfect to me: Annie Sue! Reminds me of an old childhood friend Emily Sue. And my great aunt Sue. And the more you say it or type it, the weirder it sounds and looks: Sue, Sue, Sue, Sue, Sue. See? Weird, right? I like weird. And so, I like Sue.
  • Oh yea, and there’s this other gal (oh gawddd, again with the “gal”???), a somewhat famous orphan named Annie, but you probably don’t know who I’m talking about…maybe it will come to you tomorrow (wink wink, good luck getting that out of your head for the rest of the day). I basically know all of those songs by heart and swear that one of the orphans in the 1982 film looks EXACTLY like my sister when we were kids! But that is totally aside from the point, and (literally) did not play any significant role in the naming of my protagonist.

So you don’t like the name Annie??? Tell me what her name should be! Or, for those of you who REALLY don’t like it, donate $100 for my IndieGogo campaign and I’ll name her or another character after YOU! (or the name of your choosing!)

Don’t like my writing? Maybe that’s even more of a reason to fund me to go to this Fiction Writer’s Seminar, where I can learn another thing or two about how to be a better writer! I’m persistent as Hell, so don’t think you’ll get rid of me if you DON’T donate. I’m not out of ideas and I will only get more annoying with my desperation mwah ha ha ha (maniacal laughter, but it’s kind of cheesy maniacal laughter because I’m not really THAT evil, just evil enough to kill characters and crazy enough to want to be a writer!).



Day 2: Crowdfunding for Writing Seminar! (Why the fuck not?)

April 2

Maybe it was a mistake to launch my inaugural crowd-funding efforts yesterday, on April 1 (oopsies, now no one will ever take me seriously). But as it turns out, the timing was just right. I was in the “mood”. You know the one. Yes, that one. That “Why The Fuck Not?” sort of attitude when you are sick of hearing your sorry self talk inside your head about the endless opportunities you fail to reach out for.  Well not this time, sucker (she says to herself, which happens a lot, and then wonders do other writers live deeply inside their own thoughts in this way?).

And so, lo and behold, a crowd-funding campaign is born for “Fiction Novel Writing Seminar with Tod Goldberg.” What the wahhht, you say? It’s exactly as it sounds. A chance to have my novel in progress given new life with some additional guidance, support, feedback, and time it deserves.

What is the big deal? This seminar is by a local writer who I became familiar with when he visited my “Satire and Irony” class, he’s a friend of this incredible writing teacher who has continued to inspire me to this day. And so, when Stephanie Hammer tells me someone is amazing and invites them to speak to her class, you better know she’s not lying. She turned me onto Aimee Bender, who not only shares my NAME (Whhhaaatt???? Yes, we’re part of an elite Aimee club) but I drool over her work and it makes me feel like, “Wow, I can still be weird even when I’m all grown up and supposed to be a (making a very grave expression) serious writer”. Yea, like that. Ahhh, refreshing. For me that feeling was (like totally) better than any other feeling in the (whole wide wide) world (yes, I just fangirled out for AB, and I gotta give a shout out to my other inspirational wonder woman Goldberry Long who’s right in there too in continuing to inspire me to keep being a writer and to show me that yes, moms with littles CAN be writers too!). So yes, Stephanie just published her  new novel and Aimee wrote a blurb for her, and Tod wrote a blurb for her and all I could think was “Omgee Omgee maybe someday they will all write blurbs for ME!!!” (you too, Goldberry, wink wink, pretty pretty please with sugar on top, and whipped cream, and a cherry!).

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.57.52 PM

To summarize, it was an oddly optimistic day when I just said “Why the fuck not?” I want to go to this writing seminar and get this novel all the way out! Out I say! And off to IndieGogo and social media I went! (And then, hour by hour, it set in: the incredible dread of self-doubt and fear and anxiety that this might actually work or not work, ahhhh! It’s all too much! In a good way!)

If you’ve enjoyed any of this craziness I call writing, check out my IndieGogo page and consider donating or sharing just for kicks (and good karma)! YOU could be the proud recipient of a hand-crafted bookmark, or I’ll even name a character in my novel after YOU! For reals!

*And sorry to those I may have offended with the F-word. I’m a mom, so I rarely get to cuss, and I just really like to cuss when I’m really excited and/or nervous! It just feels right sometimes, you know?

Day 3: Reading periods, submission fees, and guidelines…oh my!

Wednesday Jan. 15, 2014classifieds

Okay, yesterday was a fail. As in, I was still too dizzied by ALL the potential contests and deadlines and themes that I felt a little bit of sensory-overload. And this month’s challenge has already gotten off to a rocky delayed start. But alas, there is only so much this mama can do and so here we are at Day 3, and here is my tentative list of writing contests to enter…

1) Main Street Rag Publishing Company

Reading period Jan 1-Feb 28, no reading fee, submit by email only. Themes: cars, crossing lines, homes & houses Accepting poetry, short fiction and nonfiction

2) San Pedro River Review

Reading period March 15-May 15, Chapbook contest, details on website.

3) Arroyo Literary Review

Seeking poetry, short and long fiction, creative non-fiction, and translation, reading period Dec 1, 2013-May 31, 2014, email submissions.

4) Kansas City Voices

Payment offered, submissions close March 15, submit via Submittables link on Whispering Prairie Press website.

5) Dash

Published by CSU Fullerton, seeking poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction. Poems 33 lines max, prose 2,000 words max. Deadline March 1. Submit to email.

6) Earth’s Daughters

Your interpretation of “small things”. Up to 3 poems, or prose 500 words or less. Accepting Feb 1-March 31.

7) Ekphrasis

Poems based on a single work of art. No simultaneous submissions. 3-5 poems. Submit via old-fashioned mail with SASE.

8) The Evening Street Review

Poetry/prose submissions year-round. 3 month or less turnaround for reply. 4-6 poems, 1-2 prose. Email or regular mail submissions.

9) Rhino

Accepts poetry, flash fiction 750 words max. Regular submissions April 1-August 31. Founders’ Prize submissions Sept. 1-Oct 31.

10) WomenArts

Essays, fiction, poetry, visual art, reviews, and interviews by women. Submission guidelines on website.

11) Santa Monica Review

Fiction and non-fiction only. No email submissions. SASE. Focus on So Cal and Pac Rim writers.

***Published work from Amy Gerstler AND Aimee Bender, two of my favorite fellow writer Amy/Aimee’s***

12) New Millennium Writings

Deadline Jan. 31. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry. No more than 6,000 words for fiction, short fiction is no more than 1,000 words. Poetry, 3 poems, no more than 5 pages. $20 per submission.

13) Zyzzyva

Fiction, poetry, essays, artwork. No online submissions. Only one story or non-fiction piece at a time. No max page count.

14) Roar

$4 reading fee. Poems- up to 5 poems, no more than 10 pages total. Fiction-one piece at a time, not more than 10,000 words.  Accepts non-fiction and visual art as well.

And just for the bleep of it: a list of ALL the literary magazines.

So, there it is…14 contests that I can submit work to, which gives me a little wiggle room in case, upon more research, I find one or more to not be quite a good fit (or I miss a deadline!). I may even add more to the list as I go through and revise and consult with my poet friends who may have better insight into other good contests that they’ve submitted to.

Now…onto revising! My next goal will be to tackle revisions on three poems tomorrow, and decide where I might want to send those to.

And, should I consider sending any of my art out too??? Since many of these accept art submissions…Hm, I will let that idea ruminate. Because, you know, not like I have anything else to do.