Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Marketing Writing

I'm currently working on issue #2 of my zine, "Little Tales". It's going to be a bit more on the serious side, with some longer stories (some approaching 1000 words, while there was nothing over 300 words long in issue #1). The theme will be animals. I've worked as a wild animal trainer, veterinary nurse, and with primates in a medical research lab, as well as volunteering over the years in a zoo, the SPCA, and a farm animal sanctuary. This is where my stories will come from. In fact, unlike issue #1, these will all be non-fiction and semi-autobiographical. So as you can imagine from my list of experiences, they don't all have a happy ending. I can't stand things to be completely depressing though, so there will be some humor and hope mixed in too.

Anyway, as part of my mission with this blog, to share some of what I've learned, I wanted to offer some market resources out there for other writers. I had a subscription to Writer's Market online for a year that I got as a gift. It's a great website, but a bit overwhelming, and a lot of work to try to narrow things down to the types of markets who would be interested in something specific. Here's two of my favorite market lists (for fiction) that are free, and still very good:
http://www.duotrope.com/
http://www.ralan.com/
As far as non-fiction goes, I've mostly concentrated on local publications that I'm semi-familiar with or online markets that are easier to research. I suppose I'll try to get the courage to go for the big bucks and big markets someday, but I'm not ready just yet.

Some great advice I got once was that it's easier to pick a publication and write something to fit it than it is to write something and then try to find a market to fit. I know, I know, artistically this seems to be the wrong way to go about things, but when I approach my writing in this manner, I have had more success getting into print.

One problem is that many publications have a very specific feel and vibe that they are trying to create with each issue. You can have an amazing story, but if it doesn't fit the editor's vision for that publication, it isn't going to be accepted. Now, I'm hardly an expert or else I wouldn't still be working a job outside the house, but when I've written an article with a market in mind, my rate of acceptance has gone up a lot.

Now, if I can just get my rear in gear and edit some of my stories to get them ready to submit, then I can get back on the right track for coming home from that outside job thing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I love Harry Potter, but. . .

Yep, I'm a Harry Potter fan. Love him. We, my husband and I, started reading the book, one chapter a night, during then last months of my first pregnancy. We read all the books this way, I think there were four at the time, and when a new book came out, we'd snuggle as a family in bed and read a chapter each night. It's become a nice tradition for us.
When we were expecting our second baby, we decided to start the series over again (yes, we liked it that much) Now we just got our pre-ordered copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows", but we're only about halfway through book six. We aren't ready for the new book just yet. I admit, I'm tempted to just whisk through the rest of six on my own so I can quickly read book seven to find out what happens. There's so much hype and peer pressure to read it right away, it sounds like a fun thing to do, but we're resisting the peer pressure. So even though we may not even start on the new, exciting book for over a week or so, we love our special family story time, and we're keeping out tradition.
Just don't dare try to talk to me about book seven for at least a month! I'm doing my darnedest to avoid spoilers.
I do love the Harry Potter books, but I love our special family time even more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A new line

You know I love good quotes. Well, I made some quotation bookmarks for my paperandwords shop, but they were so simple, they look, well, just . . . bla. No fun. Then I got the idea to make them out of fabric. They are still simple (I'm a simple gal, what can I say) but I think the turned out really cool. I'm keeping one for myself.

They are cotton fabric (my favorite) with a stiff interfacing in them so they aren't floppy.



The quotes I started with -

"I cannot live without books." - Thomas Jefferson

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. . ." - Albert Einstein

I have a few more in mind, but have to pick out neat fabric that goes well with the quotes.


I love it when I find ways to combine things that I love. In this case: books, and sewing.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thank You (part one)

I was part of Etsy's most recent baby shower. Sellers signed up to either donate to pregnant women and new moms, or they signed up as recipients. Since I sell baby items, and I have a new baby - I signed up for both ends. It's been a blast. I want to show off all the cool gifts I've received so far:


First, from Keiki Boutique - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=62359ser_id=62359, I got this really nice, and incredibly handy diaper and wipes pouch:




It's one of those things that once you use it for awhile, you wonder how you ever got along without it!


Then I got all these beautiful crochet items from AprilAdriance - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=82334 :




She told me that the shawl can also be use around her waist as a cover-up. I hadn't thought of that - but it would be perfect! I also got a yellow headband with a flower, but I left it at Grandma's house when we last visited there. Gotta get that back! Isn't this too cute?


And from ficklefaerie, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=108801, and made by mamaziel, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5089760, I got these great burp cloths -




These have been used non-stop since I opened the package. So great!




I can't thank these great sellers enough. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

When I Need Inspiration

Quote inspire me, and there never seems to come a time when I don't need a little inspiration. Even when things are going well, as they are now, I always know how much room there is for improvement within myself. I don't think I'll ever be fully happy with the way I am, I always want to be a better person.

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
-Bill Cosby

I often try to please everyone. I hate to say, "No." While wanting to make others happy is a nice thing, it can take too much away from what else I need to do. As so many other things in life - there is a balance that needs to be found. I'm still looking.

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
-Thomas A. Edison

One of my all time favorite quotes. It keeps me moving.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
-Sir Winston Churchill

I still write when I get rejection letters, I still sew when things don't sell because I love to. But in other areas, I need to remember that failure isn't an end.

"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Self-confidence. . . here I need mucho work.

"The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary."
-Vidal Sassoon

I'm very lazy by nature. I should post this on my mirror - or better yet, near my bed.

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway."
-John Wayne

As with self-confidence, I let fear hold me back from doing much that I need to do. I want to be brave. I'm still hoping that bravery can be learned, and that I'm not a hopeless cause.

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
-Bertha Calloway

On days like today, when life takes over and my plans are completely taken out of my hands, I try to remember that I may not be able to control everything, but I can control how I react. That little thought really does make me feel powerful.