Mine Anthology: Kickstarter Planning Begins

Mine Anthology has a web page (check it out)! It’ll be our information place pre-during and post-kickstarter 🙂

What’s Mine Anthology, you ask?

WHY I’LL TELL YOU.

It’s Karen Harte and my project to change Ireland forever by supporting theAbortion Rights Campaign in repealing the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution.

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland introduced a constitutional ban on abortion by recognizing a right to life of an unborn child. It was effected by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1983, which was approved by referendum on 7 September 1983 and signed into law on the 7 October of the same year. – Wikipedia

I’ll be looking to you, dearest family and friends, for help and support during the Kickstarter – expect a lot of exhilarated/exhausted posts! I’ll be sharing all of my research and insights with you along the way. This will be my third Kickstarter and I’m hoping to make it the best one yet!

Karen and I have both been planning away and there’s going to be an awesome animated video (courtesy of Karen, illustrator and graphic designer extraordinaire) and perhaps a FORWARD by a person we’re both huge fans of *fingers crossed*.

If you have any tips out there in the blogosphere, please leave them in the comments below!

Oh and you can follow Mine Anthology on Twitter for news and behind-the-scenes peeks.

How to Immerse Your Reader in Your Story: Engage the Five Senses

Keri M. Peardon

To continue my series on describing your foreign setting and setting mood using light, today I’m going to talk about the other senses.

The Five Senses

Let’s review our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Sight is usually the predominant sense covered in stories; most people describe what their characters are seeing. But the other senses sometimes get short-changed.

I’ve read that every intimate moment needs at least two senses involved. So, while your protagonist may be gazing with longing into her beloved’s eyes, that’s not enough; you need to add at least one more sense.

Here are some examples from Acceptance:

Scent

Anselm strolled along the quiet, darkened streets, enjoying the warm breeze off the ocean. He inhaled deeply; the scent of blooming flowers was so strong it was almost suffocating, and yet it was pleasurable at the same time.

He leaned closer to a pine…

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22 Places to Submit Your Fiction & Poetry

Now, some of these places have rejected me more than I can count, but that’s part of the game, chickadees. Am I really getting on this horse again? You betcha. I’m taking it bigger than it ever was before: it’s gonna get BROUGHT, bitch!

If you have red-hot poetry or short stories that need homes, here’s the list you need.

Did I leave anyone out? Let me know in the comments.

The list (not in any particular order)

 

Dancing Girl Press

The Diagram

Corium Magazine

Green Mountains Review

Booth: A Journal

Split Lip Magazine

Jellyfish Highway

Lockjaw Magazine

Alternating Current Press

Gigantic Sequins

The Pinch

Cartridge Lit

Squalorly

The Boiler

No Tokens

Spry Literary Journal

Nano Fiction

Juked

Hobart

kill author

Smokelong Quarterly

Bridge Eight Literary Magazine

 

On Having to Write Vs Getting to Write

I am taking up my Journal again after a long break. I think it may be a way of calming this nervous excitement that has been worrying me for so long. — Eugène Delacroix

Nervous excitement is right, Eugène. I’ve been staring at this word processor for about half an hour, feeling the pressure mounting in my head to the point where I can’t write anything at all. To paraphrase Ted Hughes, I feel like a statue of a woman writing instead of the real thing.

I feel like I have to write.

I haven’t written since Tuesday and I don’t know what to write about now and I’m stressing out to the max.

I want to go on with the short story I’ve started, the Bee Farm. I think that’s something that could turn out to be really good.

But I don’t know where to go next or really remember what happened last (without re-reading it). Surely that’s a bad sign.

Maybe writing shouldn’t ever be something that I feel like I have to do. It’s okay; I have a day job. I am not relying on writing to feed or clothe myself.

Thank fuck.

I wonder if I’m going to get that Irish Arts Council grant. Then I’ll have to work on the dieselpunk Irish War of Independence novel that I told them I’d write if they funded me.

And I have no idea what to do with that or where to go with that either.

Is not the poet bound to write his own biography? Is there any other work for him but a good journal? We do not wish to know how his imaginary hero, but how he, the actual hero, lived from day to day. — Henry David Thoreau

Maybe I can’t write because my brain is running around in the past or the future or that awful what if realm. What if I never publish anything again? What will that make me?

Maybe I should use Headspace. Or do the hoovering. Or go for a walk with the dog. That’ll clear my mind, and then I’ll be able to write.

Except.

Except I won’t. I’ll just find more stuff to heap in-between myself and the act of writing.

Does this count as writing?

I keep starting at the word count rising steadily and thinking that I’m a hack; that this doesn’t count as writing; that at best this is journaling and we all know what I think about that (verbose masturbation).

Although maybe keeping a journal does count as something. I Googled benefits of keeping a journal and found some links which I’ll share below.

This is yet another thing that I’m piling between myself and my writing.

Beckett wrote something to that effect in one of his plays I think. The things we use to distract ourselves from the dark meaninglessness of existence.

I’m nearly at 500 words already. I think perhaps this does count as writing. I’m easing myself back into that world where my characters live, like stepping into a warm bath.

I keep touching the cut on my elbow, feeling the hurt, and then not wanting to touch it again before, yes, touching it again.

Maybe writing and not writing is like that.

How to Write When You Don’t Know What To Write About

So you want to write, but don’t know where to begin

Your mind is scrambled. You don’t have an overarching idea to plan out. What are you meant to do? Should you write whatever comes into your head? Should you try to make your work a cohesive whole somehow? Should you really be trying to shoehorn your short pieces into a novel?

Don’t be scared. You’re not alone. This blog post deals with these questions.

500 words for 31 days

I signed up to write 500 words a day every day for 31 days.

No, I’m not setting myself a NaNoWriMo style task where I have to write a novel.

What is the purpose of this exercise, then? I’m just trying to get into a daily writing habit.

Are you wrapped up in your non-writing life? Come and join me for 500 words a day. Send me a tweet to let me know you’re in. 

How does someone become a writer?

With writing. A writer is someone who writes.

If you’re doing this along with me, that means you can write anything for this 31 dat stint. I mean, honestly, I just want to be a writer, and if a writer is someone who writes, then goddamn it sign me up to the writing-every-day bandwagon.

Emails don’t count. Blog posts  count. Poetry counts, fiction counts, magic realistic shopping lists count. So long as you have the spark of an idea, however small, you can work with it.

And the thing with small sparks is that sometimes they can ignite a mighty fire. 

Maybe we’ll find ourselves writing shopping lists in a dieselpunk world and suddenly BAM there we go with a novel idea: and we have our daily writing habit to thank for this.

Google is your friend

Of course I Googled ‘what to write about if you don’t know what to write about’ when I was researching this blog post. There’s a load of hits for this topic (unsuprisingly!), but one or two links stood out.

There’s Things To Write About over at Udemy, Stuck for Ideas? 20 Quotes Telling You What To Write About at the fantastic Write To Done, and a little gem that also came up: 5 Ways To Find Time to Write When Busy (I am busy! You are busy! Everyone’s busy! We all need this!).

Making the time suck work for you

Social media can help you out if you’re stuck. This probably sounds counter-intuitive, being that social media is the biggest time suck ever, but be constructive with it. Let everything feed your writing; stories that other people share on social media, for example, can be a fertile feeding ground for writing ideas.

Some social media sites help more than others, of course. Pinterest is especially good for writing ideas as everything there is visual. Instagram, too! So if you’re on Pinterest (follow me! we can be friends!), there’s a board simply called Writing Prompts which you’ll find very helpful. I’ll be writing about the image below later.

What inspiration can you find today?

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My 500 Words

Today I am starting to write 500 words every day, for 31 days straight. If it was good enough for Hemingway, it’s good enough for me, right?

I don’t know what I will achieve by this, but I do know that it is a necessary thing. I need to be writing. That’s simple enough, isn’t it? What else am I meant to be doing with my life, if not writing? Yes, I have work & the evening classes I’m doing, but it’s all too easy to get sucked away into the humdrum of existence and forget to look at the bigger picture.

Do the words need to all be apart of a larger, structured piece of work? No. I debated it, but that would be way too stressful. If they become part of something larger, then, all the better.

I am doing this with the help of a Facebook group called 1k A Day, and the #My500Words initiative set up by Jeff Goins (and these little guys!).