Guilty As Charged

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FOR SHAME!!!!    I haven’t blogged in nine days!!! I apologize profusely and promise to blog extra this week for my penance. 

 

What shall we talk about today? Perhaps I’ll start with what we WON’T be talking about…. 🙂

My wedding.

My remodeling.

My dad’s heart attack.

My daughter’s car accident

 

So….. let’s talke about WRITING!!

On a sad note, but an experience every writer has if not once, then a million times, I did not make it to the second round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition. Bummer. My awesome tour buddy Pam reminds me that Red Snow was a great story, that just because it may not have met their ideas of what they were envisioning, does not discount that. Judges are HUMAN. Always remember that. They’re just people. My husband does not like cheesecake. Is he an alien??  Nope. Just human. 🙂

On a happy note, I DID submit two entries to the Nimrod Literary Journal Competition, which is both a great compilation and an annual conference that I never miss. It is inexpensive and local and that’s a hard thing to find in a writer’s conference. The deadline is still more than a month away, so I am including the information below. I submitted poetry and Red Snow. So glad I sent it before the short story was denied by NYCM, because I KNOW this would have made me doubt it, doubt myself and perhaps not send it. But Pam’s words were whispering in my brain as I licked the envelope and away it went. Fingers crossed.

Both of these sides of the coin having been said, just submitting is a GREAT accomplishment. Without trying, we can never accomplish anything. It’s all a numbers game! For every ten or twenty or whatever your number is…for every group of submissions, there WILL be success, learning, reflection and growth! So submit!!! Never be afraid of failure, because trying is its own success. When you lick the envelope, you have already won. One more trick in surviving submissions…..just forget about it. If you make submitting the goal, instead of ‘winning,’ when you send it, you’re done. You did it. Walk away and don’t think of the results, the deadline, the prizes. If only submitting is on your ‘to do’ list, you can always be triumphant!

*** Submission Fees *** Of course, sometimes, submission fees can sometimes slow us down. This is a fact of life. I have two things to offer on this topic. (1) Make it a priority! This is your dream. What is more important? Two Starbucks? New socks? That blingy shirt in the window? You get your electricity paid, why aren’t you getting your submissions paid? Make submission as important as electricity!! (2) There ARE free and lower cost submission, conferences and opportunities out there. Find them.

Nimrod Info:

The Nimrod Literary Awards Are Open for Submissions!

Dear Writer:
 
Greetings from Nimrod International Journal. I’m writing with some information about the 36th annualNimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction.  The Awards offer first prizes of $2,000 and publication and second prizes of $1,000 and publication, along with a trip to Tulsa to receive the Awards and take part in our annual writing conference. The postmark deadline for this year’s Awards is April 30th, 2014.
 
The Awards are among the most distinguished literary prizes in the country. Past judges include Stanley Kunitz, Marvin Bell, Mark Doty, Olga Broumas, W. S. Merwin, Denise Levertov, William Stafford, Ron Carlson, Linda Pastan, and John Edgar Wideman. Past winners include Sue Monk Kidd, Diane Glancy, Daniel Lusk, Felicia Ward, Ruth Schwartz, and Gina Ochsner.
 
One of the oldest “little magazines” in the country, Nimrod has continually published new and extraordinary writers since 1956.  We are dedicated to the discovery of new voices in literature, and theNimrod Literary Awards are a special way to reward talented new poets and fiction writers.
 
I have included the Awards rules in this e-mail.  Please contact us if you have any questions, or visit our website—www.utulsa.edu/nimrod—to learn more about Nimrod.  Also, feel free to share this information with any writing friends or groups.  I hope to see your submission soon!
 
Best,
 
Eilis O’Neal
Editor-in-Chief
Nimrod International Journal
 
Contest Rules 

The 36th Nimrod Literary Awards
The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction &
The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry
 
Founded by Ruth G. Hardman
 
FIRST PLACE: $2,000 and publication
SECOND PLACE: $1,000 and publication
 
Contest Begins: January 1, 2014
 
Postmark Deadline: April 30, 2014
 
Poetry: 3-10 pages of poetry (one long poem or several short poems).
 
Fiction: 7,500 words maximum.
 
No previously published works or works accepted for publication elsewhere.  Author’s name must not appear on the manuscript.  Include a cover sheet containing major title and subtitles, author’s name, full address, phone & email.  “Contest Entry” should be clearly indicated on both the outer envelope and the cover sheet. Manuscripts should be stapled, if possible; if not, please bind with a heavy clip. Manuscripts will not be returned.  Nimrod retains the right to publish any submission.  Include SASE for results only.  If no SASE is sent, no contest results will be sent; however, the results will be posted onNimrod’s website. You must be living in the US by October of 2014 to enter the contest.  Winners will also be brought to Tulsa for the Awards Ceremony in October. All finalists will be considered for publication.
 
Entry/Subscription Fee: $20 includes both entry fee & a one-year subscription (two issues).  Each entry must be accompanied by a $20 fee.  Make checks payable to Nimrod.
 
Send to:
 
Nimrod Journal
Literary Contest–Fiction or Poetry
The University of Tulsa
800 S. Tucker Dr.
Tulsa, OK 74104  

____________________________________

 

TOUR NEWS:

I am totally bummed, but moreso surprised that I have received ZERO responses from my Craigslist call for venues. 😦  Hmmm. When I have a blanket void like that, I wonder about my process. I posted in “Community Events”…. perhaps that was the wrong heading. Perhaps other categories get more traffic. So… I will try again.  What about my blog followers??  That’s YOU! 🙂   Do you know any venues that may be appropriate or welcoming in our tour cities? PLEASE let us know. We will do the rest! 

Received adorable tour stickers. These are just tiny, one-inch by one-inch square stickers with our faces, our logo and other writing prompts, pics and motivation! We can stick them on our shirts, our envelopes, etc…. just a shameless plug! 🙂

The Quiet Republican passed 10,000 words the other day and is moving along nicely. So far, one of the easiest books I’ve written. This can be very motivating and very suspicious. Sometimes if something is too easy…something is missing. I will have to decide which idea is the right one.

IN CHERILYN’S HEAD:

Seriously thinking of hosting, building, founding a writer’s retreat/conference in my town, at my home, etc. Am I crazy? Why yes, yes I am. I thought we already established this. 😉   Thoughts?

CHERILYN’S LIBRARY:

Just finished The End of Eve by my favorite author, Ariel Gore. Recommend to all. Quick, yet profound read. ~ 

 

love & peace to all

cf

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Having It All…

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So, here I am, on a Saturday morning, pondering the fact that I am getting married in less than three weeks. It is without much fanfare, as we have been living as partners for a while now, own a home, raising kids, sharing money, etc….but even so, there is that twinge of self-awareness, identity crisis, wondering if I will lose a part of myself. Before the sun had come up, before I had even finished my first cup of coffee, I had an epiphany.

~ It’s because of my old-fashioned, conservative ways, that I am able to live the modern-woman, many hats life that I do. ~

I’m not patting myself on the back. I know many women who juggle everything and we are all awesome. But I also know young women who are just starting out, facing choices between their needs, a man’s needs, their children’s needs, etc….and I know many women my age, who are miserable. Many.

So as I consider how to be the best Mrs. Hearn I can be, I am also extremely determined to still be the true-to-self Cherilyn I have always been.

In one day I may be folding laundry, feeding chickens, writing a book, planning a tour, quilting, painting, doing taxes or baking a cake. I truly like to think that I have it all. I have all the things that are important to me. I have my career, my education and my time, but my children have clean clothes and full bellies, my husband has crisp sheets and a doting wife. Let me tell you what I don’t have.

I don’t have credit cards or a fancy car. I never have. We are actually currently sharing a car, because we can. When I have had a car, I rarely have a car payment. If you’re saying to yourself…” but I loooove my car!” More than your dream? Your time? I doubt it.

I don’t have a huge social life. I have a lot of friends on Facebook, family I love and plenty of that, but I don’t go out a lot and I have to say ‘no’ sometimes.

I don’t have a huge wardrobe. I like shopping as much as the next girl, but I’m a bargain hunter, I Christmas shop all year long, I get a core wardrobe that I love and I stick with it, adding new things here and there. I wear Nikes and nice things, but nice things last when you take care of them and very nice Nikes can be found at rummage sales in the country club. 😉

I don’t have a job.

Huh?

I don’t have a 40-hour-a-week, answering to someone else, stressing me out and adding zero to my soul, job. I have been self-employed or salary employed most of my adult life, regardless of having a man or other support system. This was a choice I made a long time ago. I wanted to be available to my child. I wanted to write and take pictures and pursue my education. So I made decisions centering around MY happiness.

You can sell your car.

You can put back that Coach bag.

You can change your situation.

If you are miserable you know it. If you hate your job, you are wasting the only life we have! I know you have to feed your kids and pay your bills, but I promise there are creative ways to do both. I have been a substitute teacher for ten years. It is on my schedule, works around my children’s school schedule and is very low stress. You take zero work home and when you walk out of that classroom, 100% of your thoughts are back to you, your spouse, your family. In my state, you do not have to be pursuing a teaching career to be a sub. Every state and sometimes every district varies, but check it out. When it has been necessary and available, subbing full-time pays $1720 gross per month. I can live on that in my sleep, because I have no car payment and no credit cards…

I have done daycare from time to time. I’m one of those women that can have two or ten kids running around my house and it’s all the same to me. Another nose to wipe or mouth to feed just doesn’t occur to me. It may sound like a big deal to really open a legitimate daycare business, so don’t. There are loopholes, when you don’t do full-time, limit the number of kids etc. These laws are designed for grandmothers and friends who babysit occasionally. Also, most daycares only do full-time, so part-time and occasional options are in high demand.

I write for money.

I cook for money.

I work by phone, by computer, all from home.

Almost anyone can take care of elderly individuals in their home, by simply being CPR certified and getting some training that agencies provide. These hours are always part-time, flexible and it’s up to you whether you have two clients or twelve.

These are just a few things I have done over the years, because paying bills IS NOT my life’s work. Being a mother, a wife, a writer and an artist IS.  

Finally….remember my epiphany about modern vs. conventional? Here’s the deal… Because my man knows I am absolutely committed to him, our home, our life, my ‘pursuits’ don’t bother him. That’s up to you ladies. Men are just afraid we are out  in the world and we’ll find someone or something better. So I travel and go on book tours and earn degrees. But Mr. Hearn knows I will drop everything and come back to the farm anytime he needs me, the kids need me, or he says so. That’s a scary thing to give a guy all that power right? But it turns out, I have a whole lot of my own freedom because of it. 😉

Think about it sisters!

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To My Future Wife

Wish I had heard this at 16…or 13…or maybe even at 10. Who do you know who needs to hear this today?

Brett E. Shoemaker

Photo on 3-11-12 at 9.36 PM #2 How’s it lookin, good-lookin?

I don’t know who you are yet.  I don’t know what you look like.  I don’t know the color of your eyes.  I don’t know the color of your skin.  I don’t know your name.  There are a lot of things that I don’t know about you, but there are a couple of things that I want you to know.

You’re Already Beautiful.  Congratulations, babe, you did it.  You are already beautiful.  Seriously.  If beauty is a game, you’re a pro.  You are perfect already.  You were beautifully and wonderfully made.  You have nothing to fix.  Let me say that again, you have nothing to fix.  God did not mess-up on you.  I know what society is telling you.  “You have to look like this, wear this, and have this in order to be beautiful.” Nope.  You’re already beautiful.  Beauty is more than what…

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HELP! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up..

As much as I’d love for my everyday schedule to include hours and hours of writing, and only minute breaks to visit the Keurig or scavenge for a protein bar, that just isn’t the case. There are cars, and dogs, and millions of loads of laundry to be done. There are meals to be cooked (no, not everyone can survive on protein bars like I did for a month in Africa) and by default I am the chef. Such is my life. And I’m OK with this.

But, then there’s you, oh dear, dear reader. Wondering where I am when I fail to blog. Hoping I’ll come back soon–praying for my safe return. Musing on whether I’m actually writing these books I’ve committed to write.

Well, to ease your worried mind, I am and I will. I will finish these books. I will do it by the deadline. And, I will keep you in the loop. Cherilyn has pinned me down to at least one blog post a week. Although she has plenty to say on her own, she’d like me to check in and keep you appraised of my progress and my commitment. Both of which are strong.

I’m loving how our tour is coming together and I’m excited about seeing the places we are planning to go. But more importantly, I’m excited about meeting you! You, reader, are why we are here. Who are you? Where are you? What do you do and why do you love your life? What words are shaping your lives right now? How can we encourage you?

To write for yourself is a blessed gift you receive. But to share those words is your gift to others. I am preparing gifts for you that, in the process, are giving me joy as well. So here’s to the gift, and the true Giver of words, may they reach their destination in the perfect time.

~Pamela

#pencup2015

Looking for Venues…

So we have to find twelve locations to graciously welcome us into their quaint environments to share our work, our time, our spirit and hopefully we learn something from each and every one of them along the way….

Book signings are a tricky thing. Some shops are happy to host any kind of event, to have something to advertise, attract patrons, etc. But others really want someone well-known, dare I say, ‘famous,’ which of course, we are not. So understanding all that…I am starting early and casting a wide web. I have already posted on craigslist in every city we’re visiting and guess what? Zero responses so far. 😦  So here I am blogging…reaching out to the masses. If I have to cold call… I will!! So…here’s my post from craigslist. If you live in or near any of these cities and think you know of a location that might welcome our visit, please let us know and I will take it from there. We really require nothing but space and time. We bring our books, etc. Some places have a routine they like to follow, some just wing it!

 

Looking for venues for the upcoming Pen & Cup Book Tour…two authors…six books!! Travelling in Spring of 2015. Looking for coffee shop/bookstores that add character to their community. Need one or two locations in each of the following cities…

Seattle, Washington

Portland, Oregon

Washington, D.C.

Boston, Massachusetts

St. Louis, Missouri

Atlanta, Georgia

New York, New York

Chicago, Illinois

San Francisco, California

Dallas, Texas

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Denver, Colorado

Tour blog and author Facebook links below….detailing the six books, etc…

https://pencup2015.wordpress.com/

www.facebook.com/CherilynWrites

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pamela-S-Black/738558446169032?fref=ts

Please like our pages, follow our blog and let us know if you have a location that would be a good fit for our tour!! 

 

So what do you think? Comments? Suggestions?