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NEWS

As I’m sure all of you have heard by now, recently Clean Teen Publishing (of all places) chose a short story I wrote for publication in their Wonderstruck anthology, which is being released this coming Friday, May 31st. They provided 5 pictures, and asked authors to pick one and submit a story based on the photo. Amazingly, they selected mine. I am excited and honored to be a part of it; this is my first publishing credit. *flails*

There are a whole bunch of people that made this possible. Everybody who ever gave me an encouraging word after reading some of the atrocious crap that spews forth from my brain onto the page played a part. The constant love and encouragement and general good times offered by the crazy folks who take part in #writeclub each and every week.

There is one person in particular, however, that without whom I am certain I would never submitted anything anywhere. She’s a young lady from the Boston area, Julie Hutchings — who recently got a book deal herself; there isn’t anyone who deserves one more.

Earlier this year, we met on Twitter. She and her writing partner and friend Kristen Strassell run a blog together, and for the month of February they were hosting an event on their blog where they asked people to submit a romantic/erotic short story to them, which they would post for the world to see. Julie and I had not known each other for very long at all when she asked me if I would take part. I’m pretty sure she hadn’t even actually read any of my writing at the time. I came really really close to telling her no because it scared the crap out of me. I don’t write erotica (ain’t nobody got time for that), so went a sweet romantic route with my story.

Let’s talk about where I was with my writing then for a second. I thought I sucked. Pretty much every writer thinks that, I’m pretty sure, but at this point I was absolutely sure writing would absolutely not lead anywhere ever. I had a few manuscripts I had gotten excited about but couldn’t really claim to be still working on. Feeling like I owed it to her to submit the absolute best story I could, I put about 1800 words of horrible crap on paper. I tried to cut it and revise it to get down to the 1000 word limit, and couldn’t. Got it down to about 1150. Rewrote it from scratch. 980 words…and I loved it, despite the wonderfully ridiculous “she raised her eyes skyward, to the sky” line. I sent to some folks for feedback and they all loved it, too. I made a few changes, then sent it to the lovely Carey Torgesen asking her to rip it to shreds.

She did. The end product was so much better though. I remember when I sent it to Julie, I literally shed tears over it. I knew I was sending her the absolute best I could do.

It was at that point I knew that maybe I could actually do this writing thing a little bit.

At Julie’s behest and encouragement, I ended up submitting that story to Fireside Mag. They rejected it. Since, I’ve submitted it to The Opening Line…where it will appear in their inaugural July issue…alongside of something Julie submitted, as well.

I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you to a very dear friend. I know that I would not have anything being published today without a random twitter DM from her in January. Thank you Julie. You know I love you. 🙂

You can check out her twitter, here.

Check out her blog, here.

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If you’ve ever read anything on this blog, you know that I fancy myself a writer. Whether I am any good or not is a matter of debate (I have had people call the same short story both “stupid” and “brilliant” with the the “stupid” comment coming from one of my closest friends), but through it I have become friends with some amazing people, who have more talent than I will ever have.

One of these people is a sweet Kentucky redhead, Megan Whitmer. She’s definitely one of those people that are far more talented than I am. Her book, Between, which will absolutely be on my shelf on release date, will absolutely BLOW YOUR MIND. I literally shed tears in public when she announced her book deal.

Anyway, this is how she changed my life. She is at least partly responsible for my new found belief in my writing. This is because she is the brain child of a weekly Twitter event known as #writeclub.

Write Club? What’s that?

Megan does a marvelous job of explaining things in a post on her blog here., but basically it is a group of writing sprints that last 30 minutes at a time with 15 minute breaks in between. She tweets the start and stop times from the @FriNiteWrites account on twitter, using the #writeclub hashtag. At the end of 30 minutes, several people will tweet the number of words they managed in the sprint, which because I’m a numbers dork, I track. It is so amazing to see so many people from around the world loving and encouraging each other. It has grown seemingly exponentially, with now at least 6 different people helping to run sprints when real life gets in the way. Its even branched out internationally, with it going on in the UK literally right now as i write this. I’m honored to be a small part of it.

How Did This Change Your Life?

A couple of ways. I don’t feel like such an awkwardly antisocial nerd when I choose to stay home and write on a Friday night instead of going out. There’s an average of 50 or so people doing the exact same thing I’m doing.

When I’m having a bad day, there is always SOMEONE having similar writing struggles where we can encourage each other. See, these sprints aren’t competitive in nature. They’re meant to encourage and build each other up, and inspire us to do more.

That’s why I love write club. It’s why I don’t even WANT to go out on Fridays anymore. Literally, right now I’m counting down the minutes until we start it up tonight.

Join us, why don’t ya? We start at 8et and will likely go to around 2am. We’d all love to have you.

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