This week was not as good as the one before because I didn’t feel that well, plus I had extra work-work.
But over the weekend, I created a chalky pastel background that I really like, a strange scribble background using pastels in similar but different shades, and a string ink background.
I also was able to do some revision work to an essay that is in limbo with a journal. I’ll try to read it over today or tomorrow and see what else it needs.
So far in January I’ve collected a few rejections. Last spring I had two poems accepted by a journal that has not yet published them. They didn’t put out a fall issue, so am I waiting for the spring one? Hard to tell. I wrote to them, but got no response.
A big thank you to editor Carol Andregg who has published my prose poem “Liminality” in the new issue of the well-known journal, Cider Press Review.
“Liminality” is a poem about my father. The poem begins this way:
Hell’s bells my father rolled off his tongue when frustrated or not pleased with the current situation. They weren’t the angry words when his temper swelled and overpowered his vulnerable body. Being only human, those other words . . . .
You can follow the link to the full poem, as well as an audio recording of me reading the poem:
A big thank you to Editor James Diaz of the really fun lit mag Anti-Heroin Chic who has published my poems “Into Pulp” and “Scrap” in their latest issue.
The first poem is a response to someone else’s vintage photograph. I don’t have permission to post the photo, but here is a link: Wrecked archive image
The first poem begins this way:
Lakewater pushes at my ankles
toes slicing an evanescent path
I’m at an age where I think I’m at the age
and I don’t imagine eyerolls
where I sense time abrading my surface
like this constantly moving water
stones and minnows distort into segments
molecules into a variety of atomic individuals
two purple, no, one hairbrush, a plastic ball
a swaying branch, leaves decaying
the insides of my grandmothers’ fridges
bubble and pop into shards of memory
The second poem, “Scrap,” relates to my memoir of the same name.
I’m closing comments because I had a flu shot and am feeling pretty awful from it. This happened to me the last time I had one, about six years ago, and my doctor put in my chart that I was allergic (it’s not an allergy–more of an intolerance). But now with Covid, he took it off my allergy list and told me to suck it up (OK, he didn’t say that) and get it this year. So now I have the whole list of symptoms: fever, sore muscles, skin painful to touch, headache, etc. But I would still love it if you get a chance to read “Superbloom”!
A big thank you to the editors of Praxis Magazine Online for publishing my poems “The Rule” and “Your Sonnet.” Praxis is an African-based magazine for arts and literature. Check it out by reading the other stories and poems!
“The Rule” is obviously a response to the Covid pandemic. Like a lot of writers, I am torn between wanting to write about the pandemic and wanting to get away from it by NOT writing about the pandemic.
“Your Sonnet” is a poem that a lot of (particularly, but not exclusively) women can probably relate to. It makes use of the Little Red Riding Hood story, as do several of my poems in the last couple of years. I know that I have posted before about my Pinterest board for Little Red art, but now the board has over 1,300 images! I really do wonder if any secular folktale has inspired more art than Little Red: Red in the Woods
Last week I wrote about penpals and posted a link for Snail Mail Social Club. After applying by checking off my interests from a provided list, I was given two names and addresses to write to. One of them was an individual living at home. The other is a staff contact at a senior facility. The idea, apparently, is that the facilities don’t want to give out names for privacy issues so I am supposed to write as many letters as I like for these unknown people living there.
I have to admit I was disappointed. I wrote back, asking if they were going to match me up with people with my interests, but have not heard back. I can send generic letters to any senior facility–I don’t need this “finding” service to get me a staff member’s name. The reason I liked writing to Matt was because he said he was interested in war stories, so I wanted to hear his and tell him the ones I know about from my family. If someone wants to talk about books or history or art or cats, I’m all here. Or there. Or pen in hand.
Does anybody else have information about finding people to write to that I have something in common with? I think it would be more meaningful to shut-ins since I am not a 3rd grader writing with my class. Does that make any sense or do I sound nonsensical?
The other day, Ellie from Crossed Eyes and Dotted Tees asked me how I find magazines/journals where I can submit my writing. On the chance that maybe what I do might help someone else, I thought I’d share my haphazard method for finding good places to submit short stories (both fiction and nonfiction) and poetry.
First, though, Kana says hi.
My list items are effective by themselves, but I also think that there is a synergy that develops from doing them all or a large portion. Kind of a 2 + 2 = 5 result. Some journals show up repeatedly, and I’ve learned more about them in this way. Then a new name springs up, and I check it and wow! a wonderful new mag for writers and readers to discover.
Let’s start with social media. I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, my blogs, and a website. For the purposes of finding journals and magazines, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are arguably the most important.
On Facebook I joined writers’ groups and engage at least occasionally. I also “like” the pages of journals that are mentioned. When Facebook gives me suggestions to like journal pages, I either “like” and check out later or check out before I decide to “like.”
On Twitter, I follow lots and lots of literary magazines and journals, as well as writers. The more you follow, the more suggestions for journals you discover and, hence, the more you follow.
On Instagram, I follow “suggestions” for journals to follow.
I’ve taken writing workshops in the past where I met writers. I stay in touch with many of them.
When I find journals and have a chance to read and check them out, I keep track of them. I used to bookmark them on my computer. But the other day I deleted most of them because this method had become unwieldy. I also found that I have reached the point where I didn’t need it as much any longer.
What else do I do?
Search Twitter and Facebook for submission calls. Sometimes that search can produce a request for submissions from a journal you have never heard of before. Or maybe a themed issue that fits well with something you are working on.
Check out Clifford Garstang’s Pushcart ratings lists. They are invaluable for seeing which journals have published Pushcart-selected pieces (doesn’t predict the future, but looks at the past). Here is the 2020 list for Fiction. You can look around for nonfiction and poetry once you’re on the site.
Search for submissions through my Duotrope membership.
Read Allison Joseph’s site. She used to run CWROPPS, a valuable Yahoo group. When they shut the groups down, she started posting on her blog: Creative Writers Opps.
Read collections of stories or poems. Then I check out the acknowledgements and see where the writing was first published. That gives me a solid list of journals.
Every time I encounter a journal new to me that looks promising, I read at least a good portion of an issue. Try it. See the bios of the writers published in that issue? They often give names of other magazines that have published their writing. Go check those out!
You can see that this process is extensive and symbiotic, but not exhaustive. I certainly don’t do this all perfectly. But I’ve done it for a long time, and I don’t stop going through the process: the literary journal world is ever-changing. It’s important to keep up. Many journals have closed up shop in the last year or two, but many more are publishing their first or second issue.
If you have other ideas for finding places to which you can submit your work, please share!
This cactus flower was a little slower to bloom than the others. It’s nice to have one open now while it’s so stinken hot.
A big thank you to editor Susan Solomon who has published my poem “How They Fall” at Sleet Magazine.
The poem is an important part of the themes I’m working with in my new collection: flight, falling, the ups and downs of life. It’s also very cool that all of the very few poems in the issue feel connected with each other.