What rejections really mean

Oh no. Your literary creation—poem, article, novel, or story—has been rejected. What do you do now?

One of the first questions you should ask is, was this a Form Rejection or a Personalized Rejection? When you use The Grinder (by Diabolical Plots) to keep track of your submissions, it even gives you those options on a drop down menu. And there a shades of rejection letters, something called “tiered rejections.” Every publication has different rejection letters, too. One thing you can do is to take a look at the rejection wiki to see if the market you submitted it to has sample rejection letters.

If it’s a form rejection letter, try not to read too much into it. Editors are busy, and…

Read  the rest of my most recent article in Authors Publish magazine, here.

The Emily Dickinson Method.

When Emily Dickinson could not write a poem, she “baked biscuits instead, and was just as pleased.” I do a number of things when I am not writing, including little crafts projects. Right now I’m doing a not-so-little craft project, one that involved my husband wielding a chainsaw: a hat rack made out of part of an old but unusual pallet.

There will be six white hooks at the base and the letters will be fixed along the top.

I’ll let you all know when it’s done and up on the wall!

New Review of Confessions

5.0 out of 5 stars” Great read. Easy

March 7, 2018

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Hardscape changes

Gardening is like knitting or crocheting. Sometimes it involves tearing out your mistakes and starting over.
When I first moved to the Carolina Midlands (USDA Zone 8a) from Long Island, NY (USDA Zone 5) there was a learning curve. At first that involved experimenting what would grow here, and the fact that there were Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter weed cycles to contend with. But last year we made major changes to our hardscape. 
A hardscape is, “the man-made features used in landscape architecture, e.g. paths or walls, as contrasted with vegetation.” My original kitchen garden installation was a series of Square Foot Garden boxes. I made the mistake of building them out of pine, and the insects and fungi of my new subtropical environment ate this wood for lunch. (They were also too shallow, and even with amendments the soil was “eh.”) Now we have creosote-treated 10″ x 10″ raised beds, full of great, deep soil. They’re lined in tar paper to keep the creosote out of our food. This will be my first year planting all of them.
I ordered some very sturdy trellises to handle things like pole beans and cucumber vines. They’re made of cedar, and that ought to foil the hungry bugs that ate my original pine planting boxes. Can’t wait until they get here. After the forecast freeze due Thursday night, I can start planting in earnest.

Great Review of 1Q A&A

The 1st Quarter 2018 (Jan. 1) Abyss & Apex gets some reviewer love over at SFRevu.com. Reviewer Sam Tomaino

The newest issue of online magazine Abyss And Apex is #65 and it is as good as always… The 65th issue of Abyss and Apex is, like this magazine always is, all good stories. Every story is a good read and one you’ll enjoy. Who could ask for more?

He then reviews each individual story. Here’s a link to the review.

Thanks, Sam!


Yes, I pay my cover artists

This weekend I went to visit relatives on my husband’s side. One of them is a successful artist. She really ruffled my feathers.

I’m very annoyed with her. She just ASSUMED I’d gotten my covers done for free or cheap. I believe you pay the artist, artisan, writer or anyone else for their creative work! I don’t bilk my cover artists out of their money. I pay for my book covers, people.

The cover for The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume One was done my my friends Kenn Brown and Chris Wren of Mondolithic Studios (now Mondoworks). They gave us quite a discount compared to corporate clients like Wired & Scientific American, but it was still hefty enough I had to make payments. They also did a back cover, so I felt like I was getting a two-fer, but…not cheap.

I paid the same hefty amount, several hundred dollars, for the cover of The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume Two. This was to an artist I found on Deviant  Art–Jeff Lee Johnson.

Jeff Lee Johnson was also paid nicely for the cover for Confessions of a Female Safety Engineer. He earned it.

The covers for my Better Dating Through Engineering books, for men and women, and my poetry chapbook were done by a graphic freelance artist who goes by the name of Bombyx. And yes, he was paid, too, including a bonus for the updated covers this year.

Luke 1, verse 7, says “A workman is worthy of his hire.” These artists made my visions a reality and deserved my support.

Support the artists!