Showing posts with label Margaret Fieland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Margaret Fieland. Show all posts

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Journey to Publication

My Psychedelic photo, simply because I like it


 My tween/YA science fiction, "Relocated," has just been published by MuseItUp Publishing, and I've published the book of poems, "Sand in the Desert," I wrote to go along with the book through CreateSpace in print and kindle formats.  How did I get here? Good luck, working at my craft, a father who insisted on proper grammar, and some level of ability.

I've written poetry as far back as I can remember. I kept it in a series of spiral notebooks that accumulated in my attic, wrote cards for holidays birthdays, co-workers leaving the office, and the occasional small newsletter. Along about 2005 I wrote a poem I wanted to keep, so I scrounged around online and ended up putting them in Yahoo briefcase (online) as I had too many computers to keep them on just one

That December I was reading an ezine I liked and discovered they had a poetry. I believe the theme was 'sleep',  I  had a poem to fit it. Since it was handy (read online),  I sent it in, and the poem was one of four runners-up., I didn't win.

But they published all four of the finalists, and I was psyched. I joined a couple of online communities and started working on my poetry. In one of them, I ran across someone who was starting a small print poetry mag (since died, I believe). He liked and published a couple of my poems. That was early 2006. I found out about "The Muse Online Writers Conference," (free, online virtual conference) and "attended" that October.

There I "met" Linda Barnett Johnson. Linda runs writers forum, and she insisted that her students join both fiction and poetry forums. Poetry alone was not an option.

At  that point, I'd never written a word of fiction (at least, not since elementary school ), and I would have sworn I never would. However, I liked Linda, and I wanted to join the poetry forum, so I signed up. I started writing for children, as that felt less intimidating - and shorter. As a poet, I was a terse writer, and generating sufficient word count worried me. My first story ended up published online. It was a *long* time until I placed another, but thus encouraged, I continued to write fiction.

Many years ago, a family friend lost his wife and all four of his children in a house fire. This incident had haunted me ever since, and one weekend I wrote a 5000 word book in which the main character, a nine-year-old boy, lost his mother in a house fire. I couldn't change my friend's outcome, but in my fictional world, I could.

I spent the next year and a half or two years whipping it into shape. Although I have (and had) a good ear for language and a solid knowledge of grammar, I knew little about structuring a story. I set out to learn about plotting, characterization, dialogue, setting, points-of-view, and, yes, more grammar. I joined a critique group and took the ICL basic course. I hung out on Writers Village University and took their free fiction course and a couple of others that proved extremely helpful. The story was accepted for publication. It won't be out until next year.

Fast forward to September, 2010. I am a huge science fiction fan, but I'd never written a sci fi story -- I had kind of a phobia about it -- so I decided I'd do Nano (National Novel Writing Month) that November, and began to plan my story.

I devoted most of my time and energy to world building, a bit to thinking about the characters, and devoted about  a page to the plot. Then I started writing. I heard about an online editing workshop given through Savvy Authors. Through Savvy, I connected with a publisher and submitted the manuscript. It was rejected. They liked it, but not enough to publish it. I worked on the manuscript, including strengthening the ending. That June, I pitched to Lea Schizas and she accepted it.

Backtrack to November 2010. Robert Brewer runs a chapbook challenge on his PoeticAsides blog. I wanted to participate, so I created a poet to go with the universe of the novel and wrote 31 of his poems that November. I used eight of the poems in the novel, as I worked studying the poems into the plot.

"Relocated" has just been published by MuseItUp Publishing I  brought all the poems out as a book, which I self-published through CreateSpace.
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You can find Margaret Fieland on her blog, http://www.margaretfieland.com/ or on the Poetic Museling's blog, http://poetic-muselings.net/


Also check out these excerpts from Relocated on the publisher's blog: http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/2012/07/relocated-excerpts.html

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grammatical Memory

I wanted to write a post about parts of speech, subjects, objects and all that. One of the reasons is my annoyance over misuse of pronouns, especially two cases: after prepositions, and as subjects of an implied phrase, but I quickly fell into the mire of memory. You see, I remember all this stuff, the grammar, the parts of speech, the rules of usage, because my father drummed the rules relentlessly into my head. Almost every night at dinner featured discussions about some point of grammar.

In French, the rules are simple: if the pronoun is the subject of the verb, AND it comes right before the verb, it's the subjective form.
But in English, what is a subject is a little more complicated:

Jack is taller than I.

Why? Because "I" is the subject of the implied phrase, "than I am."

and:

It's I, or was, when I was in school.

Here are two old poem of mine. I give them to you unedited, in its original form, in spite of my itch to revise them.

This is why I remember my grammar.

If You Were Still Alive


In spite of what I know everyone says
About each successive generation

Being deficient,
Not as able,
Morally superior
Or grammatically correct

As the one before,

I am privately convinced
Of the truth of the proposition
That today's youth's knowledge
Of the English language

Is sadly lacking,

And that even those
Who should know better,

To wit,

Those writing for the local paper,
Do not know how to properly use pronouns

Or, indeed,

That English has a subjunctive,
A fact that you revealed to me
When I came home and told you
That French had a subjunctive but that

English didn't

So I just wanted to say that I still remember
All that stuff and that in spite of my

Extreme annoyance

At your continual repetition of the entire rule
And its complete explanation,
Every time I said,

"It's me"

I want you to know that every time
I hear someone misuse a pronoun
I not only mutter under my breath,
But I think of you and think,

"If you were still alive..."




Seasons



You took out the garbage
and got lost outside your apartment,
unable to recognize your front door.

That night you wandered naked
down the hall. I waited for you to flinch
as you recognized me, your daughter.

You never noticed me,
instead continued to the bathroom,
where you attempted, fruitlessly, to pee.

Your pubic hair was gray. When had
you gotten so old?

Where was the father who taught
me to make scrambled eggs,
pledging me never to add milk?

Where was the father who argued
about gerunds over dinner?


In the morning I took you to
Mount Sinai hospital, where
they diagnosed prostate trouble,
admitted you.

When we took your grandsons to see you;
you barely remembered their names:
your mind, once so sharp, now rusted.

We moved you to the nursing home
near Trinity Church. When we came to visit
we would go across to the church
and pray.

I had to take care of you.

It was my time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to Promote an Interview with Another Author

Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping by. Today’s blog reflects upon last week’s interviews between members of the Writers On The Move I’m associated with in Yahoo! Groups.

Last week we paired off, one member hosting another member of our group, posting a background on one day and interviewing each other in the second. I had a lot of fun interviewing my guest Margaret Fieland on my blog site while being interviewed by Harry Gilleland on his blog.

The purpose is to give exposure to other authors. I have an audience that is new and unique to Margaret while Harry has an audience that is new and unique to me. The end result: exposure of our books to a new group of people while providing a forum to express our successes and failures that will help other authors become successful.

For Margaret, it wasn’t enough that I merely hosted her for two days. I needed to take the initiative to promote her and her books. So this was my strategy:

* I leave her interviews up for three days
* I advertised to the other three Yahoo! Groups I belong to
* I promoted her interview via Facebook
* I promoted her interview via Twitter. What I do is take advantage of hashmarks. For example, * I advertise to my followers as well as other groups such as #write, #authors, #and poetry two or three times a day for the three days. This way, Margaret will receive exposure to literally hundreds of new people.

Harry did an absolutely awesome job interviewing and promoting me and my book Breakthrough. For those who need a model of hosting a guest blogger and doing it right, please take a few moments on click on Harry’s blogs dated September 1st and 3rd.
http://harrygillelandwrites.blogspot.com

Let’s take a moment to look at what Harry did right (in no particular order)

* He uploaded a picture of me
* He formatted the interview questions so they are easy for the visitor to read
* He included links to purchase my book Breakthrough
* He included links for my blog and Web site
* He posted reader reviews from Barnes and Noble and Amazon
* He posted the book synopsis
* He posted the book description
* He posted a picture of the book’s dust cover

This is a model that you could certainly save to your favorites, not because my book is being promoted, but because this is an excellent example of how to host a guest blogger Harry, thanks again for a most awesome interview and bringing new traffic to my site.

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