Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG - Moving On & Links

It's July, and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group again. I missed the June edition. Really, I missed most of June. But I'm getting my feet back under me, and here we go!

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG exists to lend support to fellow writers dealing with their insecurity. And, of course, to air your own insecurities. Anyone can sign up by clicking on Alex's name and adding your name to the list then posting the first Wednesday of each month. Be sure to visit your fellow IWSG'ers, especially the co-hosts:

At the end of May, my dad succumbed to the ALS he'd fought for 6 1/2 years. The average lifespan is 2 years from diagnosis. We were lucky dad made it as long as he did, though he should have had another year, based upon how he was progressing. 

What does this have to do with IWSG? I'd set goals, things I wanted to accomplish before he died, because I wanted him to see those achievements. My writing career has been a ticking clock for 6 1/2 years. The biggest goal I had was to traditionally publish a novel before he died. I was also working on a novel where the main character had ALS, with the intention of having him do a sensitivity/accuracy read. I wanted him to see someone with ALS get to be a hero, despite the disease. (Although we found out just how much of a hero he was once he was gone, thanks to over 100 people who reached out to us after his death to let us know how he'd impacted those in the ALS community. People he'd helped.)

I failed to accomplish a lot of things I wanted to do before he died. The problem with making a goal like I did is that when the driving factor behind the timing of your goals is removed, it leaves you flapping in the wind. Now what? Sure, I'll still pursue my goals, but they feel somehow emptier now. There's no deadline anymore. As much as I'm sure I'll still want to achieve them, there will be a certain hollowness to the victories, because I didn't make it in time.

I'm working on two things right now: overcoming the numbness I currently feel toward my goals and trying to get the creativity flowing again. I'm trying to be kind to myself about my lack of writing this month. I never miss deadlines, but I had to ask for a week extension for one deadline. There were a couple anthologies I wanted to write for that had a deadline at the end of June/beginning of July, and I had to let those stories go.

Catch up time is here. I have to meet that deadline, get some short stories edited, get back to writing. I'm intellectually aware that I need to give it time and not beat myself up, but that's easier said than done. I can't not keep moving forward. My dad was a driven man, and he would want me to keep going, keep progressing, and achieve my goals.

I will get there.

Since I didn't post last month, I'm going to do my short story submission stats for both May and June. They're pretty piddly, considering my being sick, having surgery, and everything else during that time. BUT I didn't allow my writing career to fall completely by the wayside. 


Submitted - 6
Accepted - 1 (this was from an invite)
Rejected - 2
Released - 1


Submitted - 3
Accepted - 1 (this was from an invite)
Rejected - 1

Currently on submission: 9

How about some links?

Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Pole to Pole Publishing is seeking short stories for Not Far From Roswell. Alien themed. Dark fiction. 3000 to 5000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline July 30.

VQR is seeking poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. 2000 to 8000 words for short fiction. Pays up to $1000. Deadline July 31.

Freeze Frame Fiction is seeking flash fiction. 1000 words or less. Pays $10. Deadline July 31.

Flash Bang Mysteries is seeking mystery/thriller themed flash fiction. 500 to 750 words. Pays $20. Deadline July 31.

Less Than Three Press is seeking LGBTQIA novellas for Creature Feature. Monster themed. 20,000 to 60,000. Pays in royalties. Deadline July 31.

Necro Publications is seeking short fiction for Blasphemous Rumors. Religious horror. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.03/word. Deadline July 31.

Dragon Soul Press is seeking short stories featuring both a vampire and a dragon for Coffins & Dragons. 5000 to 15,000 words. Pays royalties. Deadline July 31.

What are your insecurities? How do you get started writing again after a massive derailment? Have you been submitting? Any news? Are any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't know what you believe in, but I think your Dad will still see all of your accomplishments and be proud of you. It's not the same but maybe it helps a little.

    Take care, Shannon....

  2. Very sorry you lost your father. Prayers and thoughts with you and your family. When you're ready, you'll finish that project and your father will be super proud.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. He sounds like a very special man who touched people's lives in the ALS community. Your writing projects will wait for you until the creativity is ready to start flowing again. I bet your father was very proud of you and his pride wasn't about checking certain goals off of a list. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. Take your time with your personal deadlines. Give yourself time to heal. Your dad will be proud of you when you do publish your projects. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Hugs!

  5. Oh that is so hard. I'm so sorry for your loss. Give yourself some time.
    You and your family will know when you finish those projects and they will feel worthwhile when you're ready for them.
    Hugs and prayers!

  6. I got nothin'.
    I feel like I'm about the last person, right now, to have anything constructive to say about goals or achievement.
    Or dealing with grief.

  7. Sorry for your loss. If I were you, I'd still plow ahead knowing he is watching.

  8. Sorry for your loss. The last time I had to let writing go for a bit and get back to it, making a list of my goals and ticking them off one by one helped. Knowing multiple things were hanging out there can be overwhelming and yeah the release of a major time constraint can be hard to deal with for motivation. Taking the time you need for yourself is important too.

  9. So sorry for your loss. You should take your time, process the grief. Give yourself a break to mourn and to remember. Creativity will come back, when the time is right. There is no schedule.

  10. So sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was an amazing man. Hope you find the heart and drive to get back to your projects.

  11. So worry for the loss of your father. Not enough words to say for that.

    Keep writing. Your father would have been proud.

  12. Shannon, I am so very sorry. Keep working on that book, even if your father isn't here to see it. He will see it from Heaven.

  13. I'm sure he was very proud of all you've accomplished, Shannon, but I know what you mean. Very sorry he couldn't stick around a bit longer.

  14. I'm sorry for your loss. It doesn't matter if you know it gonna happen it is always a shock. Prayers and Hugs

  15. ALS is such a devastating illness and how unfortunate that your dad got it, Shannon. That's awesome he helped others in the community. Self-Compassion is tough for us all. Maybe you can imagine what you would tell a friend in the same situation and practice saying it to yourself. What I say is that grief doesn't have a timeline and it's okay if you don't write as much or at all right now. It's a huge blow to lose your dad. You'll get back to the writing thing when you're ready.

  16. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can remember that feeling of numbness I felt when I lost mine several years ago. Try to be kind to yourself even if you can't get right back to meeting all of those deadlines or goals. Sending my hugs your way.

  17. I'm not sure we are ever prepared to lose someone we love. Jennifer's advice above rings true: Think of what you would tell someone else and then tell yourself that advice. I'll try to remember that. Consider it's ok to have down time. Sort through photographs and memories. Read poetry. Write poetry. Maybe write some of your favorite memories down in a journal. Some say it takes a year to recover from a big loss, so whatever comforts you now, feel loved and persevere.

  18. Losing a parent is sooo hard, even when you "know" it will happen. I feel for you and though I know you said intellectually you're aware, grief can take very strange paths on it's way to setting up shop inside, because though it does get a bit easier, it doesn't go away. Be kind to yourself, especially because you've also been under the weather. Kindness goes a long way toward getting your writing mojo back on...

  19. I'm so sorry for the loss of your father, and for what he had to go through. Give yourself time and space to grieve and regroup, because you have had the pins knocked out from under you.

  20. I admire your strength through such a heart-breaking loss - and send blessings. Your father sounds like a powerful inspiration for you and others.

  21. I'm so sorry for your loss, Shannon. I will share what the Hospice counselor told me after the death of a loved one: give yourself permission to grieve; grieve as long as you need. Nobody can, or should, tell you how long. Or to get over it. You get through it, not over. Sending hugs and healing thoughts your way.