Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beginnings Blogfest and Links

Today is L.G. Keltner's Beginnings Blogfest!

L.G. asked us to write about any beginning we wanted.  There are five billion thoughts that occurred to me, but I thought I'd talk about the beginning of my taking an active part in the writing community, because my blogging beginning is sort of wrapped up in there, too.

This isn't about the beginning of my writing; I'm pretty sure I was doing that in the womb.  Fetal philosophy.  You know, "write what you know" doesn't cover much when you're floating in a bubble.

No, I wrote for ages, but I had no idea there was a writing community out there where I could find support and education.  It wasn't until a friend invited me to a conference (which I didn't go to) that I started becoming aware of what was out there.

She asked me to a local meeting at another point, so I went.  It took a lot for me to do that, as I'm a major introvert, and tend to be anxious about new social situations.  I liked it; everyone was nice and I learned something.  But most of all, I realized there were a bunch of other writers in Colorado Springs, and that there were local resources for us.  They talked about the conference, about NaNoWriMo (which I'd never heard of), about a writer's contest, etc.  Brain overload!

My brain fizzled like that of a malfunctioning Stepford Wife.  I was a bit overwhelmed, but I was also excited.  I started attending regular meetings, signed up for a local writer's group, and finally, attended my first conference.

It was at the conference that I learned that I knew absolutely nothing about publishing, that I had unrealistic views of the business of writing.  And it was at that conference that I heard about platform and blogging, which planted the seed that became The Warrior Muse.

I've posted about the beginning of this blog before, so the short version is that I had no idea what to write about or what to do.  I'd throw up a random post here and there, mostly updates about meetings I went to.


I had no idea what to say, no idea how to get anyone to read the blog (I hadn't told anyone I was even blogging, because I was too insecure about what I was doing).  And then I somehow happened across a post about the upcoming A-to-Z Challenge.  I bookmarked it, but was terrified.

Then one night I looked at my blog and decided I needed to sink or swim, so I opened that bookmarked page, gulped, and filled out the linky list entry.  Then I sat there hyperventilating until I clicked to enter it.  The rest is history.

From one beginning to another, to another, to another.  I'm now an active blogger and an active part of the the writing community here.  I'm in two writer's groups, and I volunteer for each, as well as the conference, and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks for an interesting blogfest, L.G.!

Now for some links.

Open for Submissions: 

Menacing Hedge is accepting poetry, art and short stories.  They are a quarterly magazine.  "Genres that tickle our fancy are horror, slipstream, magical realism, and science fiction, with styles that lean toward humorous, absurdism, experimental, literary, bizarro, quirky and surreal."

Gutter Books is reopening for submissions.  Reading period begins February 15.  They are seeking pulp fiction.

Electric Spec closes to submissions January 15 for their February issue.  Speculative Fiction.  Paying market.

Commentary is always open to submissions of articles or reviews.

Free Spirit Publishing is open for non-fiction book submissions for kids and teens.

The Red Asylum is seeking dark and twisted flash fiction for their 5th edition.  Non-paying at this time, as they are a new magazine.

Grinning Skull Press is open for submissions for an anthology about B-Movie Monsters.  Paying market.  Deadline March 31 or until filled.  Short stories 3000-10,000 words.

Pantheon Magazine is seeking submissions of short fiction, poetry, reviews, art/photography, and interviews. They take reprints.  They publish all genres.  Paying market.

Monster Corral is seeking stories about monsters in 2013.  Any genre, as long as there are monsters.  Paying market.

Angelic Knight Press is putting together an Urban Fantasy anthology, and are open to submissions January 15 to May 15.  Short fiction.  Shared royalties.


Winning Writers is still taking entries for their Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, closing April 1.  No submission fee.  First prize is $1000 and publication online.

The London School of Liberal Arts is having a competition.  They want you to tell your story of one thing that needs to change.  Submission deadline is February 28.  Free entry.  Open to everyone.  Cash prize.

Donna B. McNicol is having a scavenger hunt contest for her blogaversary.

Other Items of Interest:

Melissa Maygrove put together a great motivation and resource post for writers.

Chris Winfield posted 92 Ways to Get (and Maximize) Press Coverage.

You can find a free book marketing cheat sheet at William Hertling's Thoughtstream.

One last thing:  Hop on by the A-to-Z Challenge blog for a Post A-to-Z Road Trip update.

Anything you'd like to share?  Any contests or publications you're interested in above?  What beginning would you write about?  Are you road-tripping?

May you find your Muse.


  1. The A to Z fest has been the best thing I've done for my blog, and I look forward to 2013. Happy 2013!

  2. Your writing is something I do enjoy!

  3. Interesting how you got into blogging, and so glad you did. But then the kindness and support of the writer community kind of sucks one in, doesn't it? (A good thing :) )

  4. My blogging beginning was quite similar to yours! I had no idea how to get followers for the longest time and it sure has taken me a while to get where I am but to be honest, I'm perfectly happy where I am and I'm looking forward to the A-Z blogfest :)

  5. I love this story! So glad you chose to commit and keep your blog going <3

  6. The A to Z Challenge is what really kick-started my blogging too. I'll always be so grateful to stumbled upon that back in 2011!

  7. A to Z has been great for my blog AND my writing. Not only that but it has given me the ability to meet so many cool bloggers!

    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  8. This year I'm planning on trying a double theme for my A-Z posts. I met a lot of very interesting people when I did it last year.

  9. This year, I'll only be reading the A to Z posts. Too much going on. Although, I did have something planned for it. Maybe next year.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  10. And the Challenge launches another blog!
    That's why I'm such a big supporter. That very first Challenge made such a difference and I found my groove.

  11. Wow. Four market announcements that really caught my attention. Thanks for posting them.

  12. Love that Stepford wife line! I'm doing the A-Z challenge for the first time this year. I'm excited but nervous too, because the participant list is so big that I'm not sure I'll really make any connections. I hope so! For me, blogging is all about sharing stories and getting to know different kinds of people, and the challenge looks like a chance to do that.

    Visiting from L.G's blogfest - nice to meet you!

  13. Wow! Lots of links, and I haven't kept up with road tripping . . .sigh. I know there are awesome posts out there that I'm missing out on.

    Nice beginnings post . . it's kind of scary getting to know other writers, but thankfully most are the encouraging kind!

  14. Yeah, I didn't have a clear vision of what to blog about, and I started pretty much for the same reason(s) as you took a while for me to sort of "hit my blogging stride," but I think I'm doing ok. At least, I hope I am! :-)

  15. I'm glad you joined the writing community. I'm an introvert in many ways, but socializing with fellow writers is always a great experience.

    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

  16. I don't even know what pulp fiction means any more.

    Speaking of firsts... well, I better stop right there, or it's going to sound bad.

  17. I loved learning about how this all began for you~ Thank you for sharing!
    I could feel your anxiety. I am so glad you pushed through it and kept on going! You are amazing :D

  18. I love how many bloggers the A-Z Challenge has helped to kickstart the momentum and get people noticing it. Great beginnings :)


  19. I'm so glad that you took a chance and joined the writerly community. You're both and amazing writer and a wonderful blogger. Shannon ROCKS!

  20. I've never been to any writing groups, but I imagine I would be nervous too. It's great you took the plunge and that you're so involved now!

    I'm looking forward to the A-Z. It's where I met some of my best blogging buddies last year.

  21. Jolie, Happy 2013!

    Al, thank you, so nice of you to say!

    T. Drecker, it definitely does suck one in, and that's wonderful!

    Marcy, I'm glad to hear it! I'm also happy where I am.

    J.A., thank you, and I am, too!

    Julie, it seems to have done so for so many, and for that I'm grateful.

    Timothy, awesome! And me, too.

    Carrie-Anne, wow, that sounds like quite the undertaking. I look forward to it!

    Shelly, I can certainly understand having too much going on. The posts will be fun to read, though.

    Alex, I agree. I'll forever be grateful for the jump start I got via the A-to-Z.

    Randy, I'm so glad to hear it! Good luck!

    Azara, you'll do great! Don't feel like you have to visit everyone unless that's something that's important to you. Instead, read what you're comfortable with and make connections from there.

    Tyrean, I agree, there are so many who are supportive and nice. My secret: I haven't gotten through all of the blog yet, either. Sigh.

    Mina, you are! That's the exactly the issue, though, is figuring out what to do with it. It's so nice to find that stride. Even now, I am always wondering what I need to change, what I should keep, etc.

    L.G., I have definitely learned that socializing with other writers is wonderful, and it has become less stressful.

    Andrew, whoops, what will sound bad? Yeah, that's why I just wrote pulp fiction...I figure anyone who knows the appropriate definition can enter. ;-p

    Ella, you are so wonderfully supportive, thank you!

    Jamie, thanks! It does seem to have really helped quite a few spring forward. Lee did a good thing when he started it.

    Julie, I'm so glad I jumped in, as well, or I wouldn't have met you and so many others!

    Nick, I'm glad you'll be able to take part this year, too. I definitely recommend visiting a writers group if you ever get a chance. But yeah, nerve wracking at first.

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  23. All the info about venues was very interesting. I stopped writing short stories when I started writing novels, but I know a lot of writer s who still take noveling breaks to write shorts. :-)

  24. Good beginning!

    I wrote about what it was like to start blogging. Used to be more than a bit painful.

  25. I enjoyed your description of the birth of your blogging.
    I had tried forums (which seemed overly cliquey and sometimes catty) and decided that a blog would give me some autonomy a chance to express myself online and to gain a wider circle of followers than those who might join a specialist group. I had also watched Julie and Julia and seen Writing Mags that recommended starting a blog. I took the plunge, expecting to swim to the other side, climb out and go on to the next thing, but I'm now in my 3rd year of blogging and have found it amazingly rewarding.
    Happy New Year :O)

  26. Wowee, that is a lot of submission links! Thanks for compiling the list!

    I created my blog and THEN found out there was a huge writing community out there. I remember deliberately searching for blogs by other writers 'cause I hadn't found any yet.

  27. nice....jumped over from tina's announcement of the A-Z today...glad i did...a treasure trove of writing submissions, very cool...

    once i started writing online it was instrumental in propelling my craft...daily feedback but also opening up to that writing community you talked about...

  28. Your beginning sounds a lot like our beginning. It's amazing how overwhelming everything is for your first conference. It's a like whole side of publishing I never even knew existed. Daunting, but totally worth it now that I (mostly) know the "ins" and "outs."

    Also, I still remember your beginnings with blogging that you shared a while back, which would be a great story for you to tell at a certain blogging panel that I hope happens, ahem ahem ahem...

  29. Shaharizan, I'm glad to share them!

    Lexa, I'm not sure I'd keep writing shorts if I were actually in the midst of novel publishing. Then again, sometimes I get ideas that are short stories, so maybe I would?

    Misha, yes, sometimes very painful.

    Madeleine, I agree with you on forums. I still have an article I started writing about hardships of forums. I wasn't brave enough to go forward with it.

    Trisha, I discovered how big the community was after, as well. In fact, I discovered there was a community at all after I started it. I had no idea what all the blogging world held.

    Brian, I'm glad you found me and the links!

    ABftS, I know, right??!!?! Still haven't heard. Murgle.