Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming! Received My First Short Story Contract!

Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming! Received My First Short Story Contract!

First, I apologize for not posting in a while, but with NaNoWriMo and the Creative Pinellas Grant window open for Professional Artist, I’ve been extremely busy. The deadline for the latter is December 5th and I still have a couple more work samples to upload.

Now, onto more reasons why I should be forgiven.

On my other WordPress blog,, I reblogged a post, which explains that writing a blog is more difficult than writing a novel. I agree 100%!

So, for almost the past two months, I chose to focus on what would give me the most exposure as an author.

FIYAH Magazine was open for submissions in October and I needed to finish a story that I had a lot of fun writing for their Ahistorical Black fiction theme. I spent weeks researching slave revolts, the lives of slaves, the Civil War, New Orleans, the Reconstruction Era, and most importantly how many Africans died during the Middle Passage, which should be renamed the African Holocaust. Why? Because millions of Africans lost their lives. Anyway, I finished the short story just in time.

And something amazing happened!

I received an email from Fiyah Magazine requesting my story a few days ago. And today, I noticed an email containing the contract! Woo hoo! Yes!

That aside, all of the research for that short story opened new windows of ideas and opportunities for other stories I’m currently working on.

This past year, I’ve submitted short stories, picture books, and novel manuscripts to agents and publishers. Most came back as rejections and some I’m still waiting on because it takes at least 6 months for feedback. Six months. I had also applied for the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant and unfortunately wasn’t one of the top ten finalists. I not only felt like a failure, but worse, a misunderstood failure and wondered when I’d be recognized for my work. Perhaps more on that at a later date.

So I’m willing to accept failure as something more positive.


I’m not going to give up and this moment of sunshine through the clouds of doubt is what I needed to persevere! 🙂

And on another quirky note, there are quite a few petals remaining on my roses. Now, how about that?



The Enchanted Rose and It May Take a Miracle for My Dreams to Come True . . .

The Enchanted Rose and It May Take a Miracle for My Dreams to Come True . . .

So, I’ve been MIA for quite some time. And I feel guilty about it. However, I’ve got to give myself some slack, right? Why? Well, because I’ve been going through a lot of stuff. Like tragic stuff. Like Charles Dickens without the happily ever after stuff. More like Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events kind of stuff. And I say this comically because I would love, love, love to be smiling, laughing, and grinning, but I can’t.

It’s impossible too.

Two people in my life have been affected by cancer.

I’ve also have been experiencing my own medical problems and I hope that I check out okay.

My avoidance to writing started after I failed to win a Creative Pinellas grant. 🙁 I’ll probably share that experience at another date and time though. Every time I think about it, I get all weepy-eyed and want to smash things because it just seems so unfair how it all played out.

Other than that, I’ve finished three short stories and received three rejections within the past month.

I’m also extremely sentimental.

One of the other Creative Pinellas participants is a really talented artist. She gave me a rose and told me that she hopes that I find success before the last petal falls. *wipes tears*

Here’s the rose in its current state — alongside one my husband bought me:

But, like I said, I’ve received three rejections within the last month doesn’t give me good chances of fulfilling my aspirations.

At this rate, I’ll need one of those roses made by a company in London called Forever Roses. They come in all shades and colors. And what’s so enchanting about them?! They can last up to three years without water or sunlight.

So, here’s to staying MOTIVATED on this dreary Monday.


Quotes To Write By

Me: But you’re writing the first draft of your essay. Do you really need to get up now? Really?

The end of the school year is almost here and my middle school students are becoming . . . unhinged. Heh.

Oh, the talking. And the forgetting. And the out-of-the-seat moments.

So, this week to keep learning at maximum levels students must complete a four paragraph essay on two people’s reactions to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Students have the option to choose from any of the important people we learned about in our Read 180 Workshop: Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Keckley, et cetera, ad nauseum. Blah, blah, blah. For the most part, students are doing well!

No, not this one. The historically accurate one! Sheesh.

I too was feeling a little stressed. Okay, forget the “hedge word” little. I was totally feeling stressed out! So much to do and so little time! I had such goals and it’s funny how plans don’t follow directions and fall in line.

I have struggled with staying focused and keeping myself writing daily. In between writing sporadically, I’ve been reading other authors’ books, hosting a Literacy Night at the middle school where I teach, grading papers, and on and on it goes.

I hope someday I will build a readership that enjoy the worlds I’ve crafted and the characters I’ve developed  so that way I can fulfill my dream and write full-time. I tell myself it’s a ridiculous dream, but for once, I suppose I owe it to myself to be optimistic.

Even a little.

Anyway, I was cleaning out my classroom cabinets and found a plethora of items from over a decade ago! One of the items was a stapled packet of writing quotes I used to write on the board to motivate students when I taught second grade.

So, for the next 60 or more days, I’m going to use each of these quotes to motivate myself to write!

I hope this writing exercise will help other writers too. 🙂

Quote #1

“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”

Neil Gaiman