That’s a wrap on 2019

Hey clan, 

Life can change quickly, can’t it? A lot has happened since last I posted, but sometimes all you can do is live in the moment and take each lesson for what it is. But with 2020 launching in a few days, I figured this would be a good time to catch you all up. 

My 2019 managed to be one of the most wide-ranging emotional selection of months – unexpected success, devastating loss, and a lot of self-worth work to try and navigate everything in between. The sad thing is it’s taken me five months to find words to discuss both extremes on that spectrum. 

So let’s dive in!

I’m getting published! I was accepted into a short story anthology slated for release Halloween 2021. The anthology features stories from aromantic and aro-spec authors. Each story takes place in a magical university for creatures – so expect some cameos from your favorite critters from horror, fantasy, and mythology.

Moores Academy

The announcement! 

The anthology is through NineStar Press, a publishing house centered around serving the LGBTQ+ community. This opportunity means so much to me for so many reasons. First off, my fiction will be published for the first time, which is beyond exhilarating. Second, and possibly more importantly, this opportunity was available because I was able to own my sexual/romantic identity publicly without reservations. It was kind of surreal because so much of where I live currently has revolved around me not being worthy of love (or success) because of my orientation. The acceptance into this anthology was a swift kick to the self-deprecating depression demons. *VICTORY!* 

Speaking of the glory that is the LGBTQ+ community, Orange City Pride was sweet enough to invite me to sing again this year. Being able to share my voice in a forum of resilience and self-love will always be one of life’s greatest blessings. I sang six songs in total during a storytelling event that provided a platform to feel cradled while recounting some of life’s harshest lessons. The stories shared sparked a conversation with my dad that I didn’t know I needed. Somewhere in my soul, I thought that if my dad knew who I was, he wouldn’t love me anymore. We spoke about LGBTQ+ youth being abandoned by their family and my dad replied, “We would never do that. Ever.” 

They were words that I desperately needed but couldn’t fathom receiving, which leads me to the devastating part of 2019. My grandmother passed suddenly and we’re all still reeling from that loss. 

Nanna was our strength, wisdom, compassion and love… and the occasional much-needed swift kick in the logic pants. She was the first family member I came out to who didn’t try to make an excuse for why I was bi. I was her grandkid and that was all she needed. 

Even now, writing this, I want to cry because I miss her so much. There are so many things I wish I could tell her, so many things I crave her guidance for, so many experiences I’d hoped to share with her.  

She had the best sense of humor and was possibly the strongest person I know. I keep a picture of her on a sideboard inside my front door. She’s dancing with my grandfather, smiling up at him, blissfully unaware of the photographer. She reminds me to be resilient and kind and not take things so seriously. I had a wooden jewelry box made with the inscription, “Love you to the moon and back.” written on the inside of the lid. It was what she told all of us. So every morning as I’m walking out the door, I grab a necklace from the box, read the inscription, and smile at her photo. I’m blessed to have gotten to call her Nanna. 

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Me and my gorgeous Nanna.

But she’d be pissed if she saw me wallowing, so I’m going to close out this post here. My 2020 goals will be posted soon, and who knows, maybe I’ll even post more regular content on writing and my projects. After all, we’re beginning a whole new decade. 

Much love!
– Bree

Loving your story through rejection

 

Hi all. So I’ve been querying for quite some time, and safe to say, it is not going well. I had one spark of optimism during PitMad when my dream agent liked my pitch… yeah, that didn’t go anywhere.

But I’m not going to lie, querying has been this long roller coaster of dread, doubt and despair. Yay, alliteration.

As the rejections keep piling up, it gets harder and harder to stay motivated to keep chasing this dream, or to even think that I’m even worth achieving the dream. Cue tears. So I’m trying desperately to keep writing, keep pushing forward, and most importantly, keep loving my stories.

Because here’s the thing: If you don’t love your stories, who else will? GUARDED (the book I’m querying) means the world to me. Writing that story made me feel like my PTSD had a purpose, like there was a reason I went through that trauma. The MC Kjersten took on my MH struggles and was able to learn how to cope with them to create meaningful relationships with people, something I can only dream of one day being able to accomplish.

Somewhere along the lines, I’d forgotten these things because the rejections convinced me that the story was worthless, which in a roundabout way, meant that my trauma was meaningless, which of course lead down a deep, dark rabbit hole of awful. Woo!

Luckily, I have a brilliant friend who entertains my rants regarding what the industry deems “sellable.” Because that’s legitimately what publishing comes down to. You could do everything right. You could go to the conferences, take the webinars, take part in critique groups, enlist beta readers, and revise, revise, revise. But at the end of it, if whomever you’re querying doesn’t believe your story is sellable, it’s a rejection. Plain and effin simple.

That’s not a reflection on your writing or your story. And as difficult as it is to accept that – because believe me, I know that struggle – you can’t let those rejections tarnish your love for that story or how important that story is to you.

Wishing you the best,
B

Don’t Be a Jerk. It doesn’t actually get you anywhere.

This is definitely a rant-based post, so stop reading this now if you fall into the category of jerkism.

So if you’re new to my blog, welcome. Usually I like to discuss the different aspects of writing because I am a nerd and to me, writing is a pretty awesome way to spend one’s free time. (Also, I’m a workaholic. I have accepted this and am not currently looking to change this character flaw.) But this week, I’m choosing to rant about an irritating issue: jerkism.

Jerkism (a word I’m making up for the sake of this post) refers to the people who lack sympathy and manners to properly conduct themselves in a professional way with their colleagues and potential business partners.

Here’s the thing, I get that you’ve poured hours upon hours of your life into your project. But here’s a hard truth, art is subjective and everyone is entitled to his or her opinions. If you’re not ready to submit yourself or your work to criticism, then you shouldn’t submit, period.

Agents, publishers, editors and critique partners are all people with their own lives and their own deadlines. You are not entitled to their undivided attention and should not expect to be their number one priority at the drop of a hat. Sure, the wait is frustrating and anxiety-inducing, but you can’t expect the world to revolve around you (because the sun has a MUCH greater gravitational pull – just saying, perspective).

In recent weeks, I’ve seen SO MANY tweets from agents about fellow writers who feel entitled to their time/services. STOP IT! As wonderful as I’m sure your WIP is, it’s not going to be an agent’s top priority. So if you’re querying, be patient, be kind, be gracious. If not for the sake of being a decent human being, at least for the sake of professionalism. No one wants to work with a jerk by choice – common sense, people!

I feel your pain, I do. I’m currently preparing my MS and query for submission, but please, fellow writers, treat the industry with respect. I sympathize with your frustration and the gut-wrenching awfulness that is rejection, but trust me when I say being a jerk doesn’t actually get you anywhere.

So write on, wonderful writers! If it’s any consolation, I’m rooting for you.