Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Tough Week...

Normally, I do very little writing related work on the weekends, especially with football season here! Florida at LSU tonight, though I won’t see much of that game. Michigan is playing at the same time against ranked Iowa.

I know you aren’t reading this to find out about my love of football. Just wait until I start talking hockey . . .

Anyway . . .

It was a rough week for me on the submissions front. Nine rejections, two of which were shortlisted stories at paying publications. The others were also from paying places, yet not shortlisted. It is during weeks like this where the lack of good news can cause a dip in confidence for many writers. I admit that I was a little frustrated with one of the rejections—I REALLY thought the story would get in. All this really means is that I’ll rework the stories and send them back out.

Not too long ago, this type of week would have gotten me down and made me ponder why I even write. I will be honest, this week did make me question certain things about my writing . . . and that is a good thing. Yes, that’s right: a good thing. When I get frustrated like this, I start researching, studying and try to better my abilities. I can smile at this moment because I have discovered that there is a significant flaw within my writing: Often I don’t use my words wisely. Every word should count—and I have a habit of not doing that. This is a chance for me to grow as a writer; a chance to improve on the craft.

This leads me to other writers. If you are a writer and you are reading this, first of all, thank you. Second, a rejection is a stepping-stone. It may feel like a lily pad and you may feel like you are sinking because you are standing on that lily pad. But, rejections are not always bad. If you take the negative and turn it into a positive by working harder and honing your skills as a writer, then the rejection is not just something to paper the wall with.

Rejections can cause a writer to lose confidence in him/herself. Don’t ever doubt yourself or your abilities. My dad has always said, if you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? I believe in myself. I believe I am getting better. I believe I will continue to get better and will finally get into some of those publications I have been pestering over the last couple of years. You publications know who you are—I’m coming, and eventually, you will like something I write . . . I hope . . .


On to other news.

In my last post I mentioned Grey Sparrow Press. I am mentioning them again. Yes, they are a literary market but Diane Smith and Dean Lawson have a great thing going over there. The website is beautiful, easy to navigate and enjoyable.

Check them out at: Grey Sparrow Journal

There is another reason I put this plug in here twice within a week: Grey Sparrow Press has released a collection of fiction, poetry and artwork titled, In the Silence of this Room. This book has been in the works for about two years, and well worth the wait. Holy cow. In the Silence of this Room is a beautiful hardback book with glossy pages, color pictures, a smooth dust jacket. Beautiful. That’s the only way I can describe it.

And, then there is one other fact: My story, “Walking on Red Brick Road,” appears within these pages. I’m very proud to be part of this publication and thank Diane Smith for using “Walking on Red Brick Road.”

Check it out here:

In the Silence of this Room


And, to add to this, here are the recent stories that have gone up on various publications this month. Check them out if you haven’t already.

Apartment 306 at SNM Horror Magazine

Release at The Monsters Next Door

House of Horror

These Eyes at Dark and Dreary Magazine

These Eyes at Dark and Dreary Magazine

Chapiesky at Flashes In the Dark

Broken Hearted Savior at Static Movement


I would like to leave you folks with a video. I saw this last week. Being a parent, I can appreciate it. If you are a parent—and more specifically, a mom—I’m sure you will be able to relate to this. If you are not a parent, well, just remember this song when you become one.


I’m AJ and I’m out.


  1. oh my god I love that video!! Haha. Keep your chin up AJ. You're doing great things by researching ho to improve your writing which shows you are really serious about it. You have talent - theres no doubt about it! You're fab AJ, sont let those rejections grind you down! Stay positive!

    Sam X

  2. "In the Silence of this Room": Grey Sparrow does gorgeous work as do you. I can't wait to see it. So awesome, AJ!