Tag Archives: toy guns

Not Bad

I’m feeling pretty good today. I’ve officially completed 21,203 words of the 50,000 I need to complete by the end of the month. Fantastic. I’m 7800+ words ahead of schedule. Let’s just hope I don’t hit any walls in the next three weeks.

Meanwhile, I’ve gotten a little feedback on articles I sent out last month.

My parenting article, Weapon Worry, about the dilemma of whether or not to allow toy guns in your home was picked up by a couple of parenting publications in the midwest (hopefully coming out in December). But last week I got a message from the editor at Georgia Family Magazine. I’ll let you read the feedback yourself below, but it seems that I need to figure out how to add more “meat” to the article for some regions where guns in schools are a much bigger issue than in my school district.

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Hi Lorraine:

Is it enough that toy guns be brightly colored? At least 54 Bibb County school students and 28 Houston County students were disciplined during the past two years for bringing a real or toy gun into their schools. Both these counties are among the counties served by Georgia Family Magazine. We need an article on the subject, but we need one that has considerably more meat.

Thank you for your consideration.

 Regards,

Olya

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In my defense, my article didn’t just suggest that guns be brightly colored. It also suggested that each family come up with a routine plan to make sure toys guns don’t end up in school back packs, as well as provided links to parenting guides and childrens books about gun safety. But I feel flattered that she took the time to reply at all and see this feedback as positive. It seems to say that if I could figure out how to beef it up for their region, she might give it a look. I just haven’t decided if I’ll do that or not. At least not until NaNoWriMo is over.  The article took me three weeks to finish because I was so torn up about the subject matter. I’m not sure how long it would take me to make it even better.

I also heard back today from Women’s Adventure Magazine after waiting only about a month. Again, I’m flattered to hear back at all since that’s not always the case. But I was really hoping to hear that they wanted my piece right away. This isn’t exactly a rejection, but definitely not a sure thing. I’ll definitely figure out where else I can send my scorpion story.

Here’s the e-mail and thanks for reading!

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Hi Lorraine,

Thanks for the story. I’m not sure I’m able to use it in print, but it’s most appropriate for our summer issue, so I’m going to file it away and take another look as that time approaches. If I’m not able to use it in print, or we decide against it for some other reasons, I think it’s a funr ead and would consider using it online… but I’ll check back with you beforehand either way. Thanks again and have a great day.

-Kristy Holland

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Dichotomy

Last week I had a new success and this morning a new rejection.

I wrote an article about the parenting implications of toy guns and sent it to a large number of parenting publications across the country. It took me three weeks to wrap up because it was a difficult subject to reconcile in my own house. I was delighted when just 12 hours after sending it out, a publisher in the midwest, Adams Street Publishing, requested to publish it in three parenting publications: Ann Arbor Family News, Toledo Area Parent News, and Findlay Family News. I’ll receive a small compensation for each. Yeh for me!

It feels great to set a goal and then accomplish it. I used the high to start a new article that I’ll send out later this week.

This morning I got a very nice rejection e-mail from a wonderful woman that runs a small publishing house. When I think of her, the word spitfire comes to mind. We met at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference this summer. It was very kind of her to send me personal feedback. I’ll continue to follow her irreverant blog for insights into the mind of an editor and publisher. You should too. Her blog is in my blog roll. Do check it out. Below is her rejection e-mail. Pretty nice as rejections go.

Hi Lorraine,

Thank you for allowing me to read your first chapters. As I said at the conference, I love the idea of your book. Your writing is quite lovely, and you have established a nice conversational pace and flow to your story. While I like it, I don’t love it. I know that sounds lame, but I have to feel passion for every project we sign. When I don’t have that sense of “I gotta have it,” then I know it’s a sign that it’s meant for someone else who will love it far more and take better care of it. I hope to read about you in Publisher’s Marketplace very soon. In the meantime, best of luck to you finding the perfect home for your book. It was great to have met you.

Lynn 

Lynn Price

Editorial Director

Behler Publications

800-830-2913

lynn@behlerpublications.com

www.behlerpublications.com

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Jan’s Story: never forgetting what we once had and lost. ~ Katie Couric

Nothing Short of Joy: a magical world of joy. ~Wayne Dyer

Charting the Unknown: A journey of the heart. ~Suzanna ClarkeA House in Fez,

Productivity

I’ve had a less productive couple of weeks when it comes to writing. I don’t think it’s connected to my latest rejection, but I’m not ruling that out entirely.

I think its because I was trying to write about a subject that causes me some anxiety. I have been working on a parenting article about whether or not to allow toy guns in the house. Not exactly an earth shattering topic, but for some reason, the subject meant enough to slow me right down. I’ve been motivated to work on lots of other things, but not that. Facebook, exercise, improv, cleaning the bathroom, and writing this blog post all got done instead.

In avoiding my own writing, I was also able to critique other writer’s works, which I found profoundly satisfying. So its a misnomer to say that I wasn’t productive over the last couple weeks, but the writing hasn’t poured out of me as easily as it has in the past.

Productivity in general has never been an issue for me. I’ve always been a do-er. I always have a list I’m working on, usually three or four, and I feel guilty if I spend most of a day lounging and reading.

But recently I’ve noticed that I’m enjoying the time I do have to hang out and socialize in an entirely new way. Now I’m socializing as a writer. When I’m at a dinner party, in a bar, or at the theater, I’m not just there hanging out, I’m taking mental notes as well. I’m studying strangers as if they are characters in my book. I’m noticing what they’re wearing, how they wear their hair, the hint of an accent in their voice, and how they talk to their friends.

So maybe I’ve actually been more productive than I realize over the last two weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the connection (or the absence of one) between toy guns and handgun violence and about what it takes to “describe” a person fully.

In her book, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott talks about calling around. She says that writers spend a lot of time alone and it can make them crazy. She recommends taking little breaks to call around to learn specific things about the world so that it can be incorporated into your writing. She spent the better part of a day calling wineries to determine that the wire thingy that goes over the cork on a champagne bottle is a wire hood. Then the wire hood appears as the most memorable reference in one of her best selling books.

So maybe, productivity isn’t just about word count or the number of publications, but maybe it’s also about paying attention, even when you don’t know how a particular piece of information will be useful in the future.

I’ll be wrapping up and sending out my piece on toy guns tomorrow so that I can move forward. But I’m going to work hard not to judge the recent days with little writing.

I’m hoping tomorrow will be a fresh start to get me back on track toward actually getting some words on the page. I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo which begins on November 1st. I’ll be attempting to get 50,000 words down in 30 days. Please let me know if you’d like to join me for any part of this big new adventure.

Lorraine Wilde