Friday, March 16, 2012

At Long Last...


 (I always write in longhand first)

The drought is over.

I finally had a short story accepted for publication!

Some of you may remember that years ago I switched from writing “literary” stories to writing romance stories – a far more lucrative endeavour.  Complimentary copies of literary journals are lovely to receive, but I prefer cold hard cash – or cheques.

However, writing for the romance genre is lucrative only if you write regularly and submit!  These past few years my submissions have been few and far between.  I’ve received two honourable mentions (nice, but…), a “not suitable for our needs at this time but please submit further work,” (I didn’t) and a few basic rejections.  (Ouch.)  There are far more started-but-stopped attempts in my writing folder than submissions.

Why this failure to complete and submit stories when I love to write?  I can come up with a number of excuses (all boring and self-serving) but there is one that strikes me as quite plausible.  I had lost the ability to write the HEA (happily-ever-after) scenarios demanded by this genre.  A failure of imagination on my part.

Apparently, this impediment is gone – although I still don’t believe in HEA.  I never really did but at least I could imagine it… 

(As an aside, I do know of a few notable exceptions.  Still, I don’t think HEA is the norm.  Yes, I am a cynic.)

This recent acceptance has done wonders for my ego – has restored my confidence in my writing ability.  It’s time to dig out those incomplete stories and/or begin new ones.  While I may not be convinced as to happily-ever-after when it comes to love, the expression just might be applicable when it comes to my writing.




photo credit: http://www.sldozier.com/biog.html

25 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

I suppose you can have a happy ending without it being happily-ever-after. A lot of romantic comedies end with the lovers reconciled, but not yet married or living together. Congratulations, anyway.

Sherry said...

Wonderful!! You are back in the saddle...yee haw!! Now keep the pencil to the paper and churn that imagination to hot sweaty nights, bodice ripping and happily ever after. That's what reading is for my dear woman...getting those HEAs that we might not get IRL. To be lost in a book is to live life sublimely. xo

Jaya J said...

congrats :) i'm not a believer of HEA for some reason too. happiness is when you have it :p it comes and goes.

do they pay well, erotic short stories ? just curious.
:)

Beth said...

GB:
All that’s necessary for these magazines is an implied happily-ever-after – and I was having trouble with even that!

Sherry:
Absolutely astounding the number of books and magazines sold with the HEA scenario – and most women realize it’s a dream. The great escape!

Bodice ripping??!! Not me… ;)

Jaya J:
Happiness certainly does come and go – and one must appreciate it whenever it’s present.
BTW, I write “simple” rather than “erotic” romance… ;)

(.03 - .05 a word – do the math! And don’t give up your day job!)

laughingwolf said...

grats, beth!

go with harlequin? belongs to the torstar group... toronto star

oreneta said...

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Fantastic! So wonderful!!!

Zhu said...

Congrats! And there is nothing wrong is preferring cash rather than praise (well, both are nice too!). Writing is a demanding job!

I strongly suspect very few people believe in the HEA, hence the need for such novels.

Beth said...

LW:
I think I only have that one romance novel in me – prefer writing short stories for magazines. But thanks!

oreneta:
Cheering – and great news – on both sides of the ocean! :)

Zhu:
The power of wishful thinking has created a huge demand/industry - lucky for me!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

EEEEKKK!!!!! How wonderful - I am digging out my sparklers and will light one in celebration of this moment for you. Hurray! But please do tell me more, even if privately, I am curious yellow! And yes, you can say the only thing more joyful than spring in the northeast is an EARLY spring in the north east. If I was as clever as you with words I might have worked that into a second stanza for my haiku but I think it was enough that I squeaked out a haiku at all this Friday.

Jaya J said...

sorry, Beth !
i didn't mean to confuse you with romance and erotica pieces.
my intend was to ask you about erotica, i know you don't write those.
just thought you might know.

i have a make-up artist friend who trained in LA.
she gets paid well at movie sets. but she gets better money at porn movie sets.
i asked to see if its the same story here.
:)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Good for you, Beth! I guess you know where I stand in regards to the HEA formula as well.

I haven't had anything accepted in awhile myself, but what has changed is that I've actually had editors emailing me and asking: "Hey, what gives. Send us a story." That, too, is an ego booster.

Beth said...

Bodhi Chicklet:
Thanks for sharing my joy!
I’ve been reading your blog for years – you are just as clever with words.
And, hey, “Curious Yellow,” – I’ll email you with more details. ;)

Jaya J:
No need to apologise – if it turns out erotica pays more, perhaps I should try it!
Kidding… ;)

JR:
A tremendous ego booster – and inspiration. Such a wonderful reputation to have.
And I’m sure you already know – what isn’t accepted by one publisher is very often accepted by another.

(HEA – meh…)

Trish said...

What wonderful news! Congratulations, Beth. You deserve this :) But yeah, HEA is overrated. It's about the story . . .

Beth said...

Trish:
From what I observe, “comfortably-ever-after” is more the norm that “happily-ever-after” – which is quite okay. But here’s to fiction and the money that can be made from dreams!

Psychgrad said...

Awesome - congratulations!

Barrie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Barrie said...

Oh, and can you tell us where and when? I'd love to read it!

Attila the Mom said...

Woohoo!

Beth said...

Psychgrad, Barrie & Attila:
Thank you!

Barrie:
I’ll email you with the info.

Cipriano said...

Beth, that is great news. Congratulations!
I have written some short stories but have never even attempted sending them anywhere -- so much do I fear rejection.
And as for HEA scenarios, I know of a few, but basically I am very much a cynic at heart. I just think it is very.... rare, I guess. I exemplified my feelings on the subject in a poem once:
http://bookpuddle.blogspot.ca/2005/11/garden-of-roses.html

nursemyra said...

If you're writing in longhand first, do you have many crossouts?

laughingwolf said...

if you saw the $$$ the romance writers make, you'd soon find a way to come up with more :)

now you've sold in the genre, it'll be much easier than for those yet to break in

the 'queen of romance writers'- i forget her name, she was brit, recently deceased - wrote into her 80s, and was paid millions

Beth said...

Cip:
Submit! Who’s to say you will be rejected? And if you are, rejection hones your skills – which you most certainly possess.
(Read the poem – beautiful and, yeah…it’s rare)

nursemyra:
Absolutely tons – which is why I prefer longhand.
And my typing skills can’t keep up with my mind/words.

LW:
Just for you, perhaps I’ll try another romance novel.
When (and if) I make my first million, I’ll give you a cut for encouraging me. ;)

laughingwolf said...

lol@beth ;)

Lainey-Paney said...

Yaaaay!

I often think of story lines/ideas for books,but I lack the writing ability to ever go through with the actual writing of a story or book. The endings are totally the hard part, I imagine...unless you want to end it with "and then all hell broke loose."
...but that's not really an ending, now is it? Perhaps it's the perfect segue into the sequal!

Today, I'll be cynical with you.
And random things about you: I swear too. Why? For emphasis, I think.
"I'm mad" doesn't have quite the same impact as "I'm f*cking pissed!"
I'm just sayin'....