At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of sending off a piece - whether it be poetry or essay or chapbook length - to at least one magazine, or press a month. Some months I did more than one submission, and I took a break in July for family reasons, November for Nano reasons and while it's still at the beginning of December, I don't foresee sending anything out this month.
Here are my rejections and acceptances for the year.
3 still pending
1 runner up
16 total submissions for the year.
I'm actually quite proud that I stepped out of my comfort zone and jumped in.
My suggestions for you if you plan on doing these are:
1.) make sure you like the magazine/press you're submitting to and
2.) read them! read the emerging poets, the seasoned poets, the type of writing they like, the overall aesthetics of the press
3.) set yourself a goal. I did 1 submission/month because I knew I wouldn't have time for multiple ones.
and finally, BEST OF LUCK to you!! I enjoy reading some pretty powerful words and there are a couple of presses on my list that I will try and try again. I suppose they're what everyone calls "your dream press." Rejections sting....like a LOT. But it's helped me grow and learn. That's the point, right? I haven't figured out what my goals are for next year aside from working on poetry and submitting to my dream presses. One thing is for sure though, I'd like to add "award winning poet" on my bio!
Shoot for the moon.
Write on my friends!
JULY - NO SUBMISSIONS
NOVEMBER - NO SUBMISSIONS
DECEMBER - NO SUBMISSIONS
Not your token
PUBLISHED my first of a couple of chapbook series!
So the other day, I was in a "must get rid of stuff" mood and cleaned out drawers and my kids' closets. I threw away 3 trashbags FULL of broken toys, shredded papers and random, random half eaten pieces of candies.
In this midst of this, I thought about what a memory hoarder I am. I found movie stubbs from 2015 and concert tickets and a few notes on nutritional goals, resolutions and micro poetry.
It was quite literally a load of memories that I had hoarded over the years that I decided was time to let go. I still (God willing) had plenty of time to have more experiences, more memories and whether we like it or not, memories are intangible. No matter how much I hold onto this movie ticket, I will never relive that same moment. Sure, a lot of happiness was associated with this particular movie (my daughter's first time at the movie theatre) but as the years go on and the words to this ticket fades, what will I have? Let's be real here. Nothing but just trash in my hand. But I'll still be able to remember what movie we went to - Big Hero 6 - and the events that happened.
Of course, I have things that I don't know if I'll ever part with, such as their hospital bracelets or what they both wore when they left the NICU. Our memories keep us warm when we need them the most and bring us to our knees when we remember feelings of inadequacy, of helplessness, of gratitude....
In keeping up with this theme, I have decided to completely stop blogging from my site over at tuallaleila.blogspot.com.
That blog site has taken me from post college, marriage, career, motherhood....I couldn't bear to hit delete. I think of it as more of an online diary and God knows I still treasure all my journals.
So the content is still there but I'm determined to do more blogging here.
Start from scratch.
Make more memories.
And this where "Life after the Storm" comes in. At my core, I am passionate about moms, preeclampsia and maternal mental health. I'd like to pursue something in those in the future but for now, I'll be switching and deleting things around here. And I hope its a more seamless transition. I'll be posting my poems here and blog about any of those three subjects. You can still find my faith based posts over on Daughters of the Deep, or if you're so inclined to follow my observations as a "Token Asian," I still contribute over at Echoes of the Struggle blog.
There are places for all my passions. I'm just sorry it took me cleaning up after my memories to realize that I need more organization in all areas of my life.
I always do resolutions. I've been doing this "new year, new you," thing since high school. As I've gotten older, I've come to terms with the fact that resolutions - at least in my case - are unattainable. I stopped doing them altogether when I had children. This mama doesn't need one more thing to add to her pile.
Life does happen even as we plan. However, the only way to help this organized chaos for this anxious mama is to sit down and come up with some semblance of a plan. A few small things that I'd like to accomplish.
In 2017, I only set out to write one book. I didn't plan for it to be a memoir, let alone one riddled with poems. I didn't even plan on being involved in anthologies, but three published my poetry and one is set to publish my novelette.
I don't know if I can even follow up or top this year, but 2018 is looking promising. I've been fortunate to live in a city where the super bowl was hosted, a world series happened right after a hurricane changed our landscapes and leveled neighborhoods. And a few days ago, a winter wonderland to remind us of how random and beautiful life can be.
So my writing friends, what will 2018 look like for you?
In this coming year,
1.) I will do some querying for my upcoming (and work in progress) poetry collection. the Token Asian writes will find a home somewhere.
2.) Submit articles to the Mighty, the Huffington Post, Blessed is She and inCourage.
3.) Submit poems to 12 different publications - 1 poem or 1 publication per month.
4.) Continue to promote and market books; do 2 different things for marketing once a month.
5.) Continue to learn, to engage, to participate in the writers' community:
So as we reach the end of the year, I'd like to thank you friends who have helped shaped my 2017. Get to writing.
And in case I don't have time to write again, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family. I'll see ya next year!
I drink too much coffee, read too many book, and in between raising miracle babies, I find time to write.
Leila Tualla's books on Goodreads
ratings: 14 (avg rating 4.00)
Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and me
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.36)
The Light Leads to Love
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.50)
We Are Not Alone: An Anthology for Mental Health Awareness
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)