wLog

The Nebulas 2022 Conference—Panelist for the first time!

Over a week has passed since the virtual Nebulas 2022 conference. I finally recovered from the time difference to report on my experience, which included being a panelist for the very first time!

I took the plunge and ticked the box, indicating I’m interested in being put on a panel. I admit I got quite the energetic butterflies in my stomach when I learned I was to appear on the “Living Overseas and Publishing in the US and CA” panel. But I shouldn’t have worried. My fellow panelists Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Kristin Osani, and A.J. Fitzwater were fabulous and so was our lovely moderator, Eugen Bacon.

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Does anyone ever get “there?”

Let me take a little of your time to talk about the concept of “getting there”. The lives of many seem to revolve around this elusive destination. Lately, mine as well. I’m a writer. I’m as passionate about this as the next writer out there. I’ve spent countless hours obsessing about the next steps in my writing “career.” The goals. The milestones. The obstacles.

I was first focused on getting a story—any story—published. Then I was focused on getting more stories published, then on joining a number of communities, and now I’m gearing up to obsess about finding an agent.

And as my obsessions peaked, the pure, innocent joy that the act of writing is for me dissolved.

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On rejections, the Odyssey Workshop, and a firm ground to stand on.

In my previous post, I talked about overcoming my inner critic (it’s an ongoing process). Now, I’d like to talk about what gave voice to my critical self in the first place: rejections.

This is another very candid post. There are some things writers don’t talk much about. I wished this wasn’t so.

After much deliberation, I applied to this year’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. Surprise, surprise! I didn’t get in. It was my first try. But it seems that my hopeful self is as persistent as my inner chastiser. I kept the hope to the end, so the rejection email hit me hard.

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My cruel inner critic, the Odyssey Workshop, pantsing, and dictation.

I am going to be candid. In fact, I plan to keep my posts a little more honest from now on.

I find a lot of advice like “5 Ways To Deal With Writer’s Block” or “10 Ways To Move Past Rejections.” But what truly helped me is hearing or reading honest stories. I don’t claim I’m qualified to teach others how to deal with the darker side of writing. But at least, I can share my thoughts and experiences, and my personal strategy for overcoming these hurdles. In this post, I’ll talk about dealing with my cruel inner critic, and in the next, I will talk about my struggle with rejections.

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More on Corona, writing, and anything else…

So, it’s autumn now and things are sort of going OK. Yes, SARS-CoV-2 is still around (I didn’t expect anything else) but at least the kindergarten is not closed yet. I am working and working and working, trying to finish the latest rewrite of my fantasy novel before the shit hits the fan for the second time this year.

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Corona, writing, and everything else…

Oh, has it been a year since my last post? Yes, it has. Of course, it has. And this silence is, not surprisingly, SARS-CoV-2 related.

Things in my life were just starting to look better. I had a short story, “Bread and Iron,” published with Short Édition, my son finally adjusted to our new home, and my two girls were just starting in day care. I was looking forward to returning to a regular writing routine and a bit of time for myself after a year of being entirely focused on my twin daughters. I was tired. I was so tired. But I knew that now life would slowly return back to normal for me.

And then, the shit hit the fan.

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My short story “Bread and Iron” has been published.

I wrote in my previous post that life got tough in the past few months. It hasn’t gotten easier. The girls are still a lot of work, my body still has its aches, I still wish I could write more. But there is a ray of light. My short story, “Bread and Iron,” just came out with Short Édition.

This publisher has a very cool concept. They have placed short story dispensers at numerous highly frequented public places like libraries or train stations (see a list here to check if there is one near you). You get a free story printed out at the touch of a button. But if you don’t have a dispenser near, Short Édition also publishes the stories online for free.

So, check out “Bread and Iron.” I wrote it with much love, and having it out there for others to read made a tough time in my life a little lighter.

On happiness, parenting, and ambition…and, of course, writing.

I’m six months into being a mother of three. My son is now four years old, and my twin baby girls are six months old. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy. Not only because of the amount of work (diapers, soiled clothes, spoon feeding etc.), but because I find it difficult to put my life on hold for a year until the girls start in the nursery.

I have written posts on how becoming a parent finally made me realize the value of time and that it pays off to work 15 min a day. And I still stand by what I said in these posts. The trouble is that this time around, I don’t need to relearn these lessons. I still remember them. I have learned not to procrastinate, and I value my time. These days, I’m trying my best to squeeze in a bit of querying and editing (writing is a luxury) in the little time between the kids being finally asleep and my brain switching off.

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Is it worth it to write only 15 minutes a day?

A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about time management. Like so many others, she too was struggling to carve out time for her creative work. She was wondering if she would make any progress with her novel if she only had 15 minutes a day to write.

This made me think back to the time when I had just had my son (now 4 years ago) and was afflicted by a sudden change in perspective on what it meant not to have time.

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The sinuous nature of life (and our twins will soon arrive).

I’m sure that I’m not the first to observe that life is sinuous like the graceful wave of the sine function. There are phases when nothing happens, and then circumstances tilt to fill our lives with more than we can handle.

In the past weeks, our life as a family took quite the turns, and since I’m pregnant with twins and soon to give birth, I imagine that all that has been happening until now (not always joyous) was just a preamble. But I’m glad to say that I managed to go through another substantial revision of my book plus the necessary editorial nit-picking that must follow.

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