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Cultivating Faithfulness…ugh

So, I’m a Christian. And a writer. Here’s what I’m learning:

(Psalm 37:3) Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

This wasn’t from the sermon this past Sunday, though it does strike me as being similar. See, we were reading from this book called Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon (really rich/wise son of David.) The whole sermon is a little fuzzy in my head, but I internalized it and here’s how I’m applying it:

I need to be faithful in my writing, pressing on and giving it my best, even when there is not a shred of evidence that I should be taking this path.

I have been getting discouraged. A lot. My stats from 2016 thus far are not so great. I’ve been waiting for a sign. Something good to happen, you know? Something to kind of come up and say “Hey, Beth, what you’re doing is great. Keep up the good work.” And I wanted that something to come in the form of  an acceptance letter.

It hasn’t.

It hasn’t really come at all in any form. But I will keep taking this path. Why? Because God hasn’t pushed me off of it. Because I enjoy writing. And because I know that if I am faithful with what He’s given me, I will be rewarded. It might not come in the form of an acceptance or a pat on the back. It might be a more internal and eternal thing.

So let me encourage you, Christian or not: keep writing. Enjoy it. Do your best, no matter what. You always reap what you sow.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

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IF = A Four-Letter Word

So, this blog post has almost zero to do with that ^ title. Haha. April fools!

No, I’m going to show you what it would look like if I had a live Patreon page. Ready?

My name is Beth, and today I was told I was brave for being a writer. The funny thing? I believe it.

I write novels, short stories, flash fictions, stage plays, and screenplays. I’m trying to take a traditional route–or, rather, a somewhat traditional route–with my writing. Someday I might self-publish, but not anytime soon, save for a page-a-day calendar I have in the works.

Here is a list of my top five novel projects, in order of priority:

1. The Warring Goblet (working title): Heroic fantasy, 50,000 words, minimum
2. Doomsday (working title): High fantasy, 50,000 – 90,000 words
3. Merlyn (working title): Urban fantasy, 50,000 – 90,000 words
4. The SAPIEN Complex: YA fantasy, 90,000 words
5. Murder in the Afternoon: Paranormal mystery, 75,000 words

The number of projects I have on back burners is over seventy-five, most of them a sub-genre of fantasy or mystery. My goal for 2016 is to finish The Warring Goblet, and to find an illustrator for my page-a-day calendar.

My writing stats from the year thus far:

Submissions: Eight
Rejections: Five
No responses: One
Acceptances: Zero
Words written: 20,000+
Pending responses: Fifteen or sixteen

Publication credits as of March, 2016:

In a Pickle, a middle grade book (2012, MuseItUp Publishing)
The Price of Secrets, a short story based on a scene from The Woman in White (2016, Zoetic Press)
Mirror Image, a short story (2010, The Literary Lab Presents Notes from Underground)
Cooking With Faust, a flash fiction (2010, Pill Hill Press’ Wretched Moments anthology)
Murder at the Orient Buffet, a flash fiction (Big Pulp)
A Fairy Tale Intervention, a flash fiction (AlienSkin)
The Laughing Nothing, a flash fiction (Poe Little Thing)
Dear P. Rinter, a flash fiction (Cool Stuff 4 Writers)
Hell on Ice, a flash fiction (Golden Visions)
Free Country, a flash fiction (The Cat’s Meow)
You Did This for Me, a flash fiction (A Things Girl)
Miss Overmyer, in the Computer Room, With the Keyboard, personal essay (Coffee Press Journal)

What is a patron? An angel. No, seriously, in theatre, that’s what you call the person/s who help/s fund a production. A patron for a writer could be called a God-send, in my book.

Actors are paid, even if in just comp tickets. Writers, however, do almost everything on spec, with a slim chance of breaking even.

Here are a few expense areas for writers:

– All the basics needed for a person to live on
– Internet for researching novels, agents, publishers, etc. (around $60, monthly–for my household, at least)
– Books on one’s craft
– Electricity to run a computer
– Paper and pens
– Writers conferences (have not the money to attend one, at the moment)
– Book Fairs
– Promotions (whether you hire a service or print out bookmarks advertising your work, for example)

and then there’s self-publishing expenses (if you go that route):

– Content editor
– Line editor
– Cover art
– Promotional services (optional)
– Jacket blurb (if you don’t do it yourself)

In pledging your support to me, you’ll be putting food in my muse’s mouth. Honestly, you’ll be helping meet my basic needs so I can focus on making new content.

________________________
From fantastical kidlit to everyday popular fiction, Beth knits together her prose in a small Ohio town. Her hobbies do not include cat-hating or traveling. She adores her cat “Bug,” and traveling will happen someday, but for now, the farthest Beth travels is the western parts of her brain during the cold, dark months of editing. In 2008, her screenplay The Method won best comedy in Gotham Screen’s contest, and her MG book In a Pickle (2012) is out from MuseItUp Publishing. Whatever the genre or age group, Beth is more than ecstatic to let her imagination take the wheel.

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That’s just a rough draft, but I don’t think I’m going the Patreon route. I just thought I’d show you what I’m up to in a more…creative(?) way 🙂

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

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3 WIPs, 3 Openings

Last week, I mentioned that I have three main works-in-progress. Here are the rough openings to each:

WIP #1: Aidan cut his hand and watched his blood pool in the inkwell.

WIP #2: Humanity’s inhumanity is what drove Aristotle to the mental ward.

WIP #3 (the roughest of all): Some days, it would be nice staying invisible.

For writers, the first sentence is sometimes all the readers will give us. We’d best make ’em killer.

These sentences are relatively short. I wonder if that’s a good thing…. Well, I suppose it’s time to study openings that work…again.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

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I’ve Got a Lot of Writin’ to Do

Anyone else getting bogged down by how much work they have to do? With me, it’s to the point where I don’t quite know what to work on first. For times like these, it’s good for me to have around three projects to go back and forth between, so that progress is made and not spread too thin.

My three main works-in-progress are all some sort of fantasy.

Project #1 is a Heroic Fantasy

Project #2 is a High Fantasy

Project #3 is a Paranormal Mystery

Time to settle on one and write. And that’s my advice for anyone else struggling with this conundrum: narrow it down to a top three, and rotate when you get stuck.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth