Terry’s February Watercolour Writing Newsletter

February 2018.jpg

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Terry’s September Watercolour Writing Newsletter

September 1 2017

Terry’s July Watercolour Writing Newsletter

July 1 2017

I Was Embarrassed That I Was Writing A Novel

At first I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a novel. I was super embarrassed about it.

Now, I’m like, “Ef you embarrassment!” and I punch my embarrassment in the face and now everyone knows I’m doing writing things.

Actually, telling people has only boosted my confidence and I’ve gained so many writing friends who have helped me along the way since I started talking about my writing. Woot!

Subscribe to my email list to receive my watercolour newsletter first thing. Here’s last month’s.

How I got my first Flash Fiction Published

I’ve had 4 of my short stories published now — I’m just at the start of my writing career.

I was first published nearly a year ago after pushing myself to write some short stories as I worked on my first novel (figured I might as well start getting my name out there). I tried writing about the most outlandish things in order to catch attention. A story about a hopelessly romantic giraffe and the blue kite that flies into his life. Another about an entrepreneurial vampire midget trying to market her frozen treats called, Bloodsicles.

All my premises were WAAAAAY out there!

Some were so absurd I’m sure they barely made sense to even a seasoned Hallucinologist (and those people spend a lot of time trying to make sense of things).

I figured that the best way to capture attention was by being unique, but I wasn’t sure if there really was a market for the fantastically absurd, so I started doing some internet research.

I discovered that people are dying to pay for stories! DYING!

My hopelessly romantic giraffe story – yeah, there’s a cult following of long necked lovers lurking in a zoo chat group. My entrepreneurial vampire midget story – yeah, small business tips in gothic settings are trending somewhere in Panama.

Okay, so I made some of that up, but the point is that I discovered that there’s a market for nearly anything, which was exciting! I spent a night or two’s worth of internet research and compiled a list of a dozen places that accepted quirky fantasy stories, then I bombarded them with submissions.

My first publication WITH PAY (muahaha!) was a story I wrote with the prompt of two words: RED ICE.

Somehow with those two words as my inspiration, I ended up creating a story about a man who bought a house on the edge of a volcano with the intent of hosting a suicidal dinner party for all his friends as it was erupting. Unfortunately the volcano erupts before his guests arrive, and he’s left lamenting over his daddy-problems with his mother over the phone while his robot servant fixes him a sandwich.

If that story isn’t crazy enough of a premise, I don’t know what is.

It took me 7 months to find a publisher that wanted to buy it. In the process, I was rejected 4 times. Even the paying publisher requested a lot of edits before he agreed to publish it.

The final review from the editors was that they enjoyed the weirdness of the situation. It was refreshing and fun to think about. It also brought up questions of what type of society would be okay with suicidal parties as commonplace—distant futures where people live through holograms? Weird aliens that have multiple lives? People that live hundreds of years and get bored with life? I got some really interesting comments from both the editors and readers after it was published.

The editors also liked that they could connect with the character on a more grounded level: his daddy issues, his condescending attitude towards his robot, the way his mother spoke to him.

Overall, the main reason it got published (according to the publisher), was that it was unique. It was something different, something refreshing, something that fit their audience. The other publishers rejected it because they didn’t feel their audiences would like it. If I had given up after my first rejections, I wouldn’t have been published.

So, how much did I get paid? A whopping $3.00.

But, that’s okay. It was the first time I got paid for something I wrote. It also gave me inspiration knowing that there really is a market for my work. I’ve since been published three more times and starting to get my name out there.

As always,

Happy Writing!

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Flash Fiction: Beverly Draws on Deck

Beverly Draws on Deck

A drop of sweat from my brow landed in my glass and I put my pen down. The ink was melting down the page, ruining the bird I had drawn. With a sigh, I skimmed through all my drawings from the trip so far – a smoking man, two dancing octopi, a smashed guitar.

A waitress appeared and offered me another drink.

“Away,” I shooed, still a bit annoyed that my art would never be recovered now.

She scuttled off like a little hermit crab in her high heels and short skirt and picked at the back of her blouse. It was completely soaked.

The alarm finally went off and I looked around the room. The tables were red, the walls and floor were red, the musicians were red. I looked to my husband as a single tear trailed down his cheek before evaporating in a puff of steam. Even that was red too. The giant warning light on the ceiling made everything red. It really wasn’t needed at this point.

“Excuse me, darling,” I said, dabbing my brow with a hanky. “This colour really isn’t doing anything for me. I’m going on deck for inspiration.”

“Indeed, Bev,” he huffed, a dry cough in his voice. Neither of us acknowledged the impending doom.

I passed some friends we had made earlier in our trip. We exchanged pleasantries with sad eyes and I wished them well (what foolishness). The viewing deck was bare and the heat glared in through the glass making it unbearably hot. I checked my pocked barometer.

130 degrees

131 degrees

132 degrees

The temperature climbed dangerously as we spun out of control. In one direction the sun ever growing larger. In the other, clouds of smoke streamed out into space. We had hit an icesteroid while on our leisurely cruise to Mars.

“Impenetrable,” the newspaper had advertised. “Climb aboard the luxurious Titanic 3000 for a trip of a lifetime!”

Oh the irony.

I took out my pen and paper and drew the sun, my last piece of art.

Flash Fiction: Doron and Erin Get Lost

Doron and Erin Get Lost

Waking up is never easy. It’s sluggish and you feel very old.

“Something isn’t right! Doron, come quick!”

Her voice was shrill. I yawned and wiped my eyes.

“No no no! ” she yelled. I carefully stepped out of the cyrosleep chamber and grabbed a towel.

“Quit worrying, Erin,” I called as I wiped slime from my body. “Did you turn the ship around?”

I chuckled to myself. Last time we visited my parents in Sector 6, she freaked out thinking we were lost. Turned out we had arrived facing the other way, their planet was just behind us.

“Yes! I’m serious! Come here!”

I sighed and grabbed my housecoat. She was in the control deck, frantically scrolling through the ship’s readouts.

“Calm down, let’s see.”

“We’re not in Sector 6 at all! Look!”

According to the readout, we were 12 light years from my parent’s.

“How the heck?” I scanned through the inputs and quickly realised she had entered the wrong coordinates. One degree off for thirty years in cyrosleep meant we were twelve light years away.

“We’re going to miss your dad’s 150th!”

“That’s it, Erin,” I said. “This is the last time I let you drive.”