Posted in Updates, Write of Passion News

Write of Passion Literary Journal is Now Accepting Submissions for Our Mythology Issue

I’m back with more Write of Passion Literary Journal news! 

Starting today, submissions are open for our mythology issue! Send us your short stories and poems of 5,000 words or less to submissions@writeofpassion.com for a chance to be published in our May 1st Mythology issue!

For submission formatting guidelines, visit writeofpassion.com/submission-guidelines. Remember that we read blind so make sure your name is nowhere on the document you attach to the email. 

For a list of all upcoming themes, make sure you visit writeofpassion.com/important-dates. This way you can have plenty of time to prepare your short stories and poems for the issue of your choice. 

Right now we can’t pay you for submissions published, but we’re working on a way to make that possible. 

All we ask is for first publishing rights (which means it wasn’t published on your facebook or social media in any form) and then the rights revert back to you after six months. Then you can publish it elsewhere and do with it as you please.

We only accept submissions during the open submission periods of February, May, August, and November on the dates of the 10th through the 25th every year. Please don’t send us your work outside of these dates. 

I look forward to reading your work and working with you to publish it if you get accepted. 

Thanks for supporting me and my team by submitting your work to the journal from the beginning! 

Posted in newsletter, Updates

January 2020 Newsletter Example

This will be an example of the content you would get in my newsletter which will go out every last monday of the month. 

Hello everyone! What a month this year has been, not only with current events (which I’m not even going to touch) but with personal lives, too. Is it just me, or has anyone else experienced the upheaval of 2020 first hand? 

All I can hope for is that 2020 is front loading the bad stuff so some truly great things will be coming up in our future. Life is a roller coaster: with every hill there will always be a valley. Let’s just hope that the hills match the valleys in sheer grandiosity and intensity. 

As promised, here are some updates:

Write of Passion Literary Journal is becoming Write of Passion Publishing Company! This decision was made when we split from Balance of Seven as a publication, and now have the freedom to go and become what we want. 

The team wanted to become a publishing company and so we are currently ironing out the details of what that will look like. If you want to support us on this journey, we are looking into creating an Indiegogo campaign in April. 

The February Issue of Write of Passion comes out in a couple of days on February 1st, 2020. Make sure you go to writeofpassion.com and sign up with your email to get it sent directly to your inbox!

I will publish my first book, Poseidon’s Pearl (editing stage), on the tentative date of June 1st, 2020, through Write of Passion Publishing. This will be a test run of sorts to see how long it’ll take the company to get through the editing process, publishing process, and marketing process. The editing process is long and arduous for me, so wish me luck!

I am also working on several other projects, including a sequel to Poseidon’s Pearl with a couple of side characters from that book getting their own story (drafting stage), and a sequel to the Dragons Within short story (percolation phase). You can buy the Dragons Within Anthology on Amazon. The link is on my Publications page. I am also playing around with a contemporary romance idea of a girl going back to high school for a second chance with her crush (percolation phase). That one’s been bouncing around in my head for a while, but I seem to have a block whenever I sit down and write it, so it might never see the light of day. But we’ll see. 

I had to unblock myself from writing the sequel to Poseidon’s Pearl (tentatively called Poseidon’s Portrait) so I read Story Genius by Lisa Cron and followed her advice to flesh out my characters and their motivations. I think I will use this any time I am blocked. 

Books I am reading right now:

  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown
  • Silence (Book #3 in the Hush, Hush Series) by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Write Naked by Jennifer Probst
  • Story Genius by Lisa Cron
  • Just Don’t Mention It by Estelle Maskame
  • Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame
  • Circe by Madeline Miller

As it gets closer to launch time for Poseidon’s Pearl I will send you a link to Book Funnel with the first three chapters of the book, for your reading pleasure. I am also working on a short story prequel to Poseidon’s Pearl for my fiction writing class at school, so stay tuned for that to come out soon. 

If you want to get more monthly updates like this, sign up for my newsletter on the home page of this website, or click here. These updates will come every month on the last Monday, and will keep you in the loop with all of the things I am working on, thinking about, and planning in the many areas of my life. 

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story” -Terry Pratchett

See you next month with more updates!

Posted in Updates, Write of Passion News

Write of Passion Literary Journal Will be a Publishing Company!

Some of you may have checked out my pet project that started in November 2018, Write of Passion Literary Journal. If not, you can check it out at writeofpassion.com. We are nearing our fourth issue, coming out on February 1st, 2020. It’s romance themed, and we have some great stories and poems lined up. 

If any of you are interested in submitting a short story or a poem for our mythology issue, please visit the website above for more information. The important dates tab will allow you to see upcoming themes and deadlines. We only read during the open submissions periods which are in February, May, August, and November. The 10th through 25th of each of these months are when we are open for business. 

If you are accepted, please respond to your email and return the copyright form, give us a short biography, and communicate with your editor to approve all edits made. If each of these steps are skipped, we can’t publish you. 

The copyright form basically says that you agree to let us have first publishing rights (in other words, you didn’t publish any of it on your blog, website, or social media accounts or any other publications) and we have exclusive rights to it for the first six months, after which the rights will return to the author. This means that you can absolutely publish it somewhere else after those first six months are up.

We can’t pay you for your story right now, but we are working towards that end. 

Speaking of working towards that end, the team of the journal has recently expressed to me that they would like to turn the journal into a publishing company. 

Right now, we are still ironing out the details on what submissions and other aspects of the process will look like. We are not ready for submissions yet, but I will absolutely tell you when we are. 

We are starting an indiegogo campaign in April 2020 so we can raise some funds in order to start the company and get some books out there and some money to pay for the advances, the cover designs, the printing and shipping costs, etc. 

What is the mission of Write of Passion Publishing? 

We want to publish books and short stories by up-and-coming, diverse, and marginalized authors, and to put quality literature in the hands of the masses. Stories by these authors are vital and we want to see them published with respect both to the authors and to the readers. With Write of Passion, you are not just a nameless face. You’re a friend. 

There will be more information about this coming your way in the next few months, so keep an eye out. 

Thank you for supporting me on this exciting journey! 

Posted in newsletter, Updates, Writing

Sorry I’ve Been So Silent!

I’ve been silent lately and focusing on several things in the works.

For one, I am getting a short story published in Balance of Seven’s new anthology coming out November 21st, 2019 called Dragons Within: Guarding Her Own. If you keep up with me on my social media pages, you’ll have seen a lot of the posts promoting that. If not, I hope you check them out!

I also have been editing my first novel, Poseidon’s Pearl, that I plan to publish in 2020. I’m still figuring out the self-editing process before I send it to the editor, so it may be awhile.

In line with that, I am working on a short story that is the prequel to that novel as a freebie for my newsletter. I haven’t gotten my newsletter up and running yet, but I will by January of next year. At least, that’s the hope. I will keep you updated on that, as well.

I have been struggling lately with keeping up with my writing, but NaNoWriMo has kicked me into gear. I am now working on a contemporary romance.

I am also experimenting with outlining my novels to an extent. It’s getting easier to outline rather than just sitting down to write without a plan. I am officially a plantser!

I am also keeping busier with a healthy lifestyle by exercising three times a week for 45 minutes each, eating healthier, and keeping up with all of my projects. Those include running Write of Passion Literary Journal, marketing for the Dragons Within launch on November 21st, schoolwork, my writing projects, NaNoWriMo, reading every day, and being an admin of the Creative Central Facebook Group for women and non-binary writers.

If you’ll notice, I am no longer a part of Functionally Fictional or Coffee House Writers. While it pains me to have to leave them, it was necessary for my mental health as I was running on empty for a long time and finally succumbed to burnout in May and have been recovering ever since.

You’ll notice I added a page with my publications (where you can find and order Dragons Within: Guarding Her Own) and changed the name of my posts page to “Blog.”

One thing I’d like to mention about Dragons Within: You can order it now through the 28th of November for only $0.99! We (the other authors in the anthology and me) are trying to hit bestseller status on amazon, so please order or preorder it when you can. Between now and November 21st would be best. You can get your copy through the links on the publications page.

Thank you so much for your support. I will try to be more active and post blogs more often than I have been. Maybe I should join Coffee House Writers again, just so I have a deadline schedule as motivation. Probably not. I already have enough on my plate. Besides, I don’t want to burn out again.

Again, sorry for the silence. If you are still here, thank you for sticking around. It means the world to me.

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

An Explanation of My Absence

https://unsplash.com/photos/t3ju4zsixFA
Photo by Matt Flores via Unsplash

I’ve been silent on Functionally Fictional, on my blog, and here on Coffee House Writers. I want to explain what happened and what I have learned from those experiences.

Everything started in December 2018 on my trip to see my family in Ohio. The symptoms of my mental illness, schizoaffective disorder, got worse starting near the end of May.

By the end of May, I was talking with my hallucinations all day and couldn’t pull myself into reality. I wasn’t writing. I didn’t keep up with any of my responsibilities. I was in survival mode. For a month I didn’t feel like doing anything but sleeping and interacting with my voices.

The voices told me lots of stories I believed to be real. The more I interacted with them, the more I believed they were real people.

Eventually, I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist and got my medicine adjusted so I could pull myself out of the rut I was in and function again.

The medicine wasn’t the only thing that helped me pull out of the funk. Writing and crocheting again, getting out into the sunshine, and using coping skills like staying busy so I wouldn’t converse with the voices all helped bring me back to reality.

I realized the connection between creativity and healing. I still must relearn it repeatedly. If I don’t get my creative energy out through writing or other outlets, the energy manifests itself as the voices getting stronger; drawing me into conversations, telling me many stories and lies.

To keep the voices from misdirecting my creativity, I must… [Read More]

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates, Writing

Change: A Life Update

https://pixabay.com/en/away-road-park-trees-fork-228675/
Photo by Succo via Pixabay

This article is an update on events in my life right now, regarding to the theme of change.

Change is hard. It’s a huge part of my life right now and the uncertainty is driving me crazy.

For one thing, one of my favorite Facebook groups for writers closed down. The admins had too much on their plates and couldn’t keep up with it. My heart hurt to see it close, so I decided that I would take over as sole moderator. It’s a small group, only twenty-seven people, but it’s a huge responsibility since I have to respond and interact with everyone on a daily basis.

Another change in my life is getting displaced out of my room because I have to get the ceilings fixed from Hurricane Irma. I need to pack up all of my things and move them somewhere else out of the way and private but still accessible. I hate having my “nest” disturbed.

Getting the ceilings fixed sets into motion the process of…[Read More]

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

A Revision of My Relationship with My Mother

https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-woman-hugging-each-other-1261368/
Photo by Daria Shevtsova

You may have read my articles “Why You Won’t Get A Mother’s Day Card: An Open Letter To My Mom” and “How 10 Months With My Grandma Taught Me More Than 20 Years With My Parents.” I want to revise the statements made in these articles.

Both of them were written in anger after a harrowing argument with my mom. I harbored a lot of resentment and anger toward her, and I wrote those articles as a response. It was wrong of me to make those public, and for this I apologize. I’m talking to you, Mom.

I have a habit of thinking in extremes, black and whites, and vilifying or making heroes out of people. I was further encouraged in this way of thinking by my grandma, who has the same habits, especially in regard to how she thinks about others.

I want to give reasons I was in the wrong during those arguments. I also want to explain why my mom is awesome.

One of the main ways I was wrong is for publishing something written in the heat of the moment. It was also wrong of me to vilify her. I simply had expectations of her she couldn’t fill. We’re still struggling to figure out how to navigate the stages between the parent-child and the parent-adult relationships, as most mothers and daughters do around my age. I still have an idealistic view of the world and what my parents can and cannot do. I’m learning to see them as human and accept their limitations without faulting them for it.

And now, for ways my mom is awesome: [Read More]

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

The Heroine of My Life: A Therapy Exercise for Battling Negative Self-Talk

Success is being the hero of your life
Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

This is my latest on Coffee House Writers. I had the inspiration to write this from a friend who mentioned that her therapist had told her about this exercise. I was immediately taken with the idea and wanted to see if it could help me. This is what I came up with since I didn’t want to make an autobiography out of it. You can read the full article here. I hope you enjoy!

The Heroine of My Life:

** Trigger Warning** Mentions of Suicidal Thoughts and Bullying

Someone suggested as a therapy exercise to write my story. However, there was a simple requirement. I had to make myself the strong heroine with a happy ending instead of playing the victim. It’s an exercise to battle negative self-image and self-talk.

Here’s my story:

As a young child, I already had a stubborn personality. I liked to call it determination. My mother and I often butted heads because of this personality trait. It was something she called a battle of wills.

Traits of kindness, loyalty and caring for others appeared. I had a strong sense of justice and always helped others. I love helping my friends figure out their problems.

I was a take-charge kind of person. If I had an idea, I was passionate about; it would consume me to the point of obsession. I would work on the project until I couldn’t work on it anymore. I would stop after exhausting the possibilities or resistance from others.

But, as is always the case with young, strong-willed creatives, it put me through trial after trial of resistance.

I was creative; I was always writing fiction and reading whatever I could get my hands on. When eating, I read cereal boxes or labels on food containers to keep my mind occupied.

I was intelligent. My mind was always thinking. I would evaluate problems and ways to solve them. I sought to understand the world around me, why people thought and acted the way they did. I often wondered why I thought and acted the way I did. Understanding how and why things worked was critical for me. My endless questions of “why” often irritated my parents. They often told me to look answers up in the ancient encyclopedia we had or, later,  [Read More]

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

An Open Letter to My Younger Self

https://unsplash.com/photos/xmY3qMBfzBs
Photo by Kirsty TG on Unsplash

Dear Younger Self,

You will be on a journey of learning your whole life. Along the way, there will be tears, great friends, betrayal, suicidal thoughts, and support. You will go through a lot of hard times, but the good times will make the hard times worth it.
You will be an energetic, stubborn, bossy child with advanced social skills and an affinity for writing. For you writing is an extension of playing pretend. It is fun and exciting to create a world all your own. Music and the life you observe and the worlds you experience from reading will inspire you.
Your parents have their faults but have redeeming qualities, too. You will think they are perfect and will have a hard time coming to terms with the fact they will be toxic for you later in life. They will play favorites and treat your brother better with more support later in your life. You will be on medicine from a young age.
You will experience a psychiatric unit and suicidal thoughts induced by medicine when you are just ten years old. You will come out learning of things like cutting and burning. You will be exposed to a world you shouldn’t have at your age. The next year your aunt will die from suicide. This will be hard to see your family so broken about it. You will feel guilty because you don’t cry. You will grieve your way, and that is okay. This event will save your life many times later in your life when you continue to have suicidal thoughts for yourself.

[Read More]

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

Big Dream: Exploring My Deep-Seated Fears

https://pixabay.com/en/desperate-sad-depressed-feet-hands-2293377/
Photo by Anemone123 on Pixaby

I had been thinking about a challenge. A challenge to identify my fears as they relate to my Big Dream from Debbie Burns book “The Path to Courage.” A Big Dream is the thing I want to do with the rest of my life to fulfill my calling. I had been thinking all day but had written nothing down. I wrote my Big Dream and all the fears and societal and cultural rules that were stopping me. For reference, my Big Dream is to support myself through writing and writing-related jobs. I don’t want to get stuck in an unfulfilling job and feel miserable. I noticed that a lot of my fears had to do with financial independence and autonomy.

It came to me; I am scared to depend on anyone but myself. I am scared of the rejection and the hurt that comes from trusting someone. I am afraid of having them disappoint or betray me. I am so frightened of trusting others, asking for help, and allowing myself to love.

Looking back on my childhood, this makes sense. From a young age, I was independent. My brother has autism and glaring behavior problems and has my parents’ attention. They praised me for being an “easy, independent” child. When I needed help, they told me too, “figure it out on my own.” I felt betrayed because my brother was getting all the help and attention he needed.

This pattern with my parents’ attention hasn’t changed in 21 years. I still don’t get help from them, even now when I need it more than my brother. He gets a lot more help than he needs. They hold me to higher standards than my brother. I am expected to be autonomous at 21 despite my severe mental illness.

To illustrate this: [Read More]

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

Looking for the Good: A Strategy to Deal with Stress

https://pixabay.com/en/woman-face-bullying-stress-shame-2775271/
Photo by Geralt via Pixabay

My life is overridden with stress right now. Both good and bad. I figured I would let you know what was going on in my life, as a form of catharsis. I hope it will inspire others that they can make it through the hard times, too.

First, I wanted to mention the bad stress because that’s what everyone focuses on. That way, I can end my article with the good. There are good things in everyone’s life. You must look for it. Learning to appreciate the small stuff goes a long way. And it is something I am still trying to learn, but I am getting better at it.

The Bad

To start, I am worried about the rainy season in Florida. The rainy season is from April to October, and it rains heavily every day. Why am I worried about it? Because our house was damaged, and we don’t have the money to fix it. So, every time it rains my room becomes a lake. Water drips through the ceiling at a heavy rate and soaks my stuff and the tile floor, this causes stress. It is easy to slip and fall, and it forces me to sleep in the living room with sheer curtains and windows on either side of me. I don’t like windows because they make me feel exposed. It is because of my schizoaffective disorder and paranoid delusions. If you want to learn more about what life is like with schizoaffective disorder, click here to read my article.

Also, when it rains, the Internet is spotty and rarely works for days. This is frustrating because I go to school online and need a reliable Internet connection to do so. If I stayed in Florida, I wouldn’t have that.

I am trying to move to Ohio. The only problem? None of my family will allow me to stay with them. I am only allowed to stay with them for two weeks but nothing on a semi-permanent basis. Not even my parents’ house.

Because of the lack of support, I have been feeling unwanted and like a burden.

I almost hurt my baby cousin. I lost my balance and nearly fell on top of her, which was more traumatizing for me than it was for her. I was sleep deprived because she woke up and screamed bloody murder at 2 am. I hadn’t been able to sleep before or after that.

I need a job. I have never kept one for more than three months due to stress and my mental illness, so that is another stressor.

My voices get worse with stress, which increases my stress. That makes the voices worse. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

The Good

I am in Ohio, currently… [Read more]

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

My Life with Schizoaffective Disorder: A Form of Schizophrenia

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Photo by Pixabay

Many people know about John Nash, the Nobel-Prize winning economist who had schizophrenia. Many know of him because of the movie, A Beautiful Mind. It is a fascinating cinematic portrayal of schizophrenic hallucinations.

However, there is not much content out there about schizophrenic symptoms and coping skills written by someone who has experienced them; this is a niche I can fill.

I was put on prescription medication by my parents as a young child. So early, in fact, that I am not sure when I was put on them. I was at least in the third grade, but it might have been before that. I remember taking my pills in peanut butter because I couldn’t swallow them for three years, which is why the smell makes me ill.

I’m not sure if this caused my current mental state or whether it contributed to it, but I’ll never know. There’s no use worrying about it because it won’t change anything except make me blame my parents, and that isn’t something that I want to be bitter over.

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at eighteen. It is a form of schizophrenia with milder hallucinations. Usually a better grip on reality, and a mood disorder to go along with the hallucinations, such as depression or bipolar. I have the bipolar type. Even though I was diagnosed as a legal adult, I had been experiencing symptoms since I was fifteen. It is hard to say when I first…[Read More]