Charlie's Blog

2023 (and maybe some 2022) front page thoughts

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 11:12 PM

It's December, and I am woefully behind in a lot of things.

The Woolley Awards were announced just over a week ago. I did far better than I expected. While I submitted 20 poems in three categories, I honestly hoped for two or three of them to win anything. The categories I submitted to were Light Verse, Limerick, and Haiku. I won one first place, two second places, two third places, and eight honorable mentions. That includes two for science fiction and fantasy short stories--this was my first time getting any award in this category. Some of the feedback from the judges was incredible. Some was instructive. Some was a bit harsh (it happens). And one or two indicated that the judge had no idea what to make of the submission. The feedback is honest and tells me I have more work to do and that not everyone gets the type of stuff I write. Always a good reminder for a writer! I'm still in shock over the awards, and I'm eager to keep writing.

Do you write poetry? Carlisle Legacy Books is accepting poetry for a chapbook titled "Lost Between Light and Shadow." Submissions are open until September 9. Read more at

July 8. Well, my track record for getting into the HWA's Poetry Showcase remains unbroken. I didn't even get the formal, we enjoyed your poem but... Just a short, we did not accept your poem.

May 29. Happy Memorial Day! I was asked to participate in a Human Library at a local Waterford School last week. I did it last year and it was a privilege to be asked back. I was one of 21 "books" that got to share their stories to the seniors. I got as much if not more out of it than they did. It was a wonderful experience! I hope to be invited back next year.

Poems submitted to the Woolley Awards and to one anthology. Polished one short story. Working on polishing a second, and on doing a rewrite of a third. Need to write more poetry. Writing down my goals helps me keep focus. And makes me accountable. :)

Finally, there's a documentary on my dad and his research that is currently streaming on Oxygen. It'll be on Peacock starting June 6. It's called "Violent Minds: Killers on Tape." It's quite good.

April 13, and I need to polish up some poetry to send out again. Everything is back. Now I need to check over what was rejected to see if I can fix it up or if it just needs a different market, and I need to write and edit more poetry. That's my goal for the rest of April. May I start sending things out again. I did get the honorable mention I hoped for. Does it mean anything? No. It's a lot better than a straight rejection, but with so many great writers submitting, it's a really hard contest to win. My next goal is to write something that can win a silver honorable mention. The contest? Writers of the Future. My friend, Mary Wolverton, encouraging me to enter every time I see her. So, I did. And I will again. But now, it's NaPoWriMo, and I'm going to focus on poetry. Then I'll edit two short stories and write some flash fiction. What about you?

It's been a busy month. I've received replies from all but one short story. I'm REALLY hoping for an Honorable Mention. We'll see next month!

Apart from that, I received a polite no from Space and Time Magazine--although one of my poems made it to the top list. That's the third time I've been rejected there with one of my poems getting onto her top list. That's encouraging. I've sold two poems to Space and Time so far, and I'll keep trying, Maybe next time I'll do better. :)

I sold "Eye of the Beholder" to The League of Utah Writers annual anthology. This one is titled "We Are Dangerous." And I sold "The Legacy of Granny Van Helsing" to Strange Horizons. It's my first sale there and I'm really excited about it!

Now I need to write and polis more poetry and send it out. I'm giving a short story one more go-over and I'll hopefully send it nut next week. Once the other one that's out gets rejected, it'll go out again, too. I'm excited with how this year has gone so far and I want to move forward with my projects!

Also, later this year (or early next year) my daughter and I* will put out two books based on my dad's research. They won't be the same as if he put them out, but we can share his interviews and hope people find them of interest!

Another sale! This one a poetry sale to Fantasy Magazine. It will be in the April 2023 issue. :)

I will be on two panels at LTUE February 16-18:

Friday at 4:00 PM: Navigating Murky Waters: Taking the Muddle Out of Your Middles

Saturday 10:00 AM: Becoming the Bard: The Art of Writing Incredible Poems, Odes, and Lyrics

And one presentation:

Saturday at 5:00 PM: Using the Improv Game Yes, and... for Story Development

One of my poems was selected for the 2023 Utah's Best Prose and Poetry. I have two more poems out (I need to send out a bunch), but the odds aren't good for either one. Still, the last six months have been great! I need to keep up the momentum and send out more poetry!

It's January! Last year, I submitted a short story and three poems to an anthology. I worked hard to rewrite the story and make it stronger, to edit the poems. I was hopeful. I also encouraged my husband and daughter to submit a short story. All three of our stories were rejected. That happens sometimes. Two of my poems made it, though. I really like those two. I liked the third, but I'm okay with it being rejected. I'll look it over again, maybe make some edits, and send it out again.

It's December, and I got my second acceptance for the year. It's been a slow year, but I'm making progress. My poem, "Those Who Hunt the Night" will be in "Kindred Spirits," an anthology from the Genre Writers Infinite Monkeys next year.

I decided that it's time I clean up my homepage. :)

I've had a productive few months. In the past two months, I've submitted eight poems and two short stories to four anthologies. Three poems have been rejected, so far, and I've sold one short story. "Home-Grown Resistance" will be in Along Harrowed Trails, coming out next year from Timber Ghost Press.

I've submitted four poems to "2023 Utah's' Best Poetry and Prose." I'll find out at some point if one of them was accepted.

Since I read over 100 cozy mysteries this year (and counting. I just started an eight-book series), I wrote a cozy mystery for NaNoWriMo this year. Like all my NaNo projects, it needs a good rewrite, but I like the core story so far. I need to write a sequel, but that will have to wait for a bit. My next project (not counting short stories and poetry) is to finally finish the rewrite of Mel's Magic.

As for conventions, I was honored to be able to do three presentations for Fyrecon this year. I did one on why you should set up your literary estate, one with Josh Sorensen on writing poetic forms, and one with my husband, Steve, on using Yes, and... for story and character development. They were a lot of fun. I really like Fyrecon and the presentations I was able to attend.

Next up, I'll be a panelist at LTUE 2023.