Places to Submit for Free

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Building a resume is important, but it’s hard when so many journals and small publications charge for submissions. Sign up for this newsletter and you will be notified of places to submit for free. It’s an inbox treasure.

https://www.authorspublish.com/

img513
My photos on Flikr

A Shaky Reading

On Sunday afternoon I went to a poetry reading. When I stood up to do my thing, Both my voice and knees began to shake.

What was going on? I performed as a storyteller every day in the school library for seven years. Then I remembered. That was thirty years, almost a lifetime, ago.

We all live so many lives. (I know if I walked up to my younger self, I’d scare the pants off her.)

The poem I botched on Sunday was from a sequence of dramatic monologues I wrote when we were living in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Yes, LA does have distinct neighborhoods. I’ll tell you more about them another time.)

I composed the piece in the late eighties or early nineties for a group of actors who teamed up with the Arroyo Arts Collective to do cold readings of local authors’ poems, short stories, and novel excerpts. The title was “The Marriage Bed.”

Mostly invented, the sequence drew on things that happened even earlier in my life, in the mid-sixties.

I was nineteen. I’d just run away and married my husband, a guy I’d dated a month.

On our first morning together the phone rang. One of my husband’s friends, Jim Ashley, lived in Ouray, a tiny nineteenth-century mining town in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. He worked for the Idorado Mine, the village’s economic engine.

The afternoon before, Jim had stepped on a rotten board just inside the mine entrance and plummeted down through a dark vertical tunnel all the way from the Red Mountain entrance to the Telluride entrance, hundreds of feet.

I didn’t know Jim, but that secondhand experience drilled itself into my mind. Every so often I fall into it, just as I did on Sunday.

There was one more layer to my shaky reading. After its first, last, and only cold performance by the Arroyo Arts Collective players, “The Marriage Bed” disappeared into my files. I made a few half-hearted attempts to send it out, but knew it was destined to be one of those things I did just for myself. (There are a LOT of those.)

Then I saw a call for an anthology in Coda (which later became Poets and Writers.) It was for ghost poems. The voice in one of the monologues in The Marriage Bed, “Frank,” was a ghost, the long-dead father of the husband in the story.   I sent it.

It was accepted. I’d forgotten about the book, Ghost of a Chance,  until Sunday. Looking at it, I was amazed. There I was, hired-gun ed writer, with Rita Dove, Billy Collins, and others famous for their poetry.

Then I remembered, huddling in the back seat of my dad’s ’41 Chevy, playing with the sounds of words. I must have been two or three.

We live so many lives. So many layered lives. Sharing them with others can be a shaky experience, but we only have the stage for a few minutes, so why not?

 

 

 

Ten Picture Book Writing Sins

Picture book friends, attention! Here’s some great advice cleverly framed.

Ten Commandments For Picture Book Writers – Sally Apokedak.

Arroyo Suite: Poems from Highland Park, California

img302img303

We lived in Highland Park, a unique Los Angeles neighborhood, for three decades. It is where our beautiful daughter grew up and went to school. The district is centered around the Arroyo Seco, a sycamore shaded valley dotted with historic structures and home to the Arroyo Arts Collective. (I participated in their wonderful annual studio tour for several years.)

I wrote a series of poems about the area, and, more especially, my relationship to it at that particular time in my life. Mid-young adulthood has its particular joys and challenges. Going to poetry groups and being encouraged to “express emotions” can, well, you will see. img307img308img309img310img306img304

Highland Park, I understand from my readings on the Internet, quite different now. It is undergoing an inevitable discovery and gentrification. I, too, am different. There are landmarks of continuity, but the only real constant is change.

I created the little booklet reproduced here for sale at a student outdoor event at Barnsdall Art Park, where I took uninstructed drawing and painting classes (shared models) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I did paste-ups and ran off sheets at the photocopy store. Then I cut them in half and stapled them. The first batch was signed and numbered. The one I copied was from a small second batch I ran off to accompany a similar little book with poems about Hollywood Boulevard, Franklin, and the Ivanhoe suburb. The cover is on blue cover stock. The rest is on white copy paper, and the whole thing has actually held up pretty well.

I decided to share it here in case it gets lost. If you find a copy of this, you have something rare (okay, not everything rare has any value, but, at least you know a little more about it now). I don’t think there were more than 20 in the numbered batch, and at least one was taken apart for display on a bulletin board somewhere (I heard.)

What Small Press Editors Want and Why You Should Care

Here’s a great insight into the process of a small press editor. Much of this holds for any kind of manuscript submission. It also applies to readers, if you are selling to them directly.

What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines | The Review Review.

NaPoWriMo Day 12

Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I’d like to say, but never would, that

I am

worth

just

as much

as

you.

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 12: Write a “Broke” Poem

By Greg Lundeen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Today, write a “broke” or “broken” poem for Robert Brewer’s blog.

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 12 | Write a Poem a Day Until May | WritersDigest.com.

Mine is a wish for friends in the upper midwest currently enduring round after round of snowy storms.

The storm
has broken
at last,
Across the
valley
swings the
broken arc
of a rainbow.
Listen!
An overjoyed
finch has
broken into
song.

#AprilPrompts – Day 11 – THRILLER | Donna L Sadd

Maria Slavona [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a Day 11 prompt on Donna L. Sadd’s blog. I don’t know why it says Day 9. I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m often confused.

#AprilPrompts – Day 9 – THRILLER | Donna L Sadd.

Here’s a contribution:

Thriller

She has retreated

to a basement

where there is

no back door

and the grimy

window is too high

to reach, and the

skulls of previous

victims crunch

slightly under

her feet. She shares

a dark corner with

a rather large  spider,

a snake of indeterminate

toxicity, and a few

odd mice. Then,

suddenly

down the steps,

a shaft of light…

Donna L Sadd

Day 11, NaPoWriMo: Write a Tanka

Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In nearby orchards

frosted blossoms have withered

pink petals drifting

on a breeze too late to save

their promise of abundance.