Thank goodness for husband and friends.

I have a friend who lives in Los Angeles and who is an actress. I spoke to her today about rejections, and she’s seen her fair share of rejections. Here I am upset about my words not being liked and as an actress she told me about her looks not being liked. Ultimately, she told me “You can’t think about the rejection.” It’s true. You just can’t think about the rejection, because if you do, you’ll go mad.

My husband has been steadily trying to make me feel better since yesterday. Of course another rejection came today, and I just laughed to myself like “But of course.” I work in marketing research, so I get it. My PhD is ultimately going to be in Psychology, Business Psychology. So, I get that there is a dollar sign behind everything, a strategy behind everything, and some machine behind making you want and feel the need to buy something. If an agent doesn’t feel like my book will sell then it’s not worth their effort, and I understand that. Agents work on commissions, and their world is as grueling as a writers, I suppose. They too have to package something nice enough so that someone else will want it.

Do I like writing? I would not have done it for so long if I didn’t. I also hate when people tell me “Grow a thick skin and deal with rejection.” Look, I’ve been writing for 20 years. I know rejection. I’ve had works rejected to me in my face. I’ve had my works critiqued to my face by panels. I know rejection. It’s never easy. Grow thick skin? Try growing up to a poor family in inner city Chicago where you’ve had to work since you were 14-years-old and have been working full-time since you were 17-years-old. I am all thick skin. So, rejection never gets easy, because all I’ve ever done is work, and work hard at that.

So, my actress friend made me feel a bit better. My husband has been all goofy smiles for days trying to cheer me up. If this book doesn’t get picked up by an agent or indie press I’ll likely post it here for free or on Wattpad for free or something along those lines. I write. I want people to read my writing. That’s all there is to that. Some people will gain financial success from writing and others won’t. That’s reality.

I can’t stress out too much about rejection (even though I do). I have enough things to stress about. Work. PhD. Husband. Children. House. Mortgages. Car payments. Insurance payments. Health. Etc. Etc. I have to think about – How much living do I have left? How many years do I have left? What more can I do to be happy, truly happy? I can’t control people around me. So, I need to think about what I can control and what things really matter.

For now, here’s another picture from my recent Iceland trip that I took on the horse farm we were staying on. Again, Iceland was amazing, and I’ve been thinking about going back.


Writing Conferences, Querying, Rejection…again

I attended The Loft Pitch Fest in Minneapolis where I was lucky enough to pitch 3 agents. Each of them requested to see material, so at least that was positive.

The week right after the conference my family and I took our first international trip as a family of 4 and we went to Iceland! Iceland was definitely much needed. I needed to get away from the city, from people, from writing and from rejection. I can’t recommend Iceland enough. We stayed in a rural town on a horse farm. With coming from a city where I literally hear sirens each and every day, I can say it was a joy to step outside and see that there was no one within a mile, to smell the fresh, cold air, and to just be alone with my family and my thoughts, and of course gorgeous nature!

Now, on to querying. Have I mentioned I’ve been writing for 20 years? Yes. It’s true. I worked a journalist for many years before moving on to get my MFA in writing and started writing fiction. If I had to count the number of rejections I’ve received over the years from agents I’m probably at about 200. I hear a lot of reasons why. Yes, I’ve messed up a query here or there, a submission here or there, I’ve been told horror was hard to sell, I’ve been told a lot of things really why my manuscript was a no.

I’ve published 3 books in the years since I finished my MFA with independent presses. I just finished another book I’m trying to pitch, and I’ve written 3 other books which will never see the light of day. So, I’ve written 7 books in 8 years.

After a rejection yesterday I spent much of the evening binging on Oreo cookies and drank a bottle of wine, seriously. It’s hard. It’s hard to be rejected over and over again. It’s hard to come to terms that hey, maybe this writing thing will never pan out for me, I may never make a gagillion dollars from my art, and I’ll just be stuck navigating office anxieties at the day job for the rest of my life.

Of course my husband said to quit, if it hurts me so much then quit writing. I’ve thought about quitting – lots of times. I’ve seen people get an agent after writing for just a couple of years. I’ve seen people get fancy agents even though their book is incomplete. Is it all about luck? Maybe. Am I unlucky in this field? I would say so, yes.

I have so many positive people who are great cheerleaders, but honestly, I just want to be down right now. I think I need to be down right now and assess what’s next. If I want to keep doing this, and if I keep doing this – writing – should I take a different approach? Should I just post my novels for free on Wattpad or something, and just write for the sake of writing? Who knows?

I’m going to go drink some chamomile tea and think for a bit now.

Thanks for reading.


Warning, Personal Post

So I went quiet from the horror writing world for some time. I closed down Burial Day Books. I didn’t write much new horror for about a year or two, and I just went sort of quiet and shut down.

Lindsay Hunter is a writer I respect very much. She has written some novels and articles that are fantastic. Recently, she’s been writing about motherhood and some of her posts, including this one inspired me to write about why I stopped publishing Burial Day Books and why I slowed down my fiction writing for some time.

I wrote a piece for Medium and it can be found here. In it I talk about miscarriage, infertility, and the horrible pain it brought. Note, that soon after my oldest son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. So, not only do writers have to deal with life; work, house chores, and squeezing in writing, but there are some writers that sometimes are fighting massive battles in the background with family illnesses, etc.

This is life. It’s hard, and full of sadness and suffering and sometimes, many times it can be beautiful.

I hope you read my piece in Medium and can understand why it’s taken me a bit to get back on the horror writing track. I hope to keep moving forward and producing great work. Keep sending me your positive vibes. I feel them friends.


Readings, Critique Partner, and Writer’s Conference!

A few things recently –

I participated in a poetry reading for Palabra Pura’s 13th season at La Bruqueña in Humboldt Park here in Chicago. I read a poem from my poetry collection published with Raw Dog Screaming Press, Poems of My Night which was nominated last year for both an International Latino Book Award and an Elgin Award.

The reading was absolutely wonderful, and it was great to read with fellow Boricuas (Puerto Rican) poets.

The next thing is after writing for a gagillion years, I finally decided ‘Hey, maybe someone needs to read what the hell I write before I submit it.’  So, I have a critique partner now (waves, hi critique partner). So far, it’s certainly helping find things that I need to fix in my novel – which there’s a lot to fix.

As I said previously, I’m working on a supernatural detective horror novel based here in Chicago. I’m actually in the process of rewriting it and so it’s kinda up in the air right now. However, I’m going to kill myself to get it prepped and ready for…

Writer’s Conference!

I’m going to a writer’s conference soon. I’ll post more about that later on, after the conference. I’ll be pitching to agents there who are looking for horror. So, wish me luck.

Overall, wish me luck in getting this book in shape and wish me luck at the writer’s conference, which is still not for some time.


The Horror Tree Blog!

It’s still Women in Horror Month!

I wrote a very short blog about female serial killers for The Horror Tree blog. I’ve been absolutely fascinated with female serial killers lately. Maybe there’s a story that I’ll write later on about that. Who knows?

Regardless, go visit The Horror Tree, check out the blog and some of the other great horror related content they have.