Archive for March, 2006

A tribute to my grandma

Southern Fried Love



Crispy magic fried chicken

fresh collard greens

red beans and cornbread

sliced garden tomatoes

a chunk of yellow onion.

No one else can make it right

five years ago a hole was left in the world.

Grandma could make a silk purse

out of a sow’s ear.

Remnants from her job

sewing in a slack factory; dresses.

Aloe Vera for my burns

lemon juice to lighten my hair,

home remedies.

A strange red conglomeration  

she mopped on my sore throat.

A secret salve rubbed on my chest

feeding my cold

starving my fever.

On a farm in Palmer,

her boys picked cotton.

Grandma sewed for neighbors.

Only one cow for milk

butter bartered for eggs

couldn’t afford chickens.


worthless as tits on a boar hog.

Took the cow to town

sold it to buy liquor.

Grandma went to town and bought it back.

He died drunk behind the wheel.

She never remarried,

had bad taste in men.

A trait passed down to me.

But I raised two boys in our small
Texas town,

With no support from their father,

working two jobs to make ends meet.

Our house, a sanctuary

for mistreated waifs,

their friends and mine.

But a southern


hair spun with gold,

sweet ocean eyes,

came bearing gifts for no reason.

Calling on his lunch hour

to say he loves me.

He chops cilantro,

fresh garlic,

sautés in olive oil,

browns boneless magic chicken breast,

covers it with garden sliced tomatoes,

Monterrey Jack cheese;

and bakes.


at her haunted sewing machine,

red beans simmering

on her heavenly stove,

just in from picking fresh tomatoes

from her spiritual garden,

made a life size image,

a blue print sewn with golden threads,

stamped with spirits approval.

Shipped on the wings of angels,

To me.



More on editing…

When I left off last week in the discussion of my writing journey I was talking about how much I hated editing. But about that time is when a fellow writer said something that really hit home, about how editing was like rebuilding the engine of a car. For a former tomboy and car enthusiast like me, the metaphor was perfect.

I have been editing my novel, hating every minute of the work, for a few weeks now, and I kept wondering why I was so uptight, feeling so rushed.

What I realized is that my age, 51 next month, has felt like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head for whole three years I've been writing full-time, always thinking, gotta get published, gotta make money, gotta hurry before time runs out. And this attitude shows in my stuff. I have a file full of stories, essays and articles that reflect the rush, that aren't quite there yet, that need to be fleshed out, cut down, retuned.

I decided at the end of 2005 that 2006 would be the year of really breaking through, getting published in major pubs, making bucks, but this morning I am embracing the fact that, nope, 2006 for me is "The Year of Editiing."

Understanding this and accepting it have already made me breath easier. It takes what it takes, and I have a lot of overhauling to do. And that's where I am with my novel. Once I shut myself away from the world and stop that analytical and business side of my brain from trying to run the show, I'm right back in that world I created, but I am finding myself editing from a reader's perspective. I impressed myself with my prose, I got the story down and finished, and now I'm trying to view it with detachment.

I'm just going to start repeating, "I love editing, I love editing.."

Blog of the week

All Kinds of Writing is my pick for blog of the week. And the title ain't joking. This blog is jam packed with links and information.

Have a productive Tuesday!

Monday markets

* t-shirt slogan designer $200 (SOMA / south beach)
PAY: $200 per idea
Hello we need fresh, new unique, funny ORIGINAL slogans for our company E-mail us your slogans and we will pay $200 per each one we like! You will still retain ownership of your intellectual property, but your t-shirt idea has to be your OWN creation! If you're a graphic designer we would like to hear from you… thanks and we look forward to hearing from you! Contact


Wisconsin Trails
Current Needs: Articles on Wisconsin people, history, nature,
adventure, lifestyle, arts, sports, recreation and business. Readers
are Wisconsin residents. "It is important that you write in a style
that lets the reader join you in the experience and conveys a sense
of place." Feature articles are 800-2,500 words and departments are
75-300 words. Query first by snail mail.
Payment Amount: $.25/word
Pays On Publication
Submissions Guidelines:


Setting Pace
PAY: varies
Publishing services company seeks expert freelance writers, editors, researchers, and project managers. BA/BS, excellent written communication skills, and competency in Microsoft Word required. Teaching background or experience in developing educational materials for grades 6-12 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume. Salary and Terms: Commensurate with projects and experience. Web site: Contact Instructions: Submit cover letter and resume to email address only.

* The Chicken Soup Healthy Living books
PAY: $200
Introducing a new, refreshing format to a best-selling series. Featuring 10-15 stories interspersed with vital information from top medical experts, they are sold nationally in drugstores and supermarkets.


Looking for freeleance writers for
New Motorcycle magazine. Please
submit your resume to the e-mail
address below.
Compensation: TBD
Reply to:
Fax: 410-686-2427


PREGNANCY RELATED ARTICLES SOUGHT needs articles on fertility, preconception, nutrition,
health and well-being, fun/humor, the male perspective, technology
for expecting and new parents, preparing for birth, birth stories,
motherhood, activities for babies, nursery design, newborn care,
newborn health and wellness, infant feeding, taking care of
mom and family life. Please include in your query information on
the experts you plan to use, what additional resources are
available and give us a good idea of the style and focus of
your proposed article.
We work on assignment only, so please do not send us
unsolicited manuscripts. We also accept first-person birth stories.
However, writers are not paid for birth story submissions.
We do not accept fiction or poetry. We have an ongoing need
for Up Front and Baby Steps submissions. Please include
expert/source information.
To submit queries for our Up Front or Baby Steps pages,
please contact our Senior “Steps” Editor, Julia Rosien.
Upcoming submission themes and deadlines can be found in the mediakit:
Compensation: $50-75 each and average 250 words,
depending on the subject.
Reply to: Julia Rosien,


Travelers' Tales Books
PAY: $100
Travelers' Tales Books has a number of travel-related titles in the works, such as More Sand in My Bra. While much of their past travel humor has been targeted at female writers/readers, one of the works-in-progress at the moment is called What Color Is Your Jockstrap? Pay is $100 and they take reprints. Note they are also working on a number of destination books (these essays need not be funny) – England, Middle East, Switzerland, Baja, etc. Guidelines:


Common Ground
PAY: $.10/word
Generally we accept articles on health, wellness, the environment, transformational travel and personal growth. We prefer articles by Canadian authors, and we very rarely accept fiction and poetry. For current needs, please refer to the Editorial Calendar.


Ruralite magazine
PAY: $30 – $500
Ruralite readers are predominantly rural and small-town residents who are interested in stories about people and issues that affect their Northwest lifestyles. The cornerstone of Ruralite's content is its colorful people features. Other mainstays include human interest and energy-related articles, as well as a limited number of Northwest travel, outdoor and unique history features. Ruralite rarely purchases stories about subjects outside of Ruralite Country, and it is not a market for poetry, short fiction or boilerplate features.


* KitTime
PAY: $50 – $200
We at KidTime have a need for quality stories, articles, and activities. The magazine will target children ages 7-12. In fiction, we are especially interested in material that focuses on the child’s experience, including learning, interaction with peers, sports and family. In nonfiction, we are interested in material that deals with the State Standards in any way.

PAY: $.05/word
Uses articles on almost every aspect of writing, including fiction, nonfiction, business writing, self-publishing, etc. Since we now have approximately 600 articles and columns on the site, we are reducing the number of articles that we purchase per year. Instead of buying four or five "web" articles and two "newsletter" articles per month, we will be focusing primarily on articles that are appropriate for the newsletter. We will consider articles on finding markets, fiction techniques, non-fiction techniques, promotion, self-publishing, etc. We expect to use two to four articles per month. All newsletter articles are subsequently posted on the website. We have a huge collection of beginner/basic pieces — how to get started, deal with rejection, write a query, etc. — so we're more interested in advanced, specific how-to information. We always have a shortage of quality how-to info on fiction. We do NOT use personal experiences, personal essays, "how I got started" accounts, accounts of funny things that you've experienced as a writer, etc. Hint: if there are a lot of "I's" in the article, it probably won't fly.


Children's Better Health Institute
PAY: $.12 – $.22/word
We at the Children's Better Health Institute have a constant need for high quality stories, articles, and activities with health related stories, articles, and activities with health-related themes. "Health" is a broad topic that includes exercise, sports, safety, nutrition, hygiene, and drug education. Health information can be presented in a variety of formats, including fiction, nonfiction, poems, recipes, and puzzles. Fiction stories with a health message need not have health as the primary subject, but they should include it in some way in the course of events. Characters in fiction should adhere to good health practices, unless failure to do so is necessary to a story's plot.




OP Magazine


Dog Lovers needed to write content for Dog Website
PAY: Negotiated Per Article
We're looking for dog lovers to help write content for our website. We're looking for 5 articles to begin with at about 300-500 words each. The purpose is to retain our viewers so the articles need to be short, informative, and captivating. Email us for more information at


The Arts Editor for St8ke Magazine,
an upcoming online publication, is
seeking specific material from artists
and writers. Sk8ke magazine is targeted
towards college-age students and readers.
The Arts section will feature a comic strip
and poem once a month. We will also highlight
a venue for our arts appreciation section.
For instance, if you know of an underrated
(or justifiably overrated) theater to see
performances or a great dive displaying
community artwork, a write-up of these
venues will be featured. We will also
feature one artist of the month. This
artist can be working in any media but
must be able to submit jpeg images of
his or her work and commit to a phone
interview. Other suggestions will be
strongly considered, such as artist
interviews or reviews. Submissions
should be approximately 200-500 words.
All submissions will be reviewed. We are
seeking submissions nationally; we strongly
encourage you to inform others. Material
for the first issue needs to be received
by Thursday, February 23, 2006. We will
accept ongoing submissions or a permanant
feature if you are selected. Please send
submissions of poetry, comic strips,
venue highlights, etcetera as soon as
Compensation: Selected articles will
receive $20 via PayPal for every
Reply to:

PAY: $.25/word is a new website (currently in the  programming stage) which will cater the acting community in Los Angeles.  This will be heavily promoted throughout the industry. We are  looking for freelance writers to write articles and movie reviews. Some  articles, if you choose to take them, will require interviews with various  people in the industry. All articles will require research (unless you are  already well-versed on various topics). In addition to the prescribed  content, we will also be taking  pitches.


Writers Needed For Basketball Trivia
PAY: $.25/question
NCAA College basketball trivia questions needed. Pay..25 per accepted question. If you are interested please email me and I will send you the full details. Contact Aaron at


Tech Writers and Tech Articles
PAY: $25 – $1000
Technology Online, a subsidiary of Blue Ideal Media Network Inc., launches on February 27th and we're looking for articles about anything and everything technology related – literally anything! It could be a how-to, a review, an article about new tech developments, or an opinion piece. We help you edit the article, then publish it for you. Every day, month, half year, and year the highest quality articles are selected to win large cash prizes ($25, $250, $500, $1000 respectively). That means that by submitting one article for publication you can make $1,775. Authors retain republication rights to their content. To find out more about Technology Online and what we do, visit Don't forget to enter our Grand Opening Giveaway (details on main page). We look forward to seeing your content on the main page of our publication in the near future. Contact


Student Traveler is committed to quality
writing about all aspects of travel for
students. We welcome new voices, as well
as established writers. As a young, but
growing magazine we seek to develop
working relationships with contributors
for long term partnerships of writing
and travel. We suggest sending a detailed
query letter with your article ideas
telling us what your angle is. Please
look at our present departments, and
see if your article might match one of
them. It's also important to read our
previous articles, archived online.
Student Traveler has a general
student-related theme for each
issue throughout the year. Submissions
that pertain to these themes are greatly
appreciated. We prefer article that are
primarily informational, and that answer
the questions you wish you knew before
going. Of course, it's always good to
use your personal experiences to help
bring authenticity to an article.
More guidelines online:
Compensation: 10-cents/ word for articles,
and photo prices vary depending on the size
of the photo.
Reply to:
Address: Student Traveler
714 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90015






Spring has arrived with a bang in Texas, and this time of the year always sets my thoughts to wandering. If you are like me and won’t be sitting at the table in this picture this weekend, pretend you are. :)

Have a great one! See you on Monday with the markets.


For those of you who have been following along as I talk about my writing journey, when last I left off, I had finally decided it was time to do an edit on Maddy.


I hate editing…no, hate is not the right word. I am impatient, and thus editing frustrates me. I thought when I sent my novel off to Delacorte contest that it was good to go. Nope, not by a long shot. I’ve always heard that you should step away from your work for a bit before you do any editing. I see why now.

I am in the process of killing my darlings, rearranging paragraphs, correcting punctuation, even deleting whole sections and totally rewriting others. It’s satisfying work, because I know for sure how much better the novel will be when I’m finished, but I’d like to quote Kris Broughton, who nailed the way a final draft feels to me, “overhaul it from the ground up – just take it apart, sentence by sentence, comma by comma, verb by verb, and take your time putting it back together as if you were blueprinting a brand new engine.”

It has taken me 2 weeks to get to chapter 7. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all worth it, that it takes what it takes. Hopefully when I’m done I’ll have something a publisher would be happy to see. :)

Blog of the week

Here is a one-woman writing machine!

Check out Over the Hill Chick, you’ll be happy you did.

And have a wonderful and productive day!