Archive for the Health and fitness Category

Payback is a bitch: life of a short story

Posted in All posts, Health and fitness, Life, On writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Trina

I am happy to announce that  Luna Station Quarterly magazine accepted my short story “Payback is a bitch”  for their September 1 issue.  I took only one day from submission to acceptance. I had just submitted to them on Saturday as part of my getting back into balance campaign. This is quick, although not the record for me. Chiron Review accepted one of my stories after only an hour.

About Payback is a bitch

When a personal tragedy costs homicide detective Rosa Wolfe everything–her marriage, her career, and her badge–she returns to the streets she once patrolled, finding satisfaction in high-payoff vengeance for hire.

On creation of the story

I had fun writing the story because it is my first attempt at writing a detective thriller, the genre I love to read. Payback was born over a year and a half ago. It took that long to find a market for it.  I wrote Payback back in November of 2008 after Harry bought me the Rambo collection for my birthday–wonder where I got the idea for a story about a vigilante.  See previous post.  Since then, I’ve submitted Payback to 18 magazines.  Thirteen rejected it.  One magazine collapsed before they could even reply to my submission.  Three other magazines have not yet replied–I’ll have to let them know its been accepted.

This is why it is so easy to get discouraged with writing and submitting short stories.  It is rough out there.  It took me 18 tries before Payback was finally accepted. I think about that when I have to reject stories for Pig and a Poke, like I did on Sunday. I try to take the time to give reasons for rejection.  It isn’t always possible, but most of my rejections are personal.

I liked writing Payback so much that I decided to expand it into a novel.  “The Ripper” is in draft stage. The outline is finished and about half of the chapters, but not in sequence. I’ve written bits and pieces here and there as the ideas come to me. The beginning, some of the middle and ending is done. The rest needs to be filled in. I decided to expand Nick the Nick’s role. Nicholas Nicholson is a former Green Beret turned vigilante who teams up with Rosa. He may end up being a bad guy. I haven’t decided yet. Rosa believes that if she and Nick can find and apprehend  the serial killer responsible for the string of rape/murders that has continued during the three years she has been working without a gold shield, she might be able to turn her life around.

Update on balance

I lost Friday as a writing day due to being pulled over with expired registration.  Sigh.  I spent the afternoon at the DMV.  Saturday I sent out short story submissions.  The Luna Station Quarterly acceptance will go a long way toward giving me my ambition back.  I think it will even motivate me to work on the novel again.  Sunday, I reviewed all of the stories submitted to Pig in a Poke. I found two that I liked well enough to accept. Unfortunately I had to send out some rejection letters.

I am continuing the walking, working out at the gym, and healthy eating.  Look for more posts on that.

How Trina lost her balance and other stuff

Posted in All posts, Health and fitness, Life, On writing with tags , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by Trina

Am I a fiction writer, magazine editor, Web designer, or test developer? Can I really wear all four hats? Apparently not very well.

I have been doing too much, or at least trying to. Until I had a scare two weekends ago. My blood pressure shot to 150/102 and stayed there, even while taking my blood pressure medication. I had to go to the doctor and add another medication in addition to the one I was taking. And I have to slow down.

I drive from Raleigh to Durham four days a week, where my day job is developing educational science tests.  During my three days off, I select the stories for Pig in a Poke magazine, as well as laying out the HTML for the pages. I am also the leader of a fiction writing group.  So, it is not surprising that I quit writing my own fiction and let my exercise drop off to one or two days a week. I have not worked on my novel in two months. The same goes for my short story collection. Nor did I send out one submission for my finished stories. As you can see from the infrequency of my postings, I have not been blogging either. The combination of sitting at the computer with little exercise and eating out or ordering in did me in.

Determined to get my blood pressure under control, I had to make some changes. I am walking or going to the gym every morning. I have cut out alcohol completely, and Harry and I are back to eating healthy and cooking together, something we both enjoy. One trip to the farmers market gave us veges for the week. Yummy.

In one week I’ve lost 5 pounds and I’m not starving myself. I am not hungry. My blood pressure is now running around 115/80. I feel both relieved and energized! My goal is to lose 20 pounds and keep it off. That means exercise has to come first. And I’ll have to lose one of my other hats to make time for it.

Yesterday, I sent out a story submission for the first time in two months. It felt awesome. I’m ready to start working on the novel again. I’ve made some notes, which is a good start.

I am also doing some soul searching to determine how I let myself get so out of balance. When I decided to take on the fiction editing and Web design for Pig in a Poke I had resigned from my job as a test developer, effective May 1, the same day the first issue ran. I had planned to take on a few freelance critique jobs as a source of income and finish my novel and short story collection.

It didn’t work out that way. A senior project director at Measurement Inc. (MI) offered me a part time contract position (four days per week), so I went back to my day job. I enjoy the work and the pay is good.

So, which hat will I drop? Not Pig in a Poke. Harry and I enjoy putting out the magazine too much. It has been very rewarding work. Something else has to go. I no longer offer freelance critiquing and I’ve made arrangements to work at MI only seven of every ten business days. I hope cutting back on my hours will be enough for me to schedule my fiction writing back into my life. I would hate to give up the day job. I like the money too much. But I also want to be around for the next 50 years or so. My health has to come first.