My Inspiration, My Mentor, My Favorite Author

My Inspiration, My Mentor, My Favorite Author
By Marcella S. Meeks

Earlier today I had an important letter that needed t be faxed so I drove to the local public library. While I was waiting for the fax to go through, one of the librarians was telling a lady the had books for sale in a room down the hall. My love for books and my curiosity got the best of me so I ventured down the hall to the book room.

Wow! What did I find there? Nice used hard back and soft back books that lined the shelves and they were all for sale. My eyes went straight to one of my favorite authors of all time, Phyllis A. Whitney. I found twenty-four of her books, Daughter of the Stars, The Red Carnelian, Seven Tears for Apollo, Star Flight, Ebony Swan and Rain Song to name a few. Then I found one of Victoria Holt’s books, and eleven novels by Luanne Rice. All hardback copies with the jackets on for fifty cents each!

I felt like a child in a candy store with y own spending money.

When I finally carried all the books to the counter, Linda the librarian said, “I just love Phyllis Whitney’s books and have read them all. I hate letting them go but we need the room.”

I can sure make room for them because Phyllis Whitney has always been my mentor. I have read almost all of her books and to be quite honest, more than three or four times each. Now, having my own copies I can read each one as any times as I like. My daughter is a Phyllis Whitney reader as well and was thrilled when I told her what I had bought. Phyllis A. Whitney (September 9, 1903 – February 8, 2008) was a writer of romantic novels of suspense. Whitney had written more than seventy novels.

When I reached the house and unloaded two boxes of books, it hit me. Our local library will not have her books any longer. Phyllis Whitney is no longer alive and her books are being removed fro the shelves. How on earth can this be happening?

Phyllis Whitney’s books has been an inspiration to me in every way. I have written three romance suspense novels that have not been published yet that are written in the same ‘voice’ or ‘style’ as Whitney’s books. Mine are not anywhere as good as hers and probably never will be. Yet, she inspired me to write many years ago and somehow I have to keep that inspiration alive. Whitney was an exceptionally good writer and won my heart when I first started reading romances, as early as fourteen years old. I’d often tell my friends and family that one day, I was going to write books like Phyllis Whitney.

Ms. Whitney was and always bill my inspiration and my favorite author. She passed away as an old lady a few years back but she will always ‘live’ in my world. One of my dreams for many years was to own a copy of all of her books, and with the twenty four books I purchased from the library, I am well on my way to fulfilling that dream. The other dream was to write my own suspense romance novels in the same fashion as her so I am setting out to fulfill that dream and get the three novels already written edited, rewritten and published by the summer of 2019. But first I have to finish ‘The Winter People’ by Ms. Whitney.

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A Thorn In My Side

I have been writing for many years and for what ever reason, I can’t stay focused on writing for long periods of time. I have been published many times, write for several newspapers and completed but not published three novels and a nonfiction guide for writers. My self-limiting belief that I’m not good enough at what I do has been a thorn in my side for a long time. How can I get back to the place where writing is a big important part of my life instead of just something I do when the notion strikes? Help!

Get Paid to Write

Get Paid to Write
By Marcella S. Meeks

If you have thought about writing as a profession, now is as good a time as any. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, there are magazines and blogs that pay writers to write for them.
Some writers start from the bottom and write for free. Don’t sell yourself short. Find someone who is willing to read your work and pay you for it. Would you work for free on a regular job? I didn’t think so. Writing is hard work. You must invest your time and dedication into it on a daily basis.
Below you will find several small press publications that are willing to work with new writers and actually pay you for your work. Keep in mind, they expect the same quality work as everyone else so give them your best.
Here are several publications that offer some compensation for your work, and are willing to work with you..

Confrontation Magazine
http://confrontationmagazine.org
Email: confrontationmag@gmail.com
Payment ranges $175-$250; more for commissioned work. Reading period for all submissions: August 16 – April 15
500 words max

————————-
Flash Fiction Online strives to publish fiction that presents the full variety of humanity in its pages.
http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines-flash-fiction/
$60; reprints $.02 (two cents) per word
500 to 1000 words
OPEN to all submission categories. Please no erotica, graphic sex, or egregious violence.

————————-
LampLight Magazine
http://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/
Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max
Reprints: 1¢ per word Dark fiction
Accepts originals and reprints up to 7,000 words (firm).
Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max
Reprints: 1¢ per word

————————-
Funds For Writers
https://fundsforwriters.com/

Get Paid to ‘Just Write’

Get Paid to ‘Just Write’
By Marcella S Meeks

For years, I have read the books, the articles, the blogs… took the courses, brushed up on my grammar skills; taken writing courses in fiction and nonfiction, journalism – and still struggle daily as a writer. Maybe a miracle is needed to get me writing best sellers or articles that editors are craving for. Any suggestions, anyone?
Becoming a writer was the best idea for me, a woman with a house full of babies from one month to twelve years old. Back in the early eighties, I was a stay-at-home-mom who wanted more to do besides cooking, cleaning and laundry so I dived right into the writing world, head first. I took course after course, read every book on writing available to me, and attended monthly writers groups. I knew my way around a bunch of small press magazines and got published hundreds of times. I wrote regular columns for several local newspapers and was published twice a week in one and weekly in another. The only thing lacking was payment for my work. This went on for many years until I was tired of not getting paid for something I was not only good at but something people were interested in. After many years of writing for free, I quit submitting.
As years passed by, new editors came and wet, small press publications ceased to be, and no one knew me anymore. Did I quit too soon? Or what was the problem? Recently, I started submitting my work again and found a few new small press editors who were willing to give my writing a chance again. But is this right for me? Don’t I need to write for publications that will pay me for my work? After all, the homework was done a long time ago. I conquered getting published and had earned a credible bio for my writing resume.
Several years have passed since the beginning of my ‘write for free’ days. Today as I look through my folders there are countless articles and short stories that need a touch-up, a little editing, but more importantly, needs to be submitted to a suitable market, one that pays.
Writing is what I do. It is my passion, my hobby, my dream. It is as much a part of my life as tending my garden, or cleaning my house on a daily basis. It’s as important to me as owning a car or anything other material part of my life. But since its importance is so real, then why not prioritize it with my job and paycheck?
As I sit here searching for answers, that little voice inside me just keeps whispering, “Just write. Does it matter if you get paid or not? At least others are reading your work and commenting good things about what you have to say. That’s important. More important than payment. Isn’t writing and getting the word out the most important thing?”
Well, that may be true to some writers but when does a second-time around writer start making money? That ‘is’ important to me. Sure, I value what others are saying about my work, but my blood, sweat and tears goes into every piece of writing put out there, or at least some of it. That is true literally because awhile ago, I sliced my finger while peeling potatoes for my pot roast and it won’t quit bleeding. So yes, a little blood this time went into it!
That little inner voice may be right but my writing is more valuable than that. It does deserve praise but also a little monetary compensation for my hard work is also important and would be nice. My family is all grown now, and there are no little ones around to keep me busy throughout the day, and I can write regularly. But I still have bills to pay every month and a little extra money would be nice.
I know my self-worth, and how good my writing is. I will continue writing and submitting until my royalty checks start coming in. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when. So when that little inner voice starts nudging me to ‘just write’, I will do exactly that because there is an editor out there who believes that writers deserve to be paid.
We writers need to be paid for what we do.
Don’t sell yourself short. Find someone who is willing to read your work and pay you for it. Would you work for free on a regular job? I didn’t think so. The days of volunteering has long passed and it is high time we writers get paid just like everyone else. Writing is work. It is time we start treating it as such.
Below you will find several small press publications that are willing to work with new writers and actually pay you for your work. Keep in mind, they expect the same quality work as everyone else so give them your best.
I have several publications that offer compensation for your work.

Confrontation Magazine
http://confrontationmagazine.org
Email: confrontationmag@gmail.com
Payment ranges $175-$250; more for commissioned work. Reading period for all submissions: August 16 – April 15
500 words max

————————-
Flash Fiction Online strives to publish fiction that presents the full variety of humanity in its pages.
http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines-flash-fiction/
$60; reprints $.02 (two cents) per word
500 to 1000 words
OPEN to all submission categories. Please no erotica, graphic sex, or egregious violence.

————————-
LampLight Magazine
http://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/
Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max
Reprints: 1¢ per word Dark fiction
Accepts originals and reprints up to 7,000 words (firm).
Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max
Reprints: 1¢ per word

————————-

Let’s not forget Hope’s Funds For Writer’s (https://fundsforwriters.com/) either. She has been an inspiration to me and many other writers who are struggling to get our stories published and paid for. After all, what we say is important and worth every cent, and Hope has helped us to understand the importance of getting paid for our hard work.

 

On Being A Writer

On Being A Writer
By Marcella S. Meeks

Back in the early eighties I decided on becoming a writer. Looking back now, there is no clear answer as to why. I had a house full of kids at the time, and it just seemed like the thing to do. It was satisfying and served a purpose in my life, and something I enjoyed doing in my spare time. Being a fulltime stay-at-home mother without any formal education left little room for any outside work that required a college degree so I had time on my hands. When I signed up for a correspondence writing course, writing for children and teens, my world took on a new meaning. I was no longer just a stay-at-home mother and housewife, I was a writer for children and teens.

That was just the beginning. Over the years I have written front page news and feature stories for several local newspapers as well as hundreds of newsletters and small press publications. Most of these publications are no longer in existence, and were so small that most writers today have never heard of them nor have editors.

But nevertheless it was the start of my writing career. I made a name for myself and continued writing in my spare time throughout the years. Somewhere along the way, my writing took a slow turn and writing became more of a part time hobby than a real career. I conquered the small presses and had lots of stuff published in a lot of different places. I never made it into the big time publications like Woman’s World or Better Homes and Gardens or any of these. Not that I didn’t want to; it was more or less they didn’t want me.

Since then, a lot of troubled water flowed under the bridge of life and my writing career plummeted to the ground several times – on and off light a light switch. Life and all its glory and troubles came and went, as with writing projects. I finished two romantic/suspense novels but never revised, edited or rewrote either of these. They still sit dormant in a folder on my computer. Many times, I wrote and blogged and scribbled several types of poems, stories and articles and submitted once in awhile but to no avail. Nothing was accepted.

A few months ago, I submitted a short story entitled ‘The Photograph’. Yes, I did revise and rewrite it and submitted it to a magazine I stumbled across in Poets and Writers Magazine. Within a month, it was accepted and published in the September 2018 issue. I received this nice little note when the story debuted. So with joy and gratitude, I invite each of you to read my story here. Here is the letter from the editor:

Dear Marcella,
This is to inform you that your story has been published in the Adelaide Literary Magazine No.16, September 2018, and you can view it here: http://adelaidemagazine.org/f_marcella_meeks.html
We encourage you to share this link on your Facebook, Twitter page and/or blog and website.
For the better online visibility, your work is listed on the Home Page, Current issue page, September 2018 Issue page, and Fiction page, and in coming days your biography will be added to our Contributors page.
The printed edition (paperback) and digital edition (eBook) are also released and will be available on Amazon.com in a couple of days.
Unfortunately, we do not supply contributor’s copies, but our contributing authors can purchase copies of the magazine at discount of up to 50% depending on the number of copies purchased, at our “store” page http://adelaidemagazine.org/store.html
I would like to thank you for your contribution and to invite you to continue publishing in the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Your writing is expressive, mature, and multi-layered, and it was my particular pleasure to bring it to readers. Also, I would like to apologize for the delay in the release of the September Issue caused by the change of printer and distributor.
Our imprint Adelaide Books (http://adelaidebooks.org ) is now accepting new submissions for 2019. If you have a manuscript ready for publishing, we would be happy to look at it. Let me know.
Thank you for your support.
With Kind Regards,
Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor
Adelaide Literary Magazine

Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor
Adelaide Books / Adelaide Literary Magazine
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite D27
New York, NY, 10001
(917) 727 8907
editor@adelaidebooks.org
http://adelaidebooks.org
http://adelaidemagazine.org

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the magazine, you may do so at http://adelaidemagazine.org/store.html.

Please note: Adelaide Books (http://adelaidebooks.org ) is now accepting new submissions for 2019. If you have a manuscript ready for publishing, they would be happy to look at it.

After receiving the good news, it boosted my ego and helped enable me to get back into writing once again. That’s always been my problem: staying motivated. Writing is one of the loneliest professions that I can think of. Somehow, some way, there has to be a better system for me. Someone once told me that I was my own worst enemy, and believe me, that is true in so many instances.

I am the worst procrastinator in the world. If it can be put off, then I can do that too. So today – this day – I am trying to turn over a new leaf and be a better, more proficient writer. My goal for the remainder of 2018 is to get at least one of those books revised, edited and rewritten and in the hands of a publisher, possibly the one above. My goal for 2019 is to get both published, and finish up the other book projects I started a long ago, as well as revise and resubmit some of the stories and poems that are stored in my computer.

Writers face problems that will steer them from their main goal. It happens tot he best of us. But the thing is, you’ve got to be resilient (bounce back into shape) and keep on writing. When the time is right, start submitting again. That is the best advice I can give you at this moment. Start writing and submitting – find an outlet that will boost your ego and get you back into shape! Search every writing market you can find until you find somebody that will publish your work. The good news is, there is somebody out there just waiting to grab your manuscript. But it’s up to you to find it.

Don’t be like me – wait to be motivated or inspired. That’s the worst thing any writer can do. Find an outlet or venue that works for you and start writing – after all, that’s what we all want to do anyway. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be here today reading this article.

So, take my advice. Find a market that you think you can write for. Study it, find out all you can about what they publish, what they want and need and cater to those needs. When you finally submit something to that publication and it is accepted, the rest is easy. Don’t stop there. Each month send something appropriate for them. Then start checking out other magazines you enjoy reading. Learn everything you can and cater to their needs as well. You can start right now with the one I used: Adelaide Books / Adelaide Literary Magazine at http://adelaidemagazine.org/.

I can’t tell you exactly what will happen because I don’t know what kind of writer you are, or how well you write. It doesn’t hurt to try.

Tips for Using Writer’s Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published: The #1 Resource for Writers

By Marcella S. Meeks

Every writer should have a copy of Writer’s Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published on their desk – whether it be current or last year’s copy. It is a writers bible – it contains the essential market information writers need to get their material published, to get paid for getting published and to continue being published long after that first piece is forgotten. Your writers market guide is as necessary as the computer you use to prepare your manuscript. It is as important to keep up to date with current markets for they change every day. New editorial policies, new writers guidelines are updated regularly – the markets change and it is important to keep up with these changes on a regular basis – this could save you money and time and a possible publication contract down the road.

2019 writers market

Each edition contains valuable information from items such as ‘how much to charge’ to ‘entry level opportunities for writers’ and a lot of free resources that you can use over and over again, not to mention the 4,000 plus places to sell what you write all bundled in this one thick book. The information is updated and accurate at the time of each printing.

The Writers Market is the best resource available to writers – there are other market books that you’ll find that are important assets but no desk should be without the writers bible – it’s a must at any given time.

In each market listing, you’ll find the information you need from current editorial needs to the percentage of freelance material accepted by each publisher; each section is divided in a user-friendly way to make browsing through the book essentially easy.

Whether you’re looking for a book publisher for a children’s book or a romance, Writer’s Market has it. Just wrote a perfect parenting article and need a market for it? It’s in the book. Poems anyone? It’s in the book!

Here is an example of how important the Writer’s Market is to me: I keep a current copy of the original Yellow Pages phone book on my desk because I am in advertising and have to make a lot of sales calls. The Yellow Pages is the most important book on my desk. I keep another phone book handy for the Shreveport area, a local directory and a couple of phone books for the Texas area. Why? Because I have customers there and I have to service their ads weekly and sometimes, a phone number isn’t always where I need it to be. So I reach for my phone bible! I try to keep my phone book for each place current because numbers are constantly changing and sometimes, I just need a new number that might not have been listed the year before. It works much the same way with the Writer’s Market. Publications are constantly changing and it is the writers responsibility to keep up with the current changes.

On my writer’s desk are several resources such as the (Sally E. Stuart) Christian Writer’s Market Guide, a Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market guide, a Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published, and a copy of Guide to Literary Agents as well as my Writer’s Market guide. I rarely ever use the other guides unless I am writing a specific kind of story but the information needed is usually in the big book.

childrens writers mkyt

Now let’s get down to the basics: using the writer’s market to your benefit. Let’s start with the GUIDE TO LISTING FEATURES (Example 1). You’ll find everything you need to know about the listing from the paragraphs listed – notice in the example 1 -Family Circle Magazine. The listing for that particular magazine tells you what the company’s pay rate is per word/article, where to send your query or article, when to follow up, who to contact (editor), valuable tips to help you break into the market, what they’re looking for, what they pay and what you need to send.

How can a writer survive without knowing the markets or having access to them? A writer wanting to be published can but it makes market research extremely hard or almost impossible. It’s almost like a professional painter painting a large 2400 square foot house with a brush when he could be painting easily in way less time with a spray paint unit or ‘airless spray unit.’ Writing without using the market guide is hard, time consuming and expensive to say the least. The Writer’s Market is a must – it is as valuable as having a spray paint unit handy when you painting a big house inside and out.

The Table of Contents are broken up into different categories:

From the Editor Page 1
GETTING STARTED
Getting Started
How To Use Writer’s Market Page 2
FOR BEGINNING WRITER’S
Before Your First Sale Page 6
ETC., ETC., ETC.,

The markets are then listed in this fashion: BOOK PUBLISHERS, SMALL PRESSES, CONSUMER MAGAZINES, TRADE JOURNALS, CONTESTS & AWARDS and more… You’d just have to skim through the book in order to determine the type of publication you wish to write for. The table of contents is the place to start your market research.

The Writer’s Market is the tool of the trade, whether it’s current or five years old. With technology and the Internet, even an old back issue is worth having – you can find a specific magazine in the market book and Google it for updates and new information. But let me make this suggestion: contact Writer’s Digest Books and order a current edition as soon as possible. It’ll make market research so much easier. For around $49.99, you could own a current edition of The Writer’s Market guide published by Writer’s Digest Books. Why write without it?

Click Here to order your copy of

Writer’s Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published

This is the writer’s bible to freelance success, providing the updated information writers need to get published and get paid for their work. Features include: more than 3,500 completely updated listings from the previous edition; exclusive interviews with successful writers, such as Charlaine Harris, Gwendolyn Heasley, and Cliff Dorfman; completely updated “How Much Should I Charge?” rate chart for freelancers; and new articles on topics such as how to use social media and online freelance writing.

You may also order a one month’s subscription to Writer’s Market at

WritersMarket.com.

I promised you some samples from Writer’s Market – see attached pages. I have added several listings for your perusal. Going a step further, I went online and researched these markets below and produced Writer’s Guidelines for every one at the meeting.

The first is from the category of CONSUMER MAGAZINES: General Interest.
The second is from the category CONSUMER MAGAZINES: Music.
The third is from the category TRADE JOURNALS: Journalism and Writing.

The Writer’s Market 2019, even though it is the writer’s ultimate bible and writing companion can’t guarantee you instant success or publication, but if used right, it can help you in the direction of becoming a published writer. You have to apply the common sense and hard labor and do the leg work – Writer’s Market is here when you’re ready to put that work and common sense in the hands of publishers.

Good luck, have fun writing and better yet, more fun getting published!

writers market2019 writers marketchildrens writers mkyt

 

10 Reasons Not To Become A Writer

10 Reasons Not To Become A Writer
By Marcella S. Meeks

1) Don’t become a writer if you intend to make money or become rich and famous very quickly, perhaps never. Give showbiz a try, or make your own You Tube videos!

2) Don’t become a writer if you have trouble staying focused on any one given subject because a writer needs to be focused and must write as often as he/she can about different things, especially if you write for newspapers or magazines.

3) Don’t become a writer if you can’t spell very well, and if you can’t write a sentence or paragraph that anyone would not be able to read or understand. Take a course in spelling or grammar course and then consider giving writing a chance.

4) Don’t become a writer if you don’t like to read. Reading is very important to a writer, almost as important as the writing process itself.

5) Don’t become a writer because your best friend or someone you know is good at it. What works for them may not work for you. Give it a try. Buy a spiral notebook or hardback journal and write something each day for thirty days. If after a few days you decide this isn’t what you want, then you haven’t wasted anything but a few dollars on something to write in!

6) Don’t become a writer because you can’t find a job and need to start a new career. If you are not working now, then don’t expect a paycheck anytime soon by writing. Rejection slips certainly don’t pay the rent or utilities or a car note.

7) Don’t become a writer because you are lazy and don’t want to do physical labor. Writing is hard work and some writers invest many years of blood, sweat and tears into their work before they become published authors.

8) Don’t become a writer because it looks easy and you think because you have a degree in English that you’ll be good at it. I have a friend who is a retired English teacher. She taught high school English for thirty-five years and she honestly sucks at writing. Her stories reminds me of something a fourth grader wrote – actually a fourth grader’s work reads much better and is not as dry and boring! Her stories worked in class among other teachers but it don’t work for editors.

9) Don’t become a writer because it looks all glitzy and exciting because it is just the opposite. Actually, being a writer can be exciting depending on what you are writing about. But it can get very lonely and it is hard work. Sometimes, it is a very boring profession.

10) Don’t become a writer if you are suicidal or an addict or alcoholic. It might worsen your symptoms and cause you to do bodily harm to yourself. Seek professional advice before embarking upon a career in writing!

I’ve listed ten reasons why you shouldn’t become a writer that will save you time and money in your lifetime. If you are still determined to become a writer, then be my guest. Open your laptop and start crafting your story or poem and write to your heart’s content. Just don’t ever say you weren’t warned!

Don’t You Just Hate Writers Block?

Don’t You Just Hate Writers Block?
By Marcella S. Meeks

How many times have you sat down to write, and stared at your blank computer screen in hopes that some kind of inspiration would happen and words would start flowing automatically? After awhile, you give up altogether in sheer frustration. Don’t you just hate writers block?
Writers block affects every writer, both amateur and old pro, in one way or another. We writers have a tendency to procrastinate (put things off) and we get blocked. It’s that simple.
The past several weeks has been the toughest for me. Inspiration has seemed so far away. Even rehashing old writing ideas, brainstorming or free-writing doesn’t seem to be working. In order to get inspired, and try and get unblocked, I ventured over to the Writer’s Digest website today. Honestly, it helped. The writing prompts were awesome and I managed to write a poem because of one of them. It was revised, and submitted earlier today! Wish me luck!
Skim every back issue of writers magazines or books on writing that you can get your hands on. Check out writers blogs and read some of their work. Writing inspiration will come back to you but it is up to you to get unblocked. You’ve got to dig deep and find your muse and use it to your advantage.
My passion to write and to travel sometimes inspire me to write travel articles but because of writers block and life itself, I’ve only managed to pen about nine or ten destination-oriented pieces. None of my travel articles has been published as yet but I’m working on it. I became overwhelmed with the tons of information found on the Internet and writers block took hold. Because of this, I am writing my way through the block with whatever tool of inspiration I can find. Dealing with the matter first hand is a sure-fire way to get unblocked. I know – I’ve been there. You’re reading this article, aren’t you? At the moment the block seems to be gone.
It’s not to say you want get blocked, bored, burned out, or tired and find yourself not wanting to write. We all go through this. But being completely blocked is a whole different matter. You can find ways to get unstuck. And it’s really not that hard either. It’s a matter of digging deep and freeing yourself so you can start writing again.
Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way. We become overwhelmed with all that’s thrown at us each day. It’s a noisy, busy world out there. Sometimes we lose sight or focus and writing is almost always shoved to the back burner.
When I sat down to write today, my entire idea took a different turn from the direction it started. I had every intention of working on a travel piece but the blank screen was a bit distracting. I pulled out a pen and paper and before my very eyes words about writer’s block started coming to mind and immediately two pages were filled up. Writers block is a common topic and every write experiences it at some point. Some writers have no idea how to get through it.
Do what I do. Write about it because like you, I just hate writers block! Don’t you?

I am a Writer

I am a Writer

By Marcella Simmons

I started writing many years ago – in elementary school to be exact. I don’t remember what grade  was in but it was during those early years that I started writing poetry, short stories and plays. My teachers would always admire my work and sometimes, I’d get to read a poem or story in front of the class. My poetry back then was childish and silly as it should have been and made the kids in my class laugh. But it was sometimes annoying to adults especially when I made up poems about them. My stepfather got a poem written about him for grounding me one weekend. I made an extra handwritten copy for him and read it to everyone in the house. He didn’t let it show but I know it bothered him to some extent.

It went something like this: My stepfather is a mean old man, he wouldn’t try to understand. He take his belt and whip me good – I tried to outrun him when I could. He takes his boat to the boat everyday, took his oars and sailed away…

None of what I said was true but he grounded me and I lashed out at him in a childish poetic way!

It never occured to me until later in life that this was the beginning of my writing career. Since then, I have written many things from nonfiction to fiction, poetry and newspaper feature stories and front page news. I have written a book of poetry, three romantic/suspense novellas and continue writing every day. I write in a journal on a regular basis and I write travel stories for several travel blogs I created some time back.

Last year, I was diagnosed with stage 4 mouth cancer and had surgery back in October 2017. My speech has been altered and I find myself frustrated because I can’t talk as well as I use to. But lucky for me I have my ability to write and communicate and this has proven to be a life saver more than ever. I started a cancer blog and write posts weekly for it, as a place to vent and a place to help others with the same or similar situation as mine.

I am a writer… I have always been a writer – why I chose this profession or why this profession chose me is something I haven’t quite figured out yet. I am good at a lot of things like graphic design, advertising sales and traveling. What inspired me to become a writer? The world may never know! I may never know. But what I do know is that I am happy that writing has been a part of my life many times. For many reasons.

When I pick up the newspaper in town every week, I read a story that irritates me to song degree – you can bet I respond and have my say. I use to write two bi-weekly newspaper columns for several years and then hired on as reporter until they eventually laid me off some years later. That was an experience for me every way. It helped me to become a much better writer, and I learned the hard way to be careful when writing about someone in the public or otherwise – to always make sure your facts are correct and accurate or you could find yourself in a whole lot of trouble. Once, I covered a meeting from town hall – luckily I brought a recorder and recorded the entire meeting as I took notes. Later when the story was printed and hit the stands, the mayor called and was ranting and raving about the things he didn’t say… but what saved me and my job was the fact that it was recorded word for word. And that’s how I quoted him – word for word.

I am a writer…and I am always looking for ways to make my writing better. I have written three novels that are collecting dust at this moment – one has just been pulled up and is under construction at this time. My goal is to have it ready for an editor before the summer is over. I’d love to have my work published and I eventually will as I take this journey to become a better writer.

That’s one of the reason I enrolled in this course – I am in need of inspiration, motivation and encouragement. We can do this together. Let’s get started and become real writers!

 

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