Over the past few months, there's been a bit of radio silence on my blog. Not because things weren't happening behind the scenes - perhaps because too much was going on!
I've had a number of acceptances and publications, which I'll post about later on. I changed over my newsletter mailing list, since I was using a service that was discontinued. And, finally, I rejoined a competition that I had to delay taking part in last year because I was sick with coronavirus and homeschooling my kids.
The competition I'm doing is called "Pitch Week," and it's held by the When Words Count Retreat, located in picturesque Vermont. There are two parts to it - "Meet the Judges" is the first part, which will be held next week virtually. It will include each author (there are 6 contestants per cycle) running through their presentation material and getting feedback and help from the staff of editors. The second part is when each author presents their final material for their book to the judges and gets their scores (which will take place at the end of September in person). Top prize is a publishing deal, literary agent, and a national PR launch.
I'm both excited and nervous to be a part of this competition. I chose it because, however contrarian it is, it played to my weaknesses. I am a white-knuckler when it comes to speaking in front of people. So, to challenge myself, as soon as I saw that this competition was pretty much 100% presenting your material in front of both judges and audiences, I signed up (although not without a TON of butterflies in my stomach!).
While I have most of my material ready to go, I am doing the perfectionist author thing and obsessively checking things over and over. It will almost be a relief to get this week started!
So wish me luck - I'll see you on the other end. :)
Welcome to summer! I'm going to kick it off at the Norwalk Art Festival, and I hope you'll join me. It's taking place over this upcoming weekend, and in addition to fabulous art, there will be fabulous literary readings at the Poets, Writers & Storytellers Stage. Check out this lineup:
The festival is completely free, and the readings are too - hope to see you there!
I'm extremely thrilled to talk about a new literary magazine called Scribes*MICRO*Fiction. I'm one of four editors running the show, which includes our head honcho Edward Ahern and our fabulous submission editors P.M. Ray and P.C. Keeler. The magazine is 100% online and free to read and publishes on the 15th of every month. There have been 2 issues so far, featuring an amazing array of writers, poets, and artists.
We wanted to highlight writing that gives readers a brief glimpse into another world - actually, many other worlds and viewpoints. As such, we publish very short writing, about 100 words per piece. Each work is like a handshake - enough to introduce a reader to a writer, but with the full conversation yet to come.
It's wonderful to be part of a magazine from inception, and here's to many more issues forthcoming. Check out brand new issues HERE on the 15th of each month. Hope you enjoy reading them!
I'll probably have a lot to say at some point, but I've been glued to the TV screen since about 1pm today, and I'm tired. I need a drink, badly. Or something mindless to watch on TV that doesn't bring tears to my eyes. A nice comedy where people fall down and other people laugh because it's silly and no one got hurt. While I've been watching DC go nuts, I drew a comic, which I'll leave here as my only commentary about today.
To everyone in DC, stay safe. To everyone who, like me, are having eyeball problems while glued to the TV, I hope you can unglue yourself at some point. I don't know if I can sleep tonight, so that's all I'll say for now. Have a goodnight, everyone.
This has been a crazy year, but I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours.
Last night, my kids and I had a quiet dinner together. Usually, we have a nice Christmas dinner of quiche and salad and dessert and wine with family and friends, but this year it was just us. The kids picked what they wanted to eat, and we had takeout Chinese. While I'm not a superstitious sort, I do always enjoy the fortune cookies at the end of the meal. We have a tradition that whenever we get fortune cookies, we each read our fortunes out loud, and my kids save the ones they like on the fridge.
I don't usually save a fortune, but I got one last night that I felt was worth saving. It said, "As one grows to understand life less and less, one learns to live it more and more."
I feel that this is true. I don't have any great understanding of life after this past year of the 3 P's: pandemic, politics, and protest. Whatever side of the divide you fall on, America has more problems than answers right now, and it's hard to imagine what's on the horizon.
However, because of the pandemic, I've had to scale back my work. I'm homeschooling my kids. And a year that might have passed in a blur of work and events and lessons and always rushing, rushing, rushing, has slowed down. It's become a time that I will look back upon as the year that I learned how to live day by day and learned what it truly means to appreciate the strange journey of life.
May you have a healthy and safe end to the year, and a bright and peaceful New Year.
I am proud to announce that I am one of the editors for a new literary magazine called Scribes*MICRO*Fiction. Our magazine is looking for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poems all between 90-110 words. We'll be publishing once a month, and be open to submissions year-round.
For a full list of guidelines and how to send in your writing, please visit our magazine's website HERE.
So... it's been a while. July, in fact, since I was last on this thing, LOL. The year has been simultaneously terribly slow without the usual assortment of author events and summer camps and back to school things that we usually do during the year. My two youngest kids are homeschooling with "Mrs. Mom" as their teacher, and my oldest is doing distance learning. So our household has stayed busy, even though it's an unusual kind of busyness. Like everyone, we're looking forward to a more normal future when the vaccine can be distributed, although I'm sure some things have permanently changed.
For example, has anyone noticed their kids haven't been sick at all? Since we mostly stay home, and wear masks every time we go out, we've had exactly 1 cold so far this season (and I have no idea where THAT came from). Yes, we got our flu shots, but on top of that, we just haven't had the same exposure. I'm wondering if wearing masks will continue to trend, even after the vaccine helps tamp down the numbers of coronavirus. Last winter, we were sick pretty much for 5 solid months. So life has been more pleasant without the constant illnesses.
Hope everyone has stayed healthy & safe in the meantime, and will continue to do so through the winter. Love and virtual hugs to everyone!
It's Fourth of July, and each of my daughters are celebrating what they're proud of as Americans.
My oldest daughter is proud to be an American who supports #BlackLivesMatter and marches in protest against violence and for positive and lasting change.
My middle daughter is proud to be an American who writes optimistic poems and stories to inspire others her age when they're sad because of the pandemic.
My youngest daughter is proud to be an American who wears a mask whenever she goes out.
Happy Fourth of July to all Americans! May you keep healthy and safe.
If you're looking for an online poetry event this weekend, I'm taking part of a virtual fiction/poetry reading tomorrow, Saturday June 27th. The event runs from noon until 6pm, with 20+ local Connecticut poets, including current and former poet laureates from Norwalk, in addition to other new and award-winning writers.
The event is organized by the wonderful local poet Jerry Johnson. For more information, including how to livestream the event via Zoom, check out his post HERE.
I hope to "see" you there!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Connecticut, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
© Alison McBain. All rights reserved