It has been a very busy few weeks in the writing department. 

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! I’ve been hitting a bunch of submissions. I currently have 24 pieces out with various contests and publications. My total rejections for the year, so far, is 57; I have 15 acceptances/placements in contests right now. My new goal for rejections for the year is 75, since I’ve already surpassed 50 and it’s only May. 

Recent acceptances/wins include 1st place in poetry in the Lonesome Pine Writing Contests for my poem, “Tendrils of the Heart.” I’m also excited to announce that I’ll have three pieces in the Appalachian Authors Guild’s forthcoming Holiday Anthology – a Veteran’s Day poem, “The Price of Freedom Is Visible Here” – and two reprinted stories that first appeared in my Blue Ridge Christmas collection, “Mary Kay Christmas” and “Virginia Creeper Christmas.” The Holiday Anthology features lots of stories by other AAG authors and will cost $10. I will hopefully have those available for anyone interested in them sometime in early June. 

On Saturday, May 4, I got to read my ghost story from 23 Tales at The Old Deery Inn in Blountville, TN, before a ghost tour, led by S.R.S. Paranormal. That was a great evening of fun and Russ got to go with me. 

Last Monday, May 6, I attended a writing prompt session sponsored by Salvation South, where we used a poem by Annie Woodford as our prompt and am working on revising the poem I came up with that evening. I really enjoyed that event and plan to do the writing prompt again in June. 

We’ve had our first Tennessee Mountain Writers Board meeting of the year. I’m on Membership and Special Events Committees and am quite excited about the upcoming year with the organization.

I attended a Humor class sponsored by Write or Die on Saturday, May 11, that was interesting. It focused on writing humorous fiction, and, although I write humorous nonfiction, I think I picked up a few useful tips. 

More deadlines are coming up this week and next week. Then the West Virginia Writers Conference in Ripley, West Virginia will be here before I know it, June 7-9. On the road again! Thanks for reading about what’s going on and for supporting and encouraging my work.