Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Submission Roller Coaster: Special Announcement!!!

If you've ever submitted writing, you know all about the Submission Roller Coaster.  For those of you who haven't experienced this up-and-down-and-all-around ride, let me enlighten you.

While writing the piece, you're going up up up up, only able to see the clouds. A tremendous sensation of "absolutely anything can happen" (complete with Ellie Golding singing in your ear) fills your entire being. All of a sudden you're done writing and revising and then you're teetering on the very top of a hill. Just as you hit the send button on the email containing your masterpiece, all that you can think is "WHY DID I DO THAT?!"

Followed by "I'M NEVER WRITING ANYTHING AGAIN IN MY LIFE OH MY GOSH WHAT POSSESSED ME TO DO THIS I CAN'T WRITE I CAN'T WRITE WHY DID I EVER THINK I COULD?!" Butterflies explode in your stomach as you race down the track, absolutely positive that you'll fall and hit the pavement below you.

But then. . .miraculously, you're going up a hill again. Maybe I'm not a fail. Maybe they'll publish it. Maybe J.K. Rowling will see it and offer to help get me a publishing deal for my book. Maybe Tom Hiddleston will see it and fall madly in love with me. Maybe. . .maybe. . .maybe. . .


Next, you're upside down, sure that you're going to die and live at the same time. Maybe someone will fund my entire writing career. "NOPE I'M GONNA DIE GONNA DIE GONNA DIEEEE!!" Maybe I'll change someone's life. "NOPE SOMEONE IS GOING TO SHOW UP AT YOUR HOUSE WITH A GUN AND FORCE YOU NEVER TO WRITE ANOTHER WORD AGAIN."

Sorry, guys. I'm a major drama queen.

This whole cycle repeats itself a few more times and then it's over, either ended by a acceptance or a rejection, or by just plain forgetfulness.

Anyway. . .

I submitted an article the Life Teen blog (I blogged about one of their posts here) back in April (thus boarding the Submission Roller Coaster). This blog is so incredible and has helped me grow so much as a person over the past few years. They were looking for articles from teens, so I submitted one. Yikes. Needless to say, it was a rough few weeks following the submission.
By the end of April, I had completely forgotten about it. The musical I was in, plus general end-of-year stuff, pushed it out of my mind. Or maybe I made myself forget about it because I thought I'd made a mistake in submitting it.

So it was to my great delight and surprise when I received an email from the ultra-amazing Christina Mead of Life Teen this past Monday, apologizing that it had taken so long to get back to me and that she'd love to publish my post!


Of course, I screamed (#dramaqueen). I mean, it's not a huge deal, but it's a slightly big deal. Life Teen has changed and impacted so many lives (including mine) so the fact that God could potentially use my writing to bring His love to someone is totally humbling.

Side story-- my sister came running into my room after I screamed with a box of tissues saying "Oh my gosh, you are such a baby, where is it?!"

"Where is what?"

"The spider. Isn't that why you screamed?"

Hahaha. Very funny.

So head on over to Life Teen to read my post and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Title: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Author: Betty Smith
Rating: PG14 for mature content

I don't know Betty Smith. Technically speaking, I really can't know her, since she passed away before I was born. I don't really know anything about her, either, besides that she (1) isn't living (which I just found out by Googling, so I'm not sure if it counts) and (2) wrote A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. So, needless to say, I do not know anything about her writing process.

But I think I have a good idea of how it went.

What happened was that she went to New York (where the story takes place) with a book full of blank pages. She sat down on a busy corner with people bustling about, jostling each other, eagerly coming and going. She opened the blank little book and the wind blew words into its pages. Words soaked heavily in life. And, viola, the book was written.

Words cooperate exceptionally well with her. IF ONLY I TOO WOULD BE SO LUCKY.

Anyway, life imprinted itself on the very pages of her novel. If I had to describe the novel with one word that's what I would say: it's just life.

The life of Francie Nolan, the lives of her family, of her friends, of those around her. . .living, breathing, doing regular, day-to-day things that are common and ordinary (to them). I exhibited all the signs of reading a thriller while reading this book: sitting on the edge of my seat, staying up all night haunted by thoughts, tears streaming down my face, lip biting because of nervousness. But no, it's simply a work of historical fiction, so realistically beautiful.

This book renewed my appreciation for life-- both writing it and living it. It encouraged me to notice seemingly little things more (because that's what's really important) and not to get so upset with seemingly big things (because they too will pass).

Honestly, there are no words in the English language to express the brilliance of Betty Smith and her novel. Her novel is about a journey called life, with heartbreak, joy, tears, and love we can all relate to.

ALSO: Check back this Friday for a special announcement!