2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 1 book toward her goal of 285 books.

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Surprise, Surprise: The Ball is Actually Rolling!

So I have News. Good news. Things are Starting to Happen…

First, I have officially entered my first short story writing contest (sponsored by The Writer magazine and Gotham Writer’s Workshop)! Submissions are due by April 30, with winners (top three submissions) notified by August 15; I submitted yesterday and received my official notice that they received my submission this morning. The contest is limited to 2,000 word stories; I submitted “Story Hour”, which was posted on the blog last Saturday.

This will be the first of several contests that I will enter this year. In addition to a short story or two, I hope to also submit several Flash Fiction pieces (for more information on Flash Fiction, see this past Monday’s post. I do not intend to be profligate with contests, but do want to get my writing out in front of as large an audience as possible, and so will try to select appropriate opportunities and keep you apprised of how things go. Not only does a contest offer the possibility of winning/success (obviously very cool things and high on my list of Things That Would Be Great), of course, but it also offers the possibility of positive feedback – actually, of ANY feedback – which is also important. I have been surprised at how difficult it is to not receive regular feedback – not to be told that a particular piece is/is not on track, not to have anything to compare my writing to or against. I feel like Lisa Simpson, and find myself wanting to scream “GRADE ME!!” at the top of my lungs some days… (teehee) So while it would be incredible to win, I am also thinking it would be pretty great if I could get feedback of any kind on at least one submission at some point.

On the topic of feedback and grades, you may also have noticed that the blog now features a word count meter. Turns out that, in addition to it being surprisingly difficult to go unevaluated, it is also surprisingly difficult for me to measure progress or stay on track (or sometimes even to know what “on track” means). So there is now a word count meter with a random (but not completely baseless) metric of 25,000 words of fiction per month. This includes work on the ongoing short stories, novel ideas, flash fiction, and anything else fictional that does not get posted on the blog (so, for example, “Story Hour” and “The Boys”, both posted to the blog this month, did not count toward April’s word goal). I am basically writing as a part-time job these days, so it seemed like an acceptable place to start. I do not know if I will make the goal this month; the idea for a metric was conceived and born in the past couple of days so I had not been writing with a word count goal for most of the preceding two weeks. But having a goal gives me a target to aim for and some sense of self-accountability, and I am cautiously optimistic that it will help me be slightly more disciplined (and therefore more productive) going forward.

I have also become an official book reviewer – a job I have long thought would be perfect for me is now, in some small measure, becoming a reality. I have applied to and been selected by several sources (including online groups and a publisher) to review advance copies of selected works and provide book reviews on my blog and through other popular sources such as Amazon.com – a great beginning for me and hopefully a foot-in-the-door in the “real” literary world. I am extremely excited about this opportunity and am eagerly awaiting my first books.

Speaking of Amazon, I have begun posting my book reviews there already. To date I have posted those referenced in the blog as well as others I have written but not otherwise publicized; if you are interested and/or curious, check them out. While I do not want a full-time job as a book reviewer (I do still want to write my own fiction, not just review other people’s work), I would love it if I could do this on a regular, part-time-equivalent basis. I love to read (as you no doubt can tell by now, teehee), love having books earlier than other people (teehee), love proselytizing about books that I enjoy, and just generally love talking about books/writing.

So things are shaping up decently in the world of All Things Jill-Elizabeth. Stay tuned for more updates on progress, and please wish me luck!

3 comments to Surprise, Surprise: The Ball is Actually Rolling!

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