I Don’t Want to Say You Are Stubborn, But…

I won’t finish the sentence, but I will summarize the exchange. A writer friend of mine emailed me to say that I should stop “playing around with short stories” and get serious about revising and submitting a few novels. Oh, and I could almost see his nose turning up when he typed, “I can’t believe you self-published your work, Magaly. You are good enough to try traditional publishing. For Mary’s sake, why are you doing this to yourself?” 

My reply? You want to read it, don’t you? I sure hope so, my Luvs, ‘cause I’m giving it to you: I’m more stubborn than a quartet of pissed off mules, tied to each other by the neck, each determined to go south, north, east and west at the same time.

And I disagree with my friend; my work is not “good enough [for me] to try traditional publishing.” It is good enough to try traditional publishing and the not so traditional—yet—digital publishing, too. I like writing of short stories, like AlmaMia Cienfuegos, for they offer a glimpse into the novels to come.

My works in progress include two novels—Dancing On Her Bones, set in the world of AlmaMia and Blood Grudge, set in Luna Bravo’s Pre-Chaos. I’m lucky enough to be able to focus on more than one project at the time. Why not use my superpower, right? While working on the novels, I want to publish a short story every quarter or so. For this year, I have a couple of shorts in Luna’s world, 1 story that expands on Gardens and Thorn, and 2 other tales that I haven’t shared with you. In 2013, I’m planning for a Fine Arts Macabre tale (like Laila, but longer) every other month.

And I always want to have short witchy bits for your lovely Wicked Darling Selves to enjoy at my writing site.

Yep, my eclecticism doesn’t limit to witchery; it transfers to every aspect of my life. There is a reason why I won’t join any coven or swear allegiance to any path that dictates all my moves—I know that works for many, but not for me. I need freedom to do as I please with my brain, with my magic, and above all, with my words.

The following is almost unrelated to this post, but not really. My friend’s “For Mary’s sake” outburst reminded me of something that happened to me right before I hit puberty. I was auditioning for the role of Mary in a Catholic ritual. The person in charge loved my singing and my memorization skills, but she booted me out of the production once I began to dance and smile after Mary received the news.

I mean, really my Luvs, I just couldn’t believe Mary would stand there looking all grave and stiff, after an angel told her that she was going to give birth to a child who would save the world. So I danced… and I sang… and I grinned like a happy lunatic until I was asked—not very nicely—to leave.

My friend’s exclamation unburied the Mary memory. I wasn’t going to participate on this week’s Butterfly Effect, but all these things were in my mind and Amy had called for patron saints, and… well, I present you Mary’s Cosmic Secret Makes Her Head Spin and Turns Her into a Smile  
 I know this looks like the owner of the mouth swallowed a chunk of sky and is now in agony. But the lips are supposed to be smiling. I can’t paint, so help me out and use your third eye. No, not that third eye; the third eye parents use to gaze at their children’s masterpieces. There, aren’t the lips smiling now? The Virgin Mary is happy ;-)

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43 comments:

  1. Of course she's happy (and I didn't need my 'third eye' to see that)she probably just read one of your short stories :) I think your friend needs to lighten up a bit. Short stories are fun -to write and to read- and in this hectic world we live in we don't always have the time to curl up with a novel. x

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    1. Yay! for not needing your third eye lol

      And you are so right. Short stories are bits of goodness we can devour fast and a great appetizer before the main course.

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  2. Phoo...you're good enough to use all options at hand! Those writers wedded to traditional publishing lose out.

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    1. Exactly! Why would anyone give up opportunities? I can't understand it. Nope; it makes no sense to me.

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  3. ...and it's people like him that stop people like me enjoying a writer! I don't have time to sit and read a full sized novel(IHAVE to read it all when I start..so I don't start any more :S), but you provide people like me with a wonderful opportunity to sample tasty little morsels of deliciousness we would otherwise miss. Please keep throwing me scraps from your literary table!(and you can show this to your friend). I used to read 300+ page books in a day, but life does not allow that any more for me, am I to be abandoned by literary snobbery?
    And your Mary picture is AWESOME!! I saw happy smiling lips straight away, ans I agree that Mary would have been singing and dancing like a loon :D XXX

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    1. I'm all about choices. Novels are great--heck, I still read one a day when I can. But there is something tasty and immediately digestible about short stories that cannot be replaced by a chapter; at least not for me.

      The reason why I'm spending so much time in editing and rewriting my first two novels have to do with the fact that I have recently being introduced to the concept of "chunkability." I want to write every chapter as a short story (and it's hard). I wish for my work to be enjoyed by those who enjoy the 300+ pages and by those who want to nibble my bits ;-)

      Talking about nibbles, wait 'till you see what I've added to The Haunting. I'm quite proud of myself lol

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  4. When I read Almamia I thought it was enough story material to turn it into something like "One hundred years of solitude".

    It's good to read that not only German authors can be all haughty and serious about their craft (we are the best, though - there are hardly any university classes on literary writing, and most even scowl at the idea of reading books on writing - "What do you mean, you don't sit in your room until genius hits you and the story springs from your pen?"). Don't let him spoil your fun. As long as you like your writing and your readers like it as well, everything should be fine. ^^

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    1. After reading my AlmaMia's named used on the same line with "One Hundred Years of Solitude" my grin reached an uncontrollable proportion. I can barely type right now. I'm having a hard time keeping my inflated head balanced over my shoulders ;-D

      And yep, writers who are too serious to see that the seriousness and value of a tale doesn't lie on thickness of book or choice of theme live everywhere, and most of them are incredibly annoying.

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  5. Darling girl. First I must say I send love to your very linear friend. But there are those of us who where born to be the "out of ordinary", thank the Gods. It's like being outsane. We do it our way not within the "norm, boring and constrained". We were born naked just like everyone else....only our spirits chose to stay that way.....unfettered, unbridled, unclothed. Hallelujah, for Mary's Sake. The smile would be a natural reaction......and yours is supernatural, so is your style.
    You make my heart sing.............Oma Linda

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    1. "Outsane" I like that; a lot. And you, Oma Linda, make my soul dance ;-)

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  6. I had a similar response when I told someone I'd self-published: "But you're good enough for real publication."

    Know what I said? "The only difference between self-publishing and "real" publishing - as you insist on calling it - is that with self-publishing I'm in charge of what I publish and when, and with traditional publishing I have to jump through hoops to please other people."

    I also had someone say, "well, it's about time you did something worthwhile with your life."

    People are so kind aren't they? *Rolls eyes*

    As for Mary. I agree; she should be pleased. And I think singing and dancing is an appropriate reaction to news like that. I mean, I'd be singing and dancing if someone told me I was pregnant, and there aren't any predictions of my child being any saviour or whatever.

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    1. Wow! And there I was thinking I was the only one who knew "interesting" who didn't quite realized when they were not being as nice as they thought.

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  7. Yes, really interesting, a nice smile.

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  8. Bitter?
    Party of one?
    Bitter, party of one?
    Wow.
    Whatever happened to a good old fashioned "All these positive moments and excitement is nothing more than the joy and happiness you deserve."
    Mags when are you gonna stop messing around with these lesser writer friends and take a stab at traditional friendship where the other person doesn't passive aggressively put you down? I mean for Mary's sake, your friendship is good enough to give it a try.
    ;p
    I thought the way you did it was inclusive and fun and exciting because everyone got to share and participate in your journey.
    Me and my pineapple had a jolly good fucking time.

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    1. I need to start blogging about the good, too, huh? In fact the good is so much more prevalent than the bad. For instance, and I really, really, really should to blog about this--need to ask her first. A girl emailed me to let me know that after reading AlmaMia she felt she wasn't alone and felt less like a freak. Some of her relatives have shun her after she face an abusive relative who was liked more than she did.

      And of course, there is the bit about my father, and my Piano Man, and my brother, and my nieces, and many of my friends... acting like I published the best work in the history of fiction lol. Yep, there is so much good ;-)

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    2. Just to clarify I meant this other guy was being bitter, not you.

      Why would he criticize something that for you has no down side?

      It just seems petty and mean.

      And like I said I had so much fun following the story and the release date and then getting to read it.

      It was exciting and I know it's just step one.

      You will be the next publishing Mogul any day now I am sure ;p

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    3. Oh, I knew what you meant, dear love. I was just thinking that sometimes we focus so much on the bad that we forget to honor the lovely; I've been guilty of that more than once.

      Mogul, huh? Don't let my brother hear you or he'll want full control of my bank account lol

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  9. I am impressed that you are published regardless of the how's and why's and where's. Besides, why include the middle man and go through all of that bureaucratic bullshit when you can just shine as you are in all your outstanding beauty. Oh, and I saw that the lips were smiling immediately. Well done, sweet Magaly.

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  10. I know you didn't get the little Princess to help with this because I've seen her work!!! Just kidding, he he ;) Good job my sweet Magaly you tackled the theme & that freakin smile made ME smile, I truly think Mary would have danced, sung & beamed too... oh & true confession - sometimes I've only read half a novel (it was the writer's fault not my inability to focus LOL), so actually I think do the story as the tale & characters dictate, I can't stand books/movies being padded out for the sake of it... yours is a strong tale & PERFECT in everyway... & I NEVER thought self publishing wasn't REAL publishing... have I missed something? Hugs girl :) Loved Stacy's guest post too!

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    1. No one can match the Little Princess' artistic genius. Wait 'till you her latest way to write "I love you" is a treat lol

      And about the self-publishing bit, you've missed a lot (and thank gods for that) if you haven't noticed the snobbery aim at that kind of publishing. Things are better now, but still, self-published writers are not seeing in the same light as independent painters or musicians. I'll think we'll be there, eventually, especially if some of us choose to do both ;-)

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  11. My two cents, for the half a cent they are worth, are as follows:

    I believe it takes more talent to draw a reader in and make them feeling every emotion known to goddess in a few short pages than to trap them into a long winded, drawn out 400 page tale of...whatever. The few pages of AlmaMia made me feel like that little girl lived inside me, and that my sight was a blessing, albeit a blessing drenched in blood. I commend you for being you, and not falling for the pretentiousness that can consume.

    Mary is smiling...and doing the Macarena...just cuz she can.

    \IiiI

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    1. You've put a ginormous smile on my face. Or maybe that blinding happy light is oozing out Mary as she makes her moves ;-)

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  12. I see the happiness in your piece. And I hear it in your voice. Mary should have danced and sang. It was exciting news!! But during those days, it would have been shameful as well. She could have been stoned to death. Kind of reminds me of today actually!!
    Ha
    Hugs
    SUeAnn
    Go see my patron saint.

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    1. I would have agree with the bit about having reasons to be unhappy, if Mary had been told she was having Zeus' child--I mean, really, the Olympian God doesn't have the greatest of reputations when it comes to children and his relationship with their mothers. But Mary was having the son of the god, which in her heart, was the most benevolent, powerful, all knowing, almighty... being in the universe. I still see her dancing. I opine (my favorite word today) that people painted her suffering because they can't stop thinking about what happened next...

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  13. Just reading about all the stuff you're doing makes me tired. LOL I could really use a nice jolt of that energy you have, dear.:D

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  14. Lol! Your friend is funny. I LOVE your writing! And I haven't even had time to read many of your actual stories. The one's I've read I LOVED and even your every day blog writing is better than most. In my opinion, traditional publishers wouldn't know what to do with this much awesome! As long as you keep writing what YOU want. More power to ya! I like your bit about freedom. I am actually in middle of a blog post about that myself. Needed a break and a bit of inspiration to write not crappy so I popped over here for a minute! Hugs!

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    1. Oh, can't wait to read it! And I promise to continue sharing my bits, especially while smelling your yummy candles. You should see me, I've been acting like a candle junkie, sniffing every time I get a chance ;-)

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    2. Lol. I do the same thing. I mixed a scent in a candle and with the computer crash I lost the recipe. So I stopped burning it and just sniff it every time I walk by. When my kids see me put it my nose and sniiiiiiffffff they say, "That's not where that goes, Mom." Hahaha

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  15. Short stories are wonderful! And as for "traditional publishing" they had better get to changing or they will be left behind. I've read so many treasures that are independently published, and it's working for them. One author I talked to said that he liked self publishing better because he didn't have to fight changes and he was able to sell for less but still make more money than he would have through a traditional publisher.

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    1. It is wonderful to see one's books on bookshelves and to get international success--which I hope for one day. But the control is invigorating, too. I doubt I'll ever be able to give all of it up. What kind of Aries would I be if I did, right?

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  16. Hey Magaly ;o) Don't know how I missed this post! I love your short stories! You do what is best for you! Although, I do see a novel in the future ;o) Can't wait to read all the rest you are talking about! I can't believe you got kicked out of the play! I would have been dancing and singing too ;o) Your art piece is smiling ;o) Mary is happy ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. I see that novel, too, and can't wait to share the tales I mentioned. Hugs right back at you!

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  17. FABULOUS!!!!!! i LOVE "Mary’s Cosmic Secret Makes Her Head Spin and Turns Her into a Smile" YES YES YES!

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    1. I think you've just made her dance some more!

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  18. Hey Magaly,

    you do things your way.

    you aren't a sheep, and you don't feel like you have to follow the 'designated' path to success. you already succeeded because you are alive and a full person. not a robot.

    rockstar.

    xxa

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    1. Rock on! Um... I mean, Write on!

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  19. you are probably correct completely about mary's reaction. isn't it funny how crazy-morbidly stiff the most reverent of people can be, and how that sucks the life and meaning out of rituals...

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    1. I've never understood why people have to look so solemn--and sometimes pissed off--just to "supposedly" look holy. Too bad...

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