Thinking, Writing, and Reflecting About Chicken Soup for the Soul

Hey y’all!

I am a writer and because I am a writer, I think a lot.  A Lot.  I think about my past and I think about my future and all the things I want to do.  Most of it has to wait until after my daughter graduates from high school which will be in another three years, but at the same time, I can do many of the things I want to do now, in the present time, because I’ve been blessed with the ability to work from home, as an English teacher.

One of the things I want to do is publish.  I want this about as much as I’ve wanted everything else I’ve been blessed with in my life because I love writing so much.  I love sketching to, but writing allows me to bare a piece of my soul that I can’t do in creating artwork.  Yes, I know writing is just another form of artwork, but writing is also different from sketching.  In writing, I can talk about the many obstacles I’ve overcome and what I learned from those obstacles.  When I sketch, I create pictures that make me happy.  Writing also makes me happy, but differently than sketching does.

Someday, I want to see my written short stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul because Chicken Soup for the Soul is the most widely known nonfiction short story compilations book around the world.  I began reading them when I was just 14 years old.  I recommend then to anyone I know and everyone I meet.  I recommended Chicken Soup for the Girls Soul to my daughter’s best friend in gymnastics.  She’s a couple years younger than my daughter, but she loves to read, according to her grandparents.  Not only did I lend them my copy, but after reading the book and returning it to me, her grandmother went out and bought herself a copy of a more recent title, Chicken Soup for the Grandparents Soul.  I don’t know how often this happens to other people, but it was a first for me.

I’ve been writing and submitting short stories to them for the last two years and one thing I can say for sure is my ability to write is improving.  When I first started trying, yes, I wrote crap.  Boring and unacceptable for publication; and obviously not what they were looking for.  Now, two years later, reading my own work chokes me up, but maybe I’m just partial to my own work.  Rather than being my own worst critic, I’m over complimentary to myself.  I used to have my husband simply proofread my material, then I click the submit button and off it went to their inbox.  Now, I’ve improved the writing process, asking him to critique my material, not once, but twice.  The first critique is always for direction.  The second critique is to fix anything which doesn’t sound right, or doesn’t fit.  If and when he gives me an all-clear, I then ask him to proofread it for me to clear my grammatical mistakes.

I know publishing is a hit and miss no matter who you’re trying to publish with.  When it comes to Chicken Soup for the Soul, my single short story entry is only 1 in about 5000.  As of current, the only time I’ve ever received a personal message from Amy Newmark herself, it was to ask for my mailing address to mail me a couple signed books, per winning a book drawing.  It was an incredible experience, but nothing like I imagine it’s going to be when the day comes I receive an email, that my short story has been chosen for publication in a future title.

So far, I’ve submitted a short story to each of these future titles; ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’, ‘Listen to Your Dreams’, ‘Stories About Christmas’, ‘Stories About Self-Care and Me Time’, and ‘You Go, Girl’.  The short story I wrote for ‘You Go, Girl’ is, in my opinion, my personal best.

In closing, I write to clear my head of the most concentrated thought swirling inside.  Chicken Soup for the Soul is my most favorite book series.  I can’t deny that and I won’t deny it.  I know my day will come, and when it does, I’ll laugh, I’ll cry, and I’ll jump up and down like a crazy high school girl finding out that the boy she likes, likes her back.  I’ll probably run to my neighbors and share with them this most exciting news of my life, but I am not going to deny myself the emotion of finally accomplishing what I’ve been working so hard to do since I began my writing journey.  I’ll tell you what else I’m not going to do, when sharing my news with my parents, who don’t completely understand the lengthy time and amount of patience writing a single story can take, regardless of story length, nor the hit and miss of publicating, I am not going to allow their happy-so-so attitude to clash with my over-the-moon-top-of-the-world-basking-in-personal-accomplished-glory attitude.  After all, this isn’t about them, this is about me.  They will be happy for me, supportive, and accepting, and that’s all I really can ask for.

Thank you for reading y’all!


Optimistic Update

Good afternoon y’all!  The sun finally decided to show itself again after three long days of rainy, bitterly chilly weather.

At this time, I’m also proud to say that Thanksgiving vacation has officially began for me.  I managed to keep my daughter’s attention and keep her focused so she could complete her school work, turning it in on time.  She’s finally completely caught up.  I’ve only been trying to do that for three weeks now.

Some good news I wanted to share… I received word back from a company I submitted an application and cover letter to; to be a writing tutor.  I was going to write and post to my blog this evening, but I decided to write now and spend this evening completing the paperwork to get it back to the company.

I was told, and I quote, “After I have received your completed documents, it will take a few days for approval from the director to have your account created.  Let me know if you have any questions and I hope to hear from you soon.”  That’s professional lingo for we want to see you for a second interview!

When the email came in, I was working in the kitchen when my pocket vibrated (because I keep my phone on vibrate most of the time).  Normally I wouldn’t check it until I was finished, but I stopped to check it this time.  I’m glad I did although reading it made me shake all over.  I felt entirely in disbelief because lately everything I’ve tried to work for has crash landed or fallen apart.  I’m growing tired of my ideas being rejected.  I wasn’t even sure of this chance, doubting myself after only an entire day thanks to constant thought.  That’s why I was so surprised to get a response.

I’ve been reading over all the paperwork, filling out printed forms, trying to print out my cover letter to hand-sign it, but the printer isn’t cooperating, and writing up a brief summary about why I’m qualified to tutor college-level writing and reviewing papers in both APA and MLA style format.  I’ve also been reading the tutor provider response form example they sent me to read over and review.  It’s fourteen pages in length so printing it isn’t an option right now, but I have perused it.  Now that I know what they’re looking for, I’m even more excited to get the ball rolling, and just in time for the holidays!

Seriously, I can’t wait to get started.

As always, thank you for reading and following me.  Hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll write again on Monday!