Getting Published Isn’t for Sissies by Beth Ann Masarik

 As we all know, getting published ISN’T EASY.  I’d also like to modify a quote that my late grandmother, who I call RaRa used to say. RaRa always said, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”  Well, she’s right about that, BUT, I’d like to say this, “Getting published isn’t for sissies either.”  There are six big companies (all based in NY ironically) that are responsible for making it nearly impossible for breakthrough authors to get into the industry.

 One of the “requirements” that I’ve heard of, is that you need a literary agent in order to get a publisher. Well, that may be the case if you want to get in with the BIG SIX, such as Penguin, St. Martin’s Press, etc., BUT that is NOT always the case when it comes to small press publishers.  I am living proof of that.

With the rising of the e-publishing industry, it has been easier and easier for new, small press publishers to come out into the world.  While there are some that will only take you if you have an agent, there are PLENTY out there that will take you even if you don’t have one.  There are people like Otherworld Publications, who dedicate their time to help out new authors like me make their dreams come true.

Now, I didn’t find Otherworld Publications right away.  No.  In fact, I wrote dozens of query letters to agents, and received just as many rejection letters.  After a while, all of those rejection letters started to get to me.  I started to believe that maybe I really wasn’t good enough to be published.  BUT, I kept trying.  I networked, I read blogs, I made contacts. I started up my own literary magazine to help other authors out there that were going through the same thing.

Then FINALLY, several months later, through an ad on Facebook, I stumbled across an ad for my editor, Crystal Clear Proofing.  I checked out her page, and saw that she worked for Otherworld and another publishing company. I had never heard of either company, so did my research, and queried Otherworld.  I got to know Lynn through emails, and loved what she did with Otherworld.  After further investigation, I eventually signed with Otherworld.

Working with Lynn has had its ups and downs, but we’ve had more ups.  She has helped me every step of the way with publishing all three of my stories: Prince of Darkness, Murderous Regrets and Moon Spirit. PLUS, she has hooked me up with an AMAZING publicist named Heidi.  She is actually the one who helped me organize this lovely tour.

Anyway, the bottom line is, getting published isn’t for sissies, but if you are determined enough to put yourself out there, then go for the gold!  It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and A LOT of late nights, but the rewards are great in the end!

 About The World Among Us:

In The World Among Us, Hades, the god of the Underworld, plots to take over the world, and remove Gaia, the head Deity, from power.  In order to do so, he plots against his own son, Damien, and cons him into killing his soul mate, the beautiful goddess of the moon, Selene.  Hades does so, because Gaia is his natural enemy, and Selene is her favorite grandchild.  He thinks that by killing off Gaia’s favorite grandchild, he will weaken her.  With Selene out of the way, Hades then moves in on the Creatures of the Night.  He wants to kill off their leader, Jason Aysel.  Jason is the go-between person between worlds, and another person that Gaia highly regards.  Hades manipulates and cons Jason’s best friend, Leon Greene, into murdering him, by offering him Jason’s position as his reward.  Because of these actions, a war is to take place on earth between the gods and other Creatures of the Night.  During this time, Selene is reincarnated, and kept hidden as a secret weapon to win the war against Hades.  In order to win the war of wars, the gods and some of the demons will have to fight together, and learn to co-operate with each other.  Will the Titans and Olympians be able to set aside their differences, and take back the world from Hades?  Or is the world as we know it, doomed to fall under Dark Shadows, forever?

Fiction Young Adult

Urban Fantasy

Ages 14+

About the Author:

Beth Ann has been writing since she was 15 years old, and was published in the 2002 Schreiber Times. She took creative writing classes in college, and feels that they helped her become the writer she is today. In addition to writing the sequel to The World Among Us, she participates in an international anthology project, where writers from around the world come together to share their talent.

Originally starting as a writing assignment for college, The World Among Us series has sparked up a role playing group online, and a fan base of over 1,000 followers on Facebook, and over 600 followers on Twitter.

Beth Ann lives in New York where she is a legal assistant and does a lot of volunteer work down at her church.  For more information about Beth & her books, please visit her website www.bethannmasarik.com and her blog at www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com

THE GIVEAWAY:

I am giving away the following:

a signed paperback copy of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness

a Fanclub t-shirt

an autographed poster

a bookmark

and a TWAU pin

To enter, please leave a comment here on Tymothy’s blog to show him some love and away that I can contact you. This contest will run through Feb. 24th, so you will have a couple of days to enter. I will automatically add you to the rafflecopter.  OR, you can fill out the rafflecopter by going to the blog post from the 19th, which can be found here, and fill it out J Or you can join me on Natasha’s blog tomorrow and fill it out there. Her blog is http://dreamlandteenfantasy.blogspot.com/

And now, for the scavenger hunt:

Tell me who your favorite character is in mythology and any kind of lore. It does not have to be Greek Mythology related.  Send me your entries to contests@bethannmasarik.com with the subject scavenger hunt.

Thank you all for participating, and for following my tour.  And thank you, Tymothy for hosting me today!

For those of you who have won previous contests, you will receive your prizes next month. I’d like to send them all out at once so that I get one big postage bill as opposed to a lot of little ones J

ALL of my contests are international, so please come on and enter!

Please join me tomorrow, February 22, 2012 on http://dreamlandteenfantasy.blogspot.com/

Beth Ann, this is epic. I’m glad to have hosted you and as you know, I love that cover and look forward to reading A World Among Us! Word!


The Lost Tales Of Pemberton

As promised, my little friend and über fan of Underneath The Juniper Tree and sole human inhabitant of The Forest That Screamstrademarked2011 ;} brings you a thought lost Christmas tale in the vain of Tales From The Crypt and Twilight Zone, both of which I am, myself, a super fan.

Not for the squeamish. I give you…

The Trees.

Mr. Cratz kneeled in front of his son and put his hand to his head. “Franklin, I’ll be back within the hour. Right now is the best time to get a tree…because there is magic in the air,” he said smiling. Cratz smiled and stood to his feet. “What I need for you to do is prepare the setting. You know grab the lining and clear the area near the hearth.”

Franklin nodded with a big smile and watched his father walk out of the front door of the little cabin they called home, deep in the center of the Durst Forest. It was a quaint little abode but they cherished every part of it. Franklin ran to a closet off to the side where they kept the Christmas decorations in storage and rummaged through the scattered boxes until he found the one marked, for the tree. He exhaled and picked it up and began taking out the contents of the box: assorted lights, ornaments, and the soft red cloth lining.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cratz trudged through the snow, axe in hand whistling a holiday tune. He pulled his thick wool jacket tighter around him and tucked his neck into it. He stopped after ten minutes or so and looked to the left and to the right. It dawned on him that for the last few years he had taken a tree from the same area. This year, he would go in the opposite direction-to the uncharted wood. Uncharted at least, for him. Beginning the traditional song, O Christmas Tree, he looked into the sky. The sun had long set and he turned his flashlight on and noticed a sign, old and worn. The words of the sign could no longer be read. He shrugged and walked past the sign and continued into the forest, into a circular clearing, looking at the trees up and down, as he passed.

“Franklin. Which would you pick?” he asked outloud. “Hmm, how bout this one, here? Tall, firm…” he stepped near the fir and sniffed the fresh needles. “I think we’ve found our tree,” he said. He ran his gloved fingers across the blade of the axe slowly and thrust it down hard against the tree. He heard a yelp when he struck the tree. He turned and ignored the sound, shaking his head. “Deer,” he muttered. He gripped the axe once again and struck the tree over and over again until it began to lean. He stood straight and put his hand to his hips and mocked an echo. “Timber, timber, ber, ber…” The tree fell and he proceeded to walk to the “top” of the tree and pull it away from the clearing, passed the sign, and back into the forest, towards the cabin.

The tree was tall but thin, making it easier for Mr. Cratz to pull it through the snow. He reached the cabin with Franklin looking out of the window. Franklin ran to the door and swung it open, with the biggest smile Mr. Cratz had ever seen on him. “I knew you’d love it! Now-let’s decorate her!”

They laughed and shared memories while putting all the decorations on the tree. Mr. Cratz even made Franklin’s favorite hot cocoa. A few hours later they went off to their bedrooms.

“Tomorrow, Franklin Cratz. Christmas Day. Goodnight.”

The morning came and Mr. Cratz awoke to the songs of birds outside his window. The sun had not come out yet. He lay in bed for a few moments and smiled. He would surprise Franklin with his first gift, a homemade slingshot. He got it out from under his bed and walked quietly to the living room, expecting to see Franklin there. Franklin wasn’t there. “Still asleep, huh? I don’t blame you, son,” he said walking to Franklin’s room. He opened the door. Franklin wasn’t there. He frowned and called out to him. “Franklin!” Maybe he wanted to see the first day’s snow, he thought, so he ran to the front door, not noticing the tree and everything on it-gone.

He swung the door open…but Franklin wasn’t there. Mr. Cratz’ eyes opened wide. “Franklin! Franklin!” he screamed. “Franklin!” He ran back inside and nearly slipped on something on the floor. He looked down and saw a nearly dried trail of what looked like blood leading to where he had placed the tree. Quickly he turned and looked outside, following the trail of blood. It was faint and nearly covered in snow but it was there. “Franklin! My boy!” he yelled stricken with panic. He ran outside, barefoot, following the trail. Then he saw something else. A different trail, a fresher one, alongside the one from the tree-leadin away from the house. He ran as hard as he could, following it, breathing hard, his heart heavy with grief over what he might find. The old trail and new trail led back to where he found the tree-the clearing. In the darkness he could see faint lights. He found his way to where the sign was and ran so hard he knocked it down into the snow. When he reached the clearing, he fell to his knees and screamed. A scream that would awaken the long since dead. “F-f-f-frank-franklin??” He stuttered as he began to crawl through the snow. The trail of blood led to his son, who was centered, decorated with beautiful ornaments, tinsel, garland, lights…and the soft red cloth lining, drenched in blood. He turned to the left and saw the tree he had chopped down, in the ground, it’s base covered in needles. He reached for the lining. He pulled it away and what he saw was the final blow to his already damaged psyche. He clutched his chest, and fell into the snow. The trees seemed closer to the center than before…as if they were slowly following and watching him. As his heart continued to sieze, he could hear, faintly, a garbled voice behind him, whistling to the tune of O, Christmas tree, o, Christmas tree…

Back at the Cratz cabin were Franklin’s feet, set close together. He had been uprooted, just as the young tree before him.

 

The moral of the story? Signs, signs everywhere are signs. Do this! Don’t do that! Can’t you read…the signs?

 


Love/Hate

There are some who are swept up in love’s sweet embrace.

And there are some who wish to slap it in the face.

The ones who feel love feel the suns rays upon their skin!

and the others want nothing more than for them to keep it all in.

But love is freeing and pure, it brings joy!

Nah, love is just a clever marketers ploy.

No, I believe that true love will win out in the end.

Yeah! Because the more you love, the more you have to spend!

I think you’re just hurt from a past love gone wrong.

Well, yeah…we…we even had our own song.

You see this hurt inside is making your eyes blind to truth.

What do you mean? Of love I have no proof!

You do deep within, in your memories, there must be some good!

You know what you’re right…they’re coming back to me like a flood…

Think on your family, your friends, your successes

I am, and also thinking of that girl in the black tresses

Well, that too, and while you’re at it I must say, I love you…

I suppose you’re right, my true friend…and you know what? I love you too.

Word. Happy Valentine’s Day.

 


Put Away the Bucket: A Guest Post by Kat Heckenbach

Everyone knows what it’s like to keep a bucket by the bed when they have the stomach flu. And every pet owner has experienced awakening in the middle of the night to the hwa-hwa-hwa of a cat or dog about to puke. When the latter happens, we spring out of bed, grab the hiccupping animal, and drag them to a room with tile floor.

Why do we do these things? Because we want to control the puke. We all know it’s way easier than cleaning up after the fact. It’s sticky, and gooey, and smelly. And no matter what you use to clean it, if it hits the carpet there will be a stain, however faint.

At this point you have either run off to grab a bucket yourself because you are one of those people who gets sick just hearing someone else get sick. (It can be rather contagious, kinda like yawning for some folks.) Or, you are staring at the screen, wondering why the bleep I’m blogging about barfing.

Well, it’s like writing.

Don’t look at me like that! It is.

I’ve read a lot of stories lately, manuscripts by fellow writers, that don’t have enough raw emotion, or enough evil, or enough something to carry the scene or situation. Oh, and don’t think I’m just pointing fingers—I’ve been called out for this very thing myself.

For example, in an early scene of one of my works in progress, my main character is trying to scare off the father of her child. It’s supposed to be a dark, emotional scene. She has powers, but she’s not using them to the full potential here. She’s, quite frankly, being too nice. I admit, because the book has a significant romance element, I was thinking about an audience who may not take well to scary.

I sent the scene off to a crit partner, and she told me there wasn’t enough “me” in it. She knew I was holding back. The same thing happened in a few scenes in an earlier draft of my recently published novel, Finding Angel, as well. A beta reader told me, in reference to those scenes, “I should have been crying, but I wasn’t.”

I realized the problem. I’d been holding back. In other words, I was trying to get messy, barfy emotions onto the page in a nice, neat bucket. Or keep it on the tile.

But real life doesn’t work that way. Emotions are overwhelming. They are messy and take ages to clean up. And if we want the reader to experience the emotion, we have to be messy when we put it on the page. We have to barf it out—no bucket.

Sometimes, it can be scary. Sometimes, the emotions are a little too close to home. We hold back because it’s not just going to make a mess on the page, but because it’s going to make a mess of us as well. Maybe they are emotions we’ve held down deep for a long time, and we can only bear to let them out a bit at a time.

That’s understandable, but the problem is those emotions don’t translate well to the reader. For the writer, just a hint at a familiar painful situation is enough to feel it full-force again—but the reader doesn’t get that. In order for them to feel what we are feeling, they need more. The only way to give that to them is to let if pour forth unchecked. Barf it out. Then go back to clean up later.

Unlike pet puke, we want our emotional barf to leave a stain. It’s supposed to sink into the reader and make them remember. They should walk by your book on their shelf and feel something. Weeks, months, or even years later.

True, it’s more work. It takes more time to edit away the chaos that can result, but it’s better than having our scenes fall flat emotionally.

So, from now on, put away the bucket when you write. Don’t worry about the mess. If you want your reader to feel the force of your emotion, barf it out.

 ##

Kat Heckenbach spent her childhood with pencil and sketchbook in hand, knowing she wanted to be an artist when she grew up—so naturally she graduated college with a degree in biology, went on to teach math, and now homeschools her two children while writing. Her fiction ranges from light-hearted fantasy to dark and disturbing, with multiple stories published online and in print. Her debut novel, MG fantasy Finding Angel, is available in print and ebook.

Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…but it remembers her. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com.

You can also support Kat and her writing here at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble!

Thank you, Kat…I think. :}

Of course, I jest. This is awesome. I really appreciate you guesting for Aspire No More and I look forward to more of your work!

Everyone, support your indie writers/authors!

WORD.


Stop.

A re-post. Sort of.

Light is dimming,
consciences slimming
nights are winning
it will never stop.
Wanting,
needing,
screaming for
our hearts to make it stop.


Leaders lying
children crying
in fields
oh, when will it stop?


Hurting,
awaiting,
searching for
a way to make it stop!


Desiring,
pleading,
asking for
this madness all to stop!


Killing goes on,
hearts grow harder
minds go numb
because it doesn’t stop!


Others taking…
their lives…
…for a chance to make it end.

The end is near.

My ear doth hear.

Mine eyes begin to see.

But will it never?

Won’t it ever?

Please, come make it,

S T O P .

Stranger III by latyrx



Lily & Luke

A pale light streamed in through the single window, giving sight to the particles of dust in the air. Lily sat still atop a desk, looking at her feet, dangling freely. Her dark hair fell over her face, hiding her grey eyes. Across the room, Luke said nothing, and only stared blankly back at her.

“I bet you’re thinking about what I’m thinking, aren’t you?” She said still looking at Luke through narrow eyes. “Try and guess.” She lifted her head and blew her bangs back over her forehead. “No matter what you say, I won’t let you go,” she said looking straight into his eyes.

He said nothing.

“We’ve been through so much,” she continued. “I know you say I may be too controlling. Too much for you to to manage. But you know what Luke? I love you. Don’t you understand that?” Her eyes stayed on his but he still had yet to speak. He didn’t even blink.

I’m the one that taught you to be this way. I’m the one who showed you how to be strong. I’m the one, who showed you how to stand up for yourself! When we met…you were…how can I say this? You were pretty weak.”

He glanced at her.

“A pushover. Now? Now it’s as if nothing can harm you.”

She squinted her eyes in frustration.

“What’s that look? Luke?”

She walked over to him, her arms folded. Continue reading


Embrace Hope.

I say we make this happen. We must set this world ablaze with hope. We can. We are the fuel.

I saw this status posted on Facebook by Jennifer Wright, who in turn found this somewhere else. I take no credit for the idea…but yeah…

…we can make this happen.

Whether she wears pink or blue…or GOLD, something like this can and will make an enormous difference.

Here you can sign a petition.

Petition

Here you can Like and support pages that spread this cause!

Hope.

Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made

…and if you’re on Facebook, join here.

Mattel Make This

Like so many movements, it starts with one.

That one lit the match.

#wearethefuel

The author of this plea is Randall Cooper of Aiken, SC.


Will you Hate Me Forever, If I Told You The Truth?

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure – that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da – that’s o.k.
It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher
Pressure on people – people on streets
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
O.k.
Chippin’ around – kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets – ee da de da de
People on streets – ee da de da de da de da
It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher high high
Pressure on people – people on streets
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love
but it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why ?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
give love give love give love give love give love
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the light
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure.

Word.

Tis’ the season of love is it not?  I wrote a status a while ago. Then recently I wrote another similar to the first:

I really don’t care if you’re gay or straight. 

I don’t even care of you’re slim or overweight. 
If you’re white or Latino, black or Filipino, you know none of that stuff really matters to me. 
Only thing worth knowing is God’s love, is free.

Then…I saw this and I had to share.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re atheist or Christian, Hindu or Muslim, straight, gay, transsexual, black or white, or anything and everything between. I love you. I care about you as people, as individuals. You are not targets to convert. You are people that I love and people I want to invest in. I want to love you in the best way I know how – and that’s loving you how Jesus does. Unconditionally. ♥”–Julianna Pardue

Many say I am an inspiration. I cannot claim that without feeling humbled greatly. But I will say love is indeed my greatest inspiration. And is the reason I do what I do. God’s Love. This is no preaching. Far from it.

Sometimes the very quote that you’re seeking out for inspiration…is in your very own heart.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

the title of this blog post was written by my wife Jennifer for a song we are writing.


The Winter Issue!

We continue on with lil Pemberton, the miscreant and resident human in the Forest That Screams…

Pemberton searched high. He searched low.

But he could not find his November Issue, “Oh! Where did it go?”

He has never before been so sad,

save for the day he wandered into the forest, oh, it was bad.

But since then he has found his home

among the ghouls and Gruns…and misshapen gnomes.

Something new and fresh now covered the ground

’twas white and clean and fell with no sound.

The eerie screams from the forest they cried,

“This is the day the keeper of the Forest died!”

The snow began to take shape it did seem,

and now lil Pemberton was beginning to gleam

that the form before him was that of a man!

“So this was my predecessor, the leader of the clan?”

Before they could answer, the spectre, he spoke:

“My, what a pudgy and pale little bloak*!”

Pemberton stepped up to the man, looked at his face,

“This is now my little space!”

“Very well!” the blue tinted man sneered,

in his hands it looked like a book now appeared

Pemberton forgot all about the man’s  icey stare,

for now he had the Winter Issue…for all the Forest to share.

Click the brilliant cover.

Winter Issue: arte by Crystal Ord

Word.

*thank you, E.


The Importance Of Mentors

I journeyed for what seemed like days. To a place no one knew about. At least I hoped no one knew. I left behind everything but my mind and wit. And resolve. All things intangible, yes, but each worth more than the most precious diamond. My boots were muddied as I made my way to the top of the hill where I left him standing there, alone. He was afraid. Of what? Of me not returning. See, I brought something else with me. I brought him with me. To kill him. Yes. I know. How shameful. How, how morbid, right? Well, say what you will but he had to go. I was tired of hearing his voice! His face just made me want to jab something in my own eyes. I often cupped my hands over my ears in an attempt to silence him. To no avail. That shrill piercing voice. Damn it. It nearly killed me. I was tired of being strong. I tried being reasonable. I was tired of being reasonable! He didn’t care.

Continue reading


Stop. Seriously.

I was hanging a picture up for my daughter, she’s five, and she started singing. She likes “Moves Like Jagger.” It’s her Maneater.*

I’ve heard her before, but maybe because everything else was quiet, I listened. My daughter can sang. I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter. But because I’m a singer. My dad is a singer. It runs in the family.

That’s not the point.

Point is… hearing her precious little voice made me think of how very awful it would be to hear her cry. I mean, she’s cried before. She’s had her shots. She’s been upset. My wife and I have consoled her. But I mean, cry from within. I thought of how terrible it would be to have her abused. Or hurt. Emotionally. Mentally. To have her heart saddened. I know in life every one must endure some sadness and pain. We can learn and many times, grow from life’s trials and tribulations. It’s part of this whole living thing.

Without chaos, how can we know how strong we are?

Continue reading


Who gives a falutin kick about an Oxford comma?

The famous quote from The Wizard of Oz says:

“Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!”

Without the Oxford comma it becomes something else…

“Lions, tigers and bears!”

A better view of the tiger and bear running from the unseen lion that the scream guy warned them about:  Continue reading


I Drawed…Again.

 

There once was a girl named Elise,

who loved and laughed and spread peace.

But her joy was smashed into bits, and her laughter was halted, as she dealt with shin splits!

No longer were things to be nothing but fun!

For everyone runs…runs from the Grun.

##

Inspired by Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Rebekah Joy Plett and of course, Bree Ogden. Underneath The Juniper Tree is awesome. Look for updates, for the Winter Issue drops December 16th!

also, MAD props to my daughter Araceli who created the first draft of Elise. ❤

##

This is Episode One of A Tale From The Land of Zuzu: The Run From the Grun

Stay tuned for Episode Two…


Writers Need Outlets!

Like I told my brother-in-writing Jeff Beesler, writers need outlets! because many of us have so much going on in our heads that a one blog, Twitter account, Facebook, four Like pages, a deviantart account, ummm…in short?

It’s not enough.

So I jumped on the tumblr wagon and I must say, I like it. It’s basically an add-on to my blog but will allow me to share more at a quicker pace. Like mashing my Twitter feed with my blog. Again, I’ll be able to share my musings and such plus, music, art-BRILLIANCE!-and more of my writing, well, snippets.

Join me if you’re on tumblr and I will do the same.

P.S. It’s very new and shiny so please…remove your shoes.

TymothyLongoria.Tumblr

Yeah. I went there.

Word.


The Writer Chronicles by Tymothy Longoria, a writer.

Haters gonna hate. 

Writers are going to write.

Write on, and WORD.


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