Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

A Day To Celebrate And A Fond Farewell

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Oh yeah..I’m dancing my old butt off!  So much to tell you all I just don’t know where to begin!

Okay, the most important thing…I’M NOW A PUBLISHED WRITER.  Can you dig it?  Can you believe it?  And you know what, it’s all because of you, my readers and fellow bloggers.  You pushed me with your comments, your encouraging words and your support and now, it is a reality.  I have a short story published and what a feeling it is!

You have helped me make a life long dream come true.  I have passed a milestone and you were by my side all the way.  You might not believe it, but, my eyes are tearing up as I write this.  You guys Rock!

I have also been working on creating a new blog.  WHAT?  Am I crazy…don’t I have enough to do?  Has Cranky finally gone off the deep end?

No, my friends.  I just felt that now that I am starting to experience a little success, I wanted to let others join in my journey and let me pass on some of the support and motivation that you have here on my personal blog.  I hope to use the new site to highlight blogs on writing that I discover, publishers that want our work and let people know that if this old fart can do..anyone can!

On the advice of one of the first bloggers that ever did me the honor of visiting my site and following me, Aurora of Metal Angel, I also got a domain name.  She warned me that some less than scrupulous people were watching for up and coming authors and would snatch their domain name with the intentions of selling it to the Authors for an tidy profit for them.  So for anyone that want’s to get to my sites, you can now use my http://memcmahon.wordpress.com and you’ll find me.  Thanks my friend! Check out her site, she’s a great girl!

Now, nothing ever comes without a price.  I have tried for two days to keep Mrs. Gulch on this site, while having my picture (as amateur as it is) appear on my new site.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get it to work.  So, I’ve had to wave goodbye to Mrs. Gulch and send her on her way back to OZ.  Hope she avoids falling houses on the way.  So, a fond farewell to you Mrs. Gulch, you’ve served me well and I’ll miss you.

So, my friends, I hope that you’ll hop on over to my new site and visit.  Click here on “A Dream Come True” and take a look around.  I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Also, my short story is now available on Alphie Dog Fiction and you can take a peek!  You’ll find it down the list under M E McMahon and they give you a sneak peek at the content.  I have two more scheduled for publication in July, so I’ll keep you updated when they’re available.

Now, many of you know that I don’t drink alcohol, so would you do the Cranky a favor?  Tip one for me tonight and wish me well!  And, don’t worry.  Grandma Says is still going to be my site to put all my personal stuff, you know, my thoughts, my views and my ridiculous animated pictures.  I love you all and hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Cranky

49 Comments »

The Posting Pit

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I’ve been a busy, busy bee these past two weeks.  Determined to build up my publishing credits, I’ve been polishing posts that I felt were worthy of submission to literary magazines. I spent time carefully editing them and sending them out to be considered.

I followed all the submission guidelines: the format of the manuscript is carefully followed, the spacing adhered to and the short bio or blurb carefully constructed.  I check the spelling of the editor’s name three times and finally e-mail my submission.

The other day, an awful thought popped into my head.  The stories I had submitted had all previously been posted on my blog site.  Since some of the publishers I submitted to requested unpublished works, does that mean that my stories are automatically refused?  They didn’t ask if I had a blog site, but it would be easy enough to find me out there in the cyberworld and find those stories.

I searched the Internet hoping that publishers didn’t consider Blog posts as published works.  Well, my friends, I’m sorry to say…they do!  Well, poopy-do and all that!  Now, I had submitted a total of three stories to an online magazine that accepts pre-published works, but there are not that many of them out there.  (All three got accepted, I’m happy to say!)

So, what’s a blogger to do?  We beta test our stories by sending them out to our readers on the site.  They either ignore them or make comments that convince you that it is worthy to be read by the general public or is of no interest at all to the everyday reader.  Their response usually tells you if you’ve got a good story going.

I guess that I will no longer be able to post my fiction/non-fiction/memoir stories on my site if I feel that I may want to submit them to publishers at a later date.  That sucks…but I guess it’s the only way not to have my story thrown into the Posting Pit.

If any published writers out there have found more information than I could about the legality of claiming a post as a unpublished work…let me know!  Otherwise, all the stories I wrote for my readers here are never going to go any further than this site.  And, again, that sucks.

But, it is what it is.  For those of you who are just gathering up the nerve to send in some of your work to a literary magazine, you might want to learn from my experience and follow the comments (if I get any) before you e-mail those stories that you once posted on your site.

I just thought I’d warn you about walking into the Posting Pit.

Love,

Cranky

Authors note:  I did submit a piece that was on my site to one of the publishers, before I realized that posts would be considered pre-published works.  I have the ability to withdraw it from consideration…but I haven’t done so yet.  Looking for more information before I drag it back home to die.

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Can You See Me Now?

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The other day, I found a online magazine that I felt would be a good place to submit one of my articles to and I hurried on over to their Submission Guidelines.  For those of you who have submitted your work before, you know that each publication has their own set of rules you must follow to properly submit your work.  Most of the publishers ask that the manuscript be in a specific format and that you supply a short bio or cover letter for their review.

Piece of cake if you follow the directions, right?  Well, I was reading down the submission guideline list for this particular publication and gasped in horror.  They wanted me to submit a picture to accompany the piece.  A PICTURE OF ME! Whaaaat? Cranky don’t do pictures!

I have a Gravatar for a good reason.  I hate having my picture taken; I really, really, really detest it! I would rather have four root canals done with no anesthetic than have to pose for a picture. If you don’t believe me, you could go through my family albums and try to find a picture of me. Good luck on that search!  I am the primary photographer for all family gatherings just so I don’t have to get in the photos.

When someone traps me into posing for a picture, I grab the nearest person and stand behind them…that way only the top of my head peeking over someone’s shoulder is the solitary part of my body caught by the camera…my anonymity stays intact.

But, a writers got to do what a writers gotta do.  I got Danny to agree to take the photo (a head and shoulders shot was requested) and then started to prepare for my portrait.

So many questions had to be addressed before I would sit for the photo.  Important decisions had to be made such as do I take out my teeth or leave them in?  Should I run out and get some “Nice And Easy” or leave the grey hairs intact?  Do I paint my face and cover all those signs of aging or go Au Naturel?  Should I opt for a tee shirt or try to look distinguished and matronly? Would Danny let me get a quick facelift and consider it an investment in my writing career?

Well, I decided that the teeth stay in and the grey hairs would stay.  I don’t own any makeup (not even tinted lip gloss) and it might not be a good idea to be photographed in my “I’m Not Fat..I’m Fluffy” tee shirt.  I did mention the facelift but well…you can imagine Danny’s response was less than receptive.

Finally the photo shoot began after Danny got a quick lesson on how to use my camera ( a cheapo that is about one step up from the type you buy in a supermarket.)  Well, it actually turned into a long lesson on how to aim a camera, look into the viewer and push the damn button.  He couldn’t seem to keep those three steps in mind for more than thirty seconds, so each time I sat in the chair and posed, he would just stand with the camera in his hand and ask me to repeat the directions.  Lord love a duck!

The first few pictures Danny managed to click turned out to be shots that were unusable.

“No, honey, they don’t want a picture of my boobs.  Take another one.”

“No, sweetie, they need more of my face in the picture than my double chin.  Quit hitting the Zoom button.”

Needless to say, the photo session took a lot longer than I first anticipated, but Danny did finally manage to squeeze out one photo that I felt would fill the bill.  Next time, I’m going to Wal-Mart.

I have decided to share the results with you, my blogging buddies, and hope that you now can put a face to the words I write.  I’ve also titled the picture with my pen name that I use when I submit work to be published.  I am laying myself bare before all of you…just this once on this site.  If you want to suffer through looking at my mug in the future, you’ll have to go to where they forced me to submit a picture.

Anyway, without further ado, I’d like to introduce myself (drum roll, please!)

My Picture

 M E McMahon

Writer, Novelist and a really Cranky person!

(I gave some heavy thought to submitting the picture at the top of this post, but I feared the publishers might not have a sense of humor! :))

44 Comments »

Blogging From The Heart..Writing From The Soul

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I was talking to a friend a few days ago and I told her how excited I was to be blogging.  I explained that I had always dreamed of being a writer and I had finally found the venue to work on my writing.  She looked confused and I asked her why.  She said that she understood blogging to be part of a social network, where you post your family pictures, or silly posters and you kept people updated on your life.  So, what did blogging have to do with being a writer?  Bloggers write journals while writers publish books was her point of view, so what did one have to do with another?  I told her it was hard to explain and we moved on to another subject.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about that conversation.  I wondered if I was using my blog site as a means to socialize or to put some serious writing out to the public.  I’ve come to realize that I can do both and still achieve my writing goals.

The pieces I write can vary from one day to the next.  Some of the posts I write come from the heart; some of the pieces come from my soul.

When I write a post about a subject that I find ironic, funny or touches me in some way, I write from my heart.  I write about my views as I see them and I write these posts to get things off my chest or to to cheer myself up.  I enjoy writing them and from the feedback I get; some of the readers enjoy them too.  I visualize this writing as conversations with friends and when I read your posts, I am reading them as a friend, even if I don’t know you from Adam.  It’s fun therapy for me and I love it with a passion.

I have also written pieces about my past, about my family and about events in my life.  These are the things I have written from my soul.  It is sometimes painful to pull these memories and write about them.  But, I believe that these pieces were some of my best and will lead me to being a better writer.  I listen closely to the feedback from the readers and I learn from their comments.

I also learn different things from reading the posts of my fellow bloggers.  I learn about your lives, your feelings and your take on life.  I read some of these posts as a friend; I read some of them as a writer.  I learn daily from all of your posts and apply those lessons to expanding my writing skills.  And, I thank you for that!

My ultimate goal is to write short stories or even a novel.  I realize that what I have been trying to do by blogging is to find a way to write from both my heart and my soul, blend those two worlds together.  And I believe that blogging has me on the right path to achieving those goals.

So, there is really no difference between blogging and writing.  It’s all in how you want to use the medium to achieve your specific goals.  And, that’s what I’m going to tell my friend the next time I see her!

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