Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

The Posting Pit


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  Since some of the publishers I submitted to requested unpublished works, does that mean that my stories are automatically refused?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If any published writers out there have found more information than I could about the legality of claiming a post as a unpublished work…let me know!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.



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.


Can You See Me Now?


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! :))


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