I’d really hoped the last short story would wow the judges, but no such fortune. It’s a bit discouraging to have stories rejected 4 years in a row, but I refuse to give up. It’s challenging, though, to work through the emotions. Creating a story and having it critiqued takes time and hard work. The silver lining is that the few writers who’ve seen it, enjoyed the story. So, what’s next for this one? It’s earned a spot in an anthology of my stories. Another short story or two should be enough to round off that 50K word project.
Getting Back to Authorship
Editing may not be an author’s favorite part of writing, but doing so relaxes me, relieves the stress of the week. After quite a lengthy hiatus, I started delving into corrections on part two of my “Cop and Vampire” story (Yes, you read that correctly, and no, part one hasn’t been published yet). I totally enjoyed the process: replacing words, moving sentences around, removing phrases that take away for the impact I intend to portray.
My next step is to continue editing the stories I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2021. With 50,000 words to critique, this effort is bound to take the rest of 2022. I’ll have a better idea in a few months what my next release will be. Enjoy the spring season!
Cover Reveal for “Just Between Us”
Single mom Tosha has made a home with Chaz, her fiancé, and their toddler, Emily. She’d hoped that Chaz would have given her a wedding band after Emily’s birth, but he keeps dragging things out. During a visit to her friends’, Karida and Tevin, house, Tosha discovers she’s pregnant with Chaz’s second child. She figures he’d rush to the altar now. That is until she walks in on Chaz doing the nasty with another woman.
Young bachelor Zach is ready to commit to the right woman, but after the latest breakup, he’s grown hopeless that he’d find his match. His friends, Karida and Tevin, convince him to go on a blind date with a woman they are sure he’ll adore. Zach experiences an immediate connection to Tosha and takes her to visit a crystal statue of intertwined swans. She wins his heart when she gets the significance of the swan dance.
Tosha is amazed at how much she’s into Zach. The only problem: she bids him goodnight without telling him about her daughter and the baby on the way. He calls after the date as promised, but guilt over her secret prevents her from answering. Tosha’s not sure she’s ready to trust another man with her still healing heart.
A Romance novel
by Cassandra Ulrich
Also visit Cassandra’s Journey (cassandraulrich.blogspot.com)
Why do I write?
Because I must.
I’ve gotten this question many times, either during a presentation or as an ice breaker at a writers’ group, and that is the simplest answer I can give. After being handed the silence rhetoric as the youngest of four children and bullied into a quiet corner by school children without a clue of how to be a proper human being, writing has and continues to be my go-to for expressing what I really want to say, what I want people to hear.
I’ve written long letters to mean neighbors, accomplished publishers, religious leaders, government workers, and parents. Whoever acted as if their speaking words meant more than the ones coming from my lips, I sat down and crafted a document which possessed all the passion I could muster. Amazing things happen when I write.
Although I write poems and fiction stories, they convey ideas in a much better fashion than me droning on about this or that. Action attracts attention. And I’m getting better at depicting movement in my writing. Imagine the happiness I felt when Chicken Soup for the Soul accepted two of my stories and published one of them in I’m Speaking Now on June 1st.
In fact, the very act of writing disperses the stress of the day, the week, the month, and even the year. How could I stop doing the very thing that adds health to my bones?
I write because I must.
Why do you write?
The Importance of Not Being a Loner Writer
Writing is usually seen as a loner profession, but writers who improve over time rarely pursue their craft alone. Ideas for stories usually come from spending time with others, asking questions, or listening to stories. After the first draft is written and the self-editing has taken a writer only so far, having someone else read the manuscript to provide well-meaning and constructive critiques is a gold mine. The writer is unable to see what will confuse others because the writer has created a world about which others have yet to discover.
Because of this, I’ve joined three writers’ groups, attended critique groups, and have asked fellow authors to read my stories prior to submission. The feedback I’ve received is priceless. Finding an accomplished editor is also a must for those pesky plot holes typically missed or out of sync character development.
I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned over the years and am willing to help others as well. Find your writer circle.
Part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Family
I am pleased to announce that Chicken Soup for the Soul is including my story in the upcoming release of I’m Speaking Now on June 1st. I am so happy about sharing this achievement with others who are sharing stories from the heart of struggle and triumph.
A Month for Reading
Did you know that March is National Reading Month? Interesting, right? I’ve published a few stories and poetry, but those accomplishments were birthed out of a love for the written word. Guess what? I still enjoy a great book. In fact, my writing improves the more I read material penned or typed by people dedicated to their craft.
What brings me joy, though, is knowing that some teens have picked up my books and admitted they didn’t want to put them down. One of them even told me that A Beautiful Girl was the first book they ever read all the way through. That made me smile because I want others to experience how much fun delving into another world can be.
So, keep on reading and please do leave reviews for your favorites.
Editing the NaNoWriMo2020 Short Story Anthology
Having achieved 50K words in thirty days, the feat to edit those 50K words looms pretty high. With no time during the writing frenzy to craft near perfect scenes, much focus is needed in the months that follow to fix all the grammatical misses, disjointed plots, and characters with multiple names. It’s almost laughable.
So, after a month of breathing time, I began editing the short stories that are being compiled into a short story anthology. As of today, I have crossed 25K worth of editing. Lot’s more work needed before I can share it with the world. Stay tuned.
Whew! Glad It’s 2021!
The title of this post seems to be the general sentiment of the human population on planet Earth. The challenges we faced overshadowed the really neat things that happened. We all look forward to a better year. Time will tell.
In the meantime, I am glad that I pushed through those challenges to release three books.
I even released my first ever book trailer.
The fourth story I mentioned in Happy New Year! It’s 2020. – Cassandra Ulrich, Author is still with the Beta reader, but I plan to tighten up and edit that story this year.
As for contests, I entered four and received three rejections. I won’t hear about the fourth one until November, so we’ll see. I plan to continue submitting stories or poems as time allows.
Lastly, I participated in NaNoWriMo2020 after a nine year hiatus and wrote 50K toward a short story anthology.
Be sure to like Cassandra Ulrich, Author | Facebook. It would be cool to reach 1,000 followers by the end of the year.
Happy New Year! It’s 2021!
I Won NaNoWriMo2020
When I took on the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I had no idea I’d have to fight through fatigue, stress, and tons of pop-ups. I discovered something though–writing relaxes and invigorates me at the same time. I accomplished more than just achieving the word count. I finished first drafts of a screenplay and a short story with two other short stories a few scenes shy of becoming completed first drafts themselves. Some of these are projects I never thought I’d start much less finish in 2020. I celebrate everyone who jumped in and created something more than what they had before. Congrats to all the NaNoWriMo Winners.