Friday, June 24, 2011

Flying High

More great news! The cover artist at Astraea Press has already designed a cover for my book. Here it is! I love it. It's simple and tasteful, and reflects the mood of the story very well. I wish I knew what kind of flowers those are, but I forgot to ask. Anyway, seeing the cover with the title and my pen name on it makes this all seem more real. The release is to be "sometime in July" - so I'll be checking their website often!

So aside from celebrating and checking several times a day, I've been motivated to dig out an older project. It's a story I wrote a few years ago after I got back from a ten day visit to Greece. Like Japan, Greece is a beautiful country with a long and noble history. I was inspired to write a story about a young archaeologist and an investigator. I got most of the story done, but couldn't get it to a good novel length. Astraea Press happens to be looking for short (12K to 25K) stories, so I decided to take another look and see if I can maybe get a second title to put with my new persona!

So far I've shared this publication news with those of you who read my blog two weeks ago, and my immediate family (most of whom do not get on facebook or read my blog). I'm looking at things like business cards, websites, and business e-mail addresses. What a whirlwind! Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I'm really hoping this Charity Line makes a lot of money for Japan Relief.

But then, of course, daily life brings me back to earth. The socks and undies are not going to fold themselves and float into their respective drawers. Dishes won't get done, bills won't get paid, and the floor won't be swept unless I get up out of my chair and do all these things. Maybe someday, when my best-selling novel is made into a blockbuster movie...

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Wait

Last week I shared the fabulous news that my short story, The Legacy, was accepted for publication by Astraea Press. Since then, I've been busy with the pre-publication stuff the company has sent me. I filled out a cover artist information form (listing details about the story so that the cover artist has an idea about what to put on the cover), an author information form (so I can get paid once the six month charity run is done), and I've re-formatted the entire manuscript according to a style sheet they sent me. That took the longest. It's kinda like being in college and finding out what each professor wants.

Fortunately, computers have wonderful tools to help me with a lot of the editing. I can "turn on paragraph marks" to find out where I've put extra spaces. I can do a "find" search to locate the words I've used too often, like "really" and "very". And when I decided to change a character's name, I just do a "find and replace". It couldn't be easier!

So now that I've submitted the "pre-edit", I wait. Patiently. Sort of. I check my mail at least six times a day looking for something from the publisher - more instructions, a cover for the book, or maybe another request for revisions. I check the publisher's website often, looking for other new books in the Japan Relief series. So far there are three. I wonder how many there will be?

It's always difficult to remain patient. It's not one of my strong suits. Fortunately I have a lot of other things to do - like finishing several other writing projects, craft projects (a friend got married last summer and I still don't have her wedding gift done!) and a house that really, really needs to be cleaned. I'm not sitting here, bored.

I'm really thankful for the words of encouragement, as well as the congrats that have been sent my way (not through this blog, but verbally and on facebook). They give me the ambition to go on and write more. So I'm going to open up one of my partially finished projects, polish it off and send it in. There are three novels, three essays, and a short story waiting to be sent off.

Guess I'd better get to work.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Call

It's been an exciting week for me. I finally got what used to be known as "The Call". Except now, in the electronic age, it's "The E-mail." Last week I wrote that I finally finished a short story and submitted it to Astraea Press. I expected to have to wait at least six weeks to hear whether or not it had been accepted. But six days after sending it, I got a message from the Editor-in-Chief herself, telling me that my story will be published! I've been celebrating since then.

There are a few down sides to this acceptance. The story is part of an anthology dedicated to Japan Relief. All the money from sales of this story (and others in the series) will go to charity, so I won't get a dime for at least six months. After that time, the publisher may offer me a regular contract in which I will receive a royalty.

But even without the monetary return, I figure this is great news because:

1. It's a foot in the door. If they like this story, hopefully the publisher/editor will like more of my stories.

2. It's a start. Perhaps I can get some name recognition as an author.

3. It's a way for me, as well as those who purchase the book, to contribute to charity.


So please keep your eyes open for my new short story, which will be available as an electronic download beginnning next month at Astraea Press - they're at I'm not sure what the cost will be - it looks to me like most of their short stories are running $3.00. I'll have notices on facebook as well as here.

By the way, you may not recognize my pen name. It's Patricia Kiyono. Kiyono is an alternate pronunciation for my maiden name, Seino. So basically, it's my name anyway.

Which brings me to another dilemma: If I'm asked for an autograph, should I sign it in English, or Japanese?

Friday, June 3, 2011

The End - of Something

This week I FINALLY completed a writing project. I suppose it could have been polished a bit more, but I got it done enough so that I submitted it to a publisher. Now the wait begins. An automated reply says that I should hear something in four to six weeks. It’s a 12K short story that took over six weeks to write. That’s two thousand words a week – it sounds like a lot, but I need to be a little more prolific if I want to get anywhere.

I gave myself a day off from writing (other than my daily 750 Words at and then plunged back in. I worked on my seven-year-old Work in Progress, and started a short article for Chicken Soup. If I keep busy, maybe I won’t keep worrying about whether or not the editors at Astraea Press liked my story enough to include it in their anthology. And if I keep writing, I’ll have something else to submit – soon.

In my other creative projects, I’ve managed to make several quilt tops, and my afghan is getting larger all the time. But now this counted cross stitch project that I started last summer needs to be done! The person I intended it for is moving. It’s crunch time again! When will I stop procrastinating?

Probably never. If I always got things done when they should be done, I wouldn’t be me. And I need to be happy with me.