Dominique and Other Stories by Brenda Murphy
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Purchase Links: NineStar Press
COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”
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Ten Tips for Submitting Creative Work by Brenda Murphy
Have you held off from submitting your creative work because you are scared/overwhelmed by the requirements/unsure of formatting/ the process? As someone who struggles ADHD getting a creative project to the final stage and ready for submission is difficult for me. And yet if you don’t submit your work (if your goal is to be traditionally published then you might as well shout down a well for or set fire to your manuscript when you finish it. Unless you get it together and get it off your hard drive it will never be published. I have to push myself every time I put a package together to send out. I have routines that I follow that have made it easier, notice I did not say easy- it is never easy no matter how many times I do it. Even if you do not struggle with distraction issues and/or ADHD the process can stress out even the most calm even tempered person. This is a collection of ten tips that help me and I hope they help you.
While most often associated with gambling, the phrase ” if you don’t play you can’t win” is what I say to myself every time I send off a submission for review, not because it is a gamble but because of the truth of the statement. If you are one of the many who dream of having your work traditionally published, displayed in a gallery, or publicly recognized, you have to submit it for consideration by other people.
Is it easy? Yes, it is easy to hit send, but it can be incredibly stressful to assemble a submission package, book proposal, portfolio, manuscript, short story, or any other creative project. Some people get so overwhelmed they never submit anything. It is an act of confidence for any creative person to submit their work for review. As Erykah Badu says ” I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t…” and Ms. Badu is so right. I have yet to meet a creative person who is not personally invested in their work.
Just reading submission guidelines can be overwhelming. The stress that occurs knowing that making a mistake can get your submission rejected before it is ever reviewed can stir up so much resistance that many individuals give up. A large percentage of creative people have attention issues and struggle with details. Here are ten organizational tips to make the submission process less stressful.
1. Read the submission guidelines. Read them again. Print them out, underline, and highlight the requirements for the submission.
2. Enter all deadlines on your calendar. What no calendar? Read my post on keeping track of multiple deadlines and projects here.
3. Start a computer folder, a flat file or file box and keep everything related to the project in one location. This keeps key information and work together.
4. Date all drafts, or versions of your project. This prevents you from sending the wrong version of the file when it is time to send in the final version.
5. Set reminders for key dates, these can be written reminders or electronic reminders.
6. Have another person, preferably someone who is detail oriented review your submission before you send it. Give them the guidelines and ask them to review your submission to see if you have everything required. Buy this person a beverage and a meal of their choice for helping you.
6a. If the person helping you has suggestions or points out errors that you have made- DO NOT BE A JERK ABOUT IT. You asked for their help so take it.
6b. If the above person is cruel, negative, rude, or in any other way discouraging, thank them for their time and ask someone else. No, you still don’t get to be a jerk even if they were rude.
7. Be realistic and take your time. This is very difficult for many creative people, and particularly difficult for people with ADD/ADHD. Creating is fun, paying attention to details not so much, but if your brilliant work is never reviewed because you did not follow the submission guidelines you are defeating yourself.
8. Remember that as hard as it is to hit “send” or mail that package, it is the only way it is going to get reviewed: If you don’t play you can’t win.
9. Expect to have some anxiety after you submit your work. See Ms. Badu’s quote above, then get to work on your next project. Starting a new exciting project is the best way to deal with your anxiety over the one you just submitted. And if you get lucky enough that they ask you to please send them more of your work you are ready to go.
10. Celebrate. I can’t stress this enough. You have done something that many, many people dream of and never ever do. Celebrate your determination, celebrate your work, celebrate no matter what.
So hit the send button, drop off the portfolio, submit your creative work, jump in with both feet.
You can find more tips and writing advice on my blog
Obsession. Pleasure. Pain. Desire. Love.
Four women—heartbroken and lost—long to satisfy their soul-deep need for the sensual blend of pain and pleasure, but have not found relief for the ache…until now. Dominance, submission, power exchange, and love lost-and-found feature in this collection of stories about women willing to risk everything in their quest for passion and love.
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM
Sex Content: Explicit
Brenda Murphy writes both short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her non-fiction and fiction work has been published in various collections—most recently, “Whole Again” in First: Sensual Stories of New Beginnings (Ladylit Publishing, 2015).
When she is not writing or teaching cooking classes, she’s attempting to train an unrepentant parrot, much to her Ohioan family’s delight. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, writingwhiledistracted.com. She shares recipes and celebrates food on her blog, quinbykitchensideshow.com.
Facebook: Brenda Murphy
Mailing list: You can sign up for my mailing list at brendalmurphy.com
Brenda Murphy © 2016
All Rights Reserved.
She flinched at the tone. Kurt was forever uptalking, and it made Gina nuts.
“There is a lady out here, says she knows you, and wants to talk to you about coffee service for a group.”
“She needs to talk to Bill. He handles all the catering arrangements.” Gina turned back to measuring coffee beans.
“Kurt, for the love of all that is holy, please let me do this, or we’ll be buried in the rush.”
“She says she only wants to talk to you. She’s kinda scary.”
Gina rolled her eyes. Kurt was over six feet tall and looked like he lived at the gym. What the hell could be so scary? After tossing the scoop onto the counter, Gina walked to the front of the shop, grabbing the catering brochure on her way out.
“Our owner would…” Gina stopped.
Miranda’s face—signature lipstick and smoldering look—made Gina’s heart hitch. She had played this scene in her head so many times, but now that she was in it, she found she had no words.
“Miranda.” Looking down at the floor, her knuckles white on the counter, Gina swallowed hard. “You need to talk to Bill. Here’s his number.” She handed Miranda the catering menu. “You still know how to use a phone, right—or do you have people to do it for you now?”
“Can we talk?” Miranda stepped closer to the counter. Her eyes locked on Gina’s face, and she raised her hand as if to touch Gina’s cheek.
Gina took a step back. “I think the time for that has passed.”
“Are you so sure?” Her voice rubbed against Gina’s resolve like raw silk. She wanted to say, The hell with it. To say yes, to toss her apron at Kurt, leap the counter, and…then what? She didn’t know. She only knew she didn’t want to ever feel that particular kind of heartache again. She shoved her hands in her pockets to keep them still.
“No. Yes. The hell, Miranda? You walk in here like it’s five years ago, and expect to pick up where we left off. What is wrong with you?” Her eyes pinned Miranda to the spot, or, at least, that was what she intended. Instead, Gina was as lost in the ice-blue depths of Miranda’s eyes as she had ever been. She bit her lip to keep it from quivering, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall.
The clanging of the door chimes startled them.
“I’ll go. I’m so sorry. Truly sorry.” Miranda lowered her head, shoulders sagging. She slid a card across the counter toward Gina.
Gina swept it to the floor, looking around Miranda at the small woman behind her.
“Hi, Mona, do you want your usual?”
“Oh, yes, honey. I need my fix this morning.”
Mona stepped around her to pay, squinting at Miranda’s face.
“Hey, are you that woman? You know, the one everyone is talking about—Dominique somebody. You make those dreadfully scary movies my grandkids always want to show me?”
“Well, how about that? Would you sign something for me?” She snatched a napkin out of the holder. “Gina, honey, can I borrow a pen?”
“Sure, Mona.” Gina passed her pen over and left the two of them there, Miranda making Mona laugh like a schoolgirl. Gina sent Kurt out to make Mona’s tea.
In the bathroom, Gina splashed water on her face. She looked at herself in the mirror. Five years was a long time. The bit of gray that started at her widow’s peak had widened to a blaze across the top of her short dark hair. The smile lines along her mouth and eyes were deeper. She liked to think she hadn’t changed much in five years, given that Miranda sure as hell hadn’t changed. But Gina had changed. She was a little less impetuous now. A little less bold. She worked hard to protect her heart, not trusting anyone to keep it safe.
And make it up to her? How could Miranda make up five years of wondering what the hell those blissful nine months had been about? Five years of wondering why, or what if, or how? Screw that, Gina thought as she slammed the door behind her.
Walking to the front of the shop, she saw Miranda’s card on the floor and picked it up, meaning to fling it into the trash. She caught the scent of the white gardenia perfume that, like all things Miranda, had never changed. Gina turned the card over in her hand. Miranda had scrawled her hotel information across the front. Gina ran her thumb over the embossed print and shoved the card in her pocket.
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