A Writer’s Journal: August & September

Words Written:

  • 16,385 words

Stories Worked On:

  • ‘Cut From Mother’s Bones’
  • Arcade Story
  • Ocmulgee River Dragon

I know I missed my August update and I felt guilty because I try to keep a schedule with these posts. They truly do hold me accountable and it’s nice to reflect back over the month and see how much work I’ve accomplished. Luckily, the work I did in August bleeds into the work I did in September. I decided to write about both months to make up for missing a post.

The biggest news I can share is that one of my short stories will be published in October! In fact, it should be available to read today! I was notified of my story’s acceptance towards the end of August and I wasn’t sure if I could share the news until I signed the contract. But I can now officially announce that my short story “Reclaiming Tess” will appear in the ‘Chains’ issue of FIYAH literary magazine. I may have mentioned FIYAH in previous posts. They have a strong social media presence and engage with their Twitter followers often. I’m not sure how I found out about this magazine. I started following them about a year or two ago. But I’m honored to belong to a community that is dedicated to uplifting writers of color!

I’m still hard at work with other stories, though I took some time in September to prepare “Reclaiming Tess” for publication. Now that it’s in the world, I can return to some of the other stories that are sitting on my desktop. I had an idea for a story about falling in love at the arcade. I love video games and I loved going to the arcade when I was younger. Galaga is still one of my favorite games to play whenever I go to Dave & Busters. Arcades seem to be disappearing, so the story I plan on writing will take place in the 1990s and I’m excited to revisit some of the major pop culture moments from that period. I may start by creating a playlist and fill it with bands, singers and songs from that decade. If/when I create the playlist, I’ll be sure to share it on here!

While I draft the arcade story, I plan on revising either ‘Cut from Mother’s Bones’ or the ‘Ocmulgee River Dragon’ story. One Story currently has open submissions until the middle of November and I think ‘Ocmulgee River Dragon’ is a good fit. I submitted a story to One Story a few years ago and while they didn’t publish it, they said they were impressed with my writing. I’m praying that this submission will yield better results. I’m not sure where I want to send ‘Cut from Mother’s Bones,’ but I’m looking at markets that will pay. 2020 is around the corner and one of my goals is to earn $1,000 from publications. It’s an ambitious goal, especially when many markets don’t pay. But I’m eager to see what will happen and how this goal will push me to improve the quality of my writing.

With November inching closer, I’ve decided I’m going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This year, I’m plan on drafting a Young Adult novel about two sisters taking a road trip in a busted RV. It’s one of the first novels I ever attempted to write and when I shared a few chapters in my MFA workshop, my peers seemed to enjoy it. Along with drafting a new story and revising a current story, I want to outline this novel before the start of November. Unlike previous NaNoWriMo attempts, I’m not going to aim for the full 50,000 words. I would like to have a good opening and a few chapters that I can build on in December and January. I love writing novels, but they’re a daunting project and I think by putting little to no pressure on myself I will actually finish a draft that I’m proud of.

I’m excited for October and what it will bring. Not only will I have a story published in one of my favorite magazines, but I will likely start a new job. (I’m waiting for confirmation from HR, but I can’t wait to start working in the Library Science field. Right now, I hope to start in the middle of October or towards the end of the month. I should know more as this week goes on.) After a rough few years, it feels like I’m finally starting to experience the life I want for myself. As 2019 winds down, I want to spend more time being as creative and productive as possible. I want to build a rooster of short stories that I can submit while I focus on my first novel draft. I want to paint and create a portfolio of artwork I’m proud of. I want to grow and mature as a writer. I’m excited for everything that has happened and will happen this year and next.

And Fall is here! I’m looking forward to visits to vineyards, apple orchards and farmer’s markets. And of course being able to wear comfortable sweaters! Here’s to cooler weather!

Happy Writing!



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