D is for DEADLINE

The April Blogging from A to Z Challenge continues!

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D is for DEADLINE

 If nobody dies when they miss a deadline, what’s the big deal?  Because your editor wants to kill you.

If you’ve made a commitment, set a date, and got someone else on board with your project, you have an obligation to follow through.

This may not have been a big deal when you were writing that 5-paragraph essay for Mrs. Whatshername in 6th grade…especially if it wasn’t an assignment you had any say in.  BUT, you’re playing with the big kids now, and deadlines matter.

DEADLINE = Deliver or Die

I’m amazed at how many writers think a deadline is flexible.  As if the calendar is some kind of temporal gateway, and dates can be sucked back and forth through time to accommodate the writer.  As an editor, I can assure you that missing a deadline throws off the whole series of events that must occur once your manuscript is submitted.  (Sorry, it’s not as perfect as you imagine.)  Editing, proofreading, formatting, proofreading again, citation checks, copyright checks, photo attributions…. there is an endless list of items that need to be acted on after you’ve delivered your piece.  And while you may have stayed up all night to finish that puppy, I can assure you I do not want to be up all night trying to catch up to your missed deadline!

English: Cropped version of :Image:Domino effe...

The fact is, we’re all just dominoes in a long chain.  When one falls, the others follow – usually in a pleasing pattern that ends with a polished piece we can all enjoy.  But if the first domino never falls, the rest of us are just left standing there.

Be the King Domino.  Cause a chain reaction.  Meet your Deadline.

Leave a comment for me, if you please.  Writing is a lonely business.

Also, visit some of the other few thousand bloggers participating in the A to Z challenge by clicking below:

Karen Nelson Joins Flash Fiction Chronicles Crew

If you follow something long enough, eventually it’s yours.  (Or is that stalking?)  At any rate, I’m so glad that my time spent following the fascinating articles and up-to-the-minute Market Updates at Flash Fiction Chronicles has opened new doors.

FFC’s online magazine has been helping writers understand and explore the craft of writing for more than four years.  It’s impressive host of guest interviews and articles offers advice on everything from craft to publishing tips.  With such talent in play, it’s easy to see why I’m so pleased to have been named the Technical Editor for Flash Fiction Chronicles!

I’ve already met a wonderful network of hard-working and gifted individuals.  Being in charge of editing and formatting material for the e-zine has afforded me an opportunity to use my technical skills, while getting a first look at upcoming material.  (I love a sneak peek, don’t you?)

I look forward to the months ahead, and to reading many great submissions from Flash Fiction fans and experts!

Be sure to check out the website at http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/ and subscribe to this FREE magazine to keep up on industry news!

Big Bad Blurb

So, I’m asked to write a one-sentence blurb about myself for my almost-favorite editor to end an upcoming Cookery Column piece in The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine.

Apple pie

Anyone that knows me, knows I hate describing myself.  When asked, I invariably panic and think, ‘I’m just a Mom, and when the kids are grown I have no idea what I’ll be called!’  Then I’m pressed to think about the highlights of my character or career that I can include.  It turns out, the things that are important to me, aren’t all that fascinating to the editor.  He wants a little down-home twist.

A friend suggests,

“The Martha Stewart of the Ozarks – without the prison record”.

English: Martha Stewart at the Vanity Fair par...

I send off my little drabble that I hope will satisfy the savage beast.  Here’s what I got back in revision:

“Karen Nelson is a member of (local writers group)..who weaves and gardens.”

Okay, I weave – a little – but certainly not on the scale of calling myself a practicing weaver.  “Fiber Artist” would more delicately catch all the pies I have my fingers in.

But GARDENS????  Sweet Zebras, if any of my family saw that, I’d be laughed into next week.  My husband plowed over the garden plot and let the ducks have it, just so I wouldn’t kill anything else that depends on photosynthesis to survive.  He still brings up the death of his one and only house plant in the first year of our marriage.  Eighteen years, and “Robert” is still a sore subject.

Granted, I buy my happy little flowers in their pre-potted state, and faithfully water them throughout the season, but I have failed every single year to get even one of them to last through winter.  (And that’s in my toasty house with lots of sunshine, soft music, and sweet nothings whispered in its ear.)

But I digress.  The point here is to have a little commercial about yourself prepared for any moment, because if you don’t, some imaginative editor who clearly missed his calling in the fiction world (you know I love you) will slap some description on you that could seriously damage your reputation.

Oh, Martha.  Help me.

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