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The Juggling Act and Sacrifices


There are few authors who have the luxury of writing fulltime, and I'm certainly not one of them. I'm a full-time university student, part-time worker, and free-time writer - as if that weren't enough to juggle, I'm also attempting to maintain a blog, facebook, twitter, and tumblr account... and I'll be honest, I don't always do a good job it.

At the beginning of the year, I came to the decision that I also wanted to start producing youtube videos (great idea, right?) Like I need another task on my plate! None the less, it's something I'm eager to begin; I want to help other writers on their journey to publication with what I've learnt so far. Unfortunately, with classes taking up such a large portion of my time, I've had to decide to leave that particular juggling ball on the ground where it is - not for long, thankfully. I plan to take off the second semester of study (mostly due to the papers I need not running), and I'll finally have the time to get a stock of videos filmed and cued up, without having to sacrifice the maintenance of anything else.

But that doesn't change anything right here, right now; I still need to stay on top of social media, blog posts, and uni assignments. Luckily, if there's one thing I'm good at, it's procrastinating being productive so I can plan my productiveness - which sounds counter-productive, but ultimately results in long-term task maintenance instead of short bursts of success.
I'll be juggling my many tasks and hobbies through the use of scheduling, daily to-do lists, and bullet journaling. I've set up a schedule to dedicate different days to the maintenance of social media and various other writing-related activities, which will subsequently be added to my daily to-do lists, which have proven most successful in actually being productive. Lastly, I will be including these tasks in my bullet-journal habit trackers so I can accurately assess just how well I'm sticking to it.

Will this work? Who knows. We'll know in a few weeks if all my accounts have stayed active. If you've got any tips or crazy ways to keep on top of too many tasks, tweet them to me @AceParks_Writer with the hashtag #productiveinsanity.

Co-Founding a Magazine

This semester at uni, I'm enrolled in The Publishing Project, a paper designed to guide us into the world of publications, how to navigate it and succeed. For my production, I am partaking in a group production and together we have decided to found a literary magazine, building from the ground up our very own publication.
I am so excited about this project, and I can't wait to bring it to life. That being said, this is a huge undertaking and it's going to be a struggle to balance my time!

The Quagga

Our literary magazine is currently under construction, but we're already on the hunt for content! If you're a writer, take a gander at the Call for Submissions form below and get to work on something for us to publish to begin or build your writing portfolio.
Website Coming Soon

Creators
Ace Pilgrim
Aimee Drever
Alex Tunui
Hope Renee Burmeister
Julianna Head

Call for Submissions

The new online literary magazine, The Quagga, is now open for submissions! Based at Massey University in New Zealand, we are looking for diverse, up and coming writers with a story to tell. We're looking for works in:

  • Short Fiction
  • Short Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Flash Fiction
  • 2018 Book Reviews
  • Literary Articles
This edition of The Quagga features the theme 'What Almost Was...' Authors should incorporate this theme into their work in some way.

Rules:
Submission must meet the following requirements in order to be accepted for publication:
  • Publishing rights must not currently belong to any other publisher, nor can the work have been published in any form within the past two years.
  • Submissions must be within the given word limit parameters, give ot take 10% of the word count (with the exception of poems, which must be within the specified number of lines).
  • Content of submissions must not contain overtly lew or erotic content, graphic violence, or offensive/hateful messages (e.g. encouraging racism). Presence of such content is only permitted in appropriate context of the work.
  • If you are submitting a work with multiple authors, you must gain the other authors' permission before submitting for publication.
  • You may only submit a maximum of one work for any of the specified categories, except in the case of Poetry for which you may submit a maximum of two poems. Any extra submissions will not be considered.

Word Parameters:
  • Short Fiction - 2,000-3,000 words
  • Poetry - 3-25 lines
  • Flash Fiction - 50-300 words
  • Short Non-Fiction - 2,000-3,000 words
  • Writing Related Articles - 1,000-1,500 words
  • Book Reviews - 500-1,000 words


Submission Guidelines:

  • Email submissions to the provided email address in the form of a word document.
  • Please format documents in size 12 standard font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman), with your first and last name (or "Anonymous") included with page numbering in the top right of the header. Please include a title for all submissions.
  • Please send submissions for different categories in seperate emails. Please include in the subject line "Quagga Submission: (Name of Category, e.g. Book Review)".
  • If you have an original image you would like to publish alongside your work, attach it with your submission email. We reserve the right to use this image at our discretion and may alternatively use an image of our own creation or choosing.


Please send submissions to: submissions@thequagga.com
Submission Deadline: 22 April 2018


We will contact you to let you know if your work has been accepted for publication at our earliest convenience.


By sending a submission to the provided contact email, you are agreeing to grant The Quagga permission to publish your content on our site and in our quarterly edition of the magazine. You agree to only submit content of which you possess the full rights. You agree to grant us full publishing rights for a 12-month span, and will not publish your work elsewhere in any form within this time period. You are acknowledging that you have read and understood the submission rules and guidelines and agree to adhere to them.

Book Review

The Glittering Coutet
Richelle Mead
2.5 stars

Let me first start out by saying, I honestly didn’t realise this was a romance novel when I picked it up… in fact, I was literally over half way through the book when I finally realised I was reading a romance. I can’t say for sure how that affected my reading experience, but... Continue Reading

See More Reviews

Book Update

Planning has begun and soon I'll be writing up the outline.
Word Count: 14,303

2018 Goals

I made a lot of resolutions at the opening of the year, and, while there've been some delays and complications, I have every intention of following through on every last one of them. I super excited for so many of these - all of these.

  • Finish the draft of Tiger’s Eye (Deadly Summonings? This is still up for debate), complete the editing, and start preparing to publish
  • Outline and draft (at least mostly complete?) Demon’s Run
  • Write a more casual “serial” piece to be available free and exclusive on Wattpad – kept updated weekly! (Still not yet underway....)
  • Start a youtube (writers-tube / booktube) channel!
  • Be more dedicated to my blog – which will involve blogging every week
  • Start a quarterly newsletter & build a mailing list  (Thanks for signing up!)
  • Read 12 books (one a month! I may or may not already be behind on this...)
  • Complete Nanowrimo

 That's a lot! But if I manage to pull it off, I'll be set by the time 2019 rolls around to actually, finally, begin my publishing journey. I'm honestly buzzing with excitement about this and I hope you'll stick around to follow this journey and learn with me along the way.

Read the Whole Post

Patreon

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I'm also working on creating exclusive content for Patreon, so keep an eye out for that!

Become a Patron

Anxiety
An Original Slam Poem

By Ace Parks

Anxiety, is a wet shirt clinging to my chest,
It is a cramp in my gut that makes me stumble and fall,
It is a sickness that puts a rock in my throat,
A sheen on my face,
A startled mouse in my chest,
A tremble in my grip
As I hold the nervous pen that puts my panicked answers to paper
Even though I’ll get an F anyway.
Because the fear of failure,
The fear of not rising high enough
To be deemed good enough,
It has wiped the words from my mind,
The answers I spent hours memorizing for this moment,
Gone.
 
Anxiety, is clear film that I can feel and they cannot see,
Smothering my voice as though it were a flame
As my mind rehearses the words,
A simple thank you
Ready to speak it, ready to show who I am,
Polite, respectful, grateful,
It comes out a muted smile,
And they are robbed of my appreciation.
 
Anxiety is a voice over which you have no control
Telling you all the ways it will go wrong
It’s refusing to learn anything new,
It’s living in fear
Knowing they are watching you
In silent judgement.
Anxiety is thinking the voices are wrong
But believing it all anyway.

Book Update

Outline complete;
two-thirds written.
Word Count: 70,159

Why you should Consider Scrapping Chapter One

"...As story-tellers, we should never open with our own explorations of our content. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t write it this way – in fact, I encourage it. Free-writing is very stimulating and excellent for discovering your characters and your stories. But that’s our business – not our reader’s.
If you’re a Pantser like moi, I suggest you take a thorough look at your opening. Look at it; critique it; if need be, ditch it.

But… but… it’s set up! It’s introductions!

Nope. We don’t need an entire chapter fluffing around filling in the details of your character’s life, we need a hook. Your reader needs something to happen in those first few pages to make them want to read the next; you cannot hook them with the background details..."

Read the Whole Post

Ebook Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered my E-book giveaway! Unfortunately, there could only be one winner, but stick around to be in the draw for more giveaways in the future.
The lucky winner was selected on the 25th of March and has been contacted to receive their prize, so if you haven't checked your emails in the past week, check now to see if it's you!

Tiger's Eye Teaser

Olivia woke to hands gripping her shoulders. For a panic-filled moment, she was still in the Pits, the putrid flesh of rotting corpses giving way under her hands as she tried to claw her way up. It was their slimy hands on her, holding her down to die and rot as they did.
She would have screamed if it had been air instead of vomit that made its way up her throat; she barely threw herself forward in time to empty her stomach over the edge of her bed.
The hands released her and it was Cody who jerked back, narrowly avoiding the mess.
There were no dead bodies – not here.
Olivia took a shuddering breath, finding the drenched bedsheet twisted around her, clinging to her clammy skin. Her eyes were wet with tears, throat burning and a putrid taste in her mouth.
She nearly hurled again, but swallowed it back down and tried to steady her breathing.
“Are you alright?”
She finally looked at the vampire, eyes searching his face as to be sure it wasn’t gaunt with decay, to be sure the dead had not followed her into the waking world. All she saw was bewilderment, concern and questions that she didn’t want to answer.
She wrapped a hand around her wrist, fingers sliding over the lumpy scar tissue, remembering the hole that created it.
It had only been a dream – a memory; twisted and wrong, but a memory. Nothing more. She was miles from that hell, years older than her thirteen-year-old self, the girl that had endured such horrors.

The Cupid's Dilemma


This is a piece I wrote for a fiction writing class at Uni last year, about a teenagecupid-in-training. It's not polished, but I hope you guys are entertained.

 
Being a teenager is complicated enough. Leslie thought it was wholly unfair to also saddle her with the responsibilities of a life-altering secret, dropped on her by the wonders of genetics.
Going into the ‘family biz’ was a little more necessity than it was a sense of duty. There were, after all, an exceptional shortage of those in her family trade, and the Council dictated the ‘fulfilment of her potential’ mandatory.

Leslie didn’t ask to be a Cupid. Leslie didn’t sign up for this. The lack of fertility among her kind wasn’t her fault, nor should it be her responsibility to go into the secretive line of work. Not that her opinion on the matter meant all that much. No, Leslie had to attend the private high school for paranormally gifted students to train in the field of Cupid’s magic.
Indeed, Leslie led a complicated life.

Today, she discovered the universe wasn’t through with messing it up. It came in the form of an assignment. Not your typical ‘write an essay’ kind of an assignment. No, Leslie had been given a target: someone the Seer’s had decided needed a push in a specific direction, steering them down one path as an alternative to another. It was now Leslie’s responsibility to shoot an arrow at said target to nudge them in the right direction.
 
Continue Reading...

Author Interview:

Dawn Husted

Dawn Husted, a married mother of two from Texas, is an urban-fantasy and dystopian YA author.
Novels: Touch of Darkness (Novella), Scythe of Darkness, and Safe.

Read the Interview to learn more about Dawn's journey and bookish opinions.

That's it! Thank you all for subscribing to my very first newsletter, I hope you stick around for more writing advice, updates, and giveaways. 
 
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Ace Parks · None · Palmerston North, Manawatu 4410 · New Zealand

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