Persistence

Open book with overlay text: "Persistence it pays off spoonielifestyle.com"

You know those pain flares when you end up crying? Yeah, I just pulled through one of those. I think it was the Saharan dust storm. But I don’t want to just complain. It’s more of an explanation of why I’ve been gone for so long, in case anyone noticed.

I became a Super Contributor for The Mighty and had my resume forwarded to the CEO of Junebug Weddings. Both are paid positions, and I am extremely excited.

When I talked to The Mighty about being a Super Contributor, I explained I was elated but confused, as most of my articles hardly have any likes on them. They explained that it was more about my persistence and creativity that they wanted to make me a Super Contributor. I have somewhere around 12 articles written with them.

Persistence means a lot, friends. If you’re struggling, don’t give up, and maybe read a book. That’s where I’m at with my book writing – I’m reading other wedding books right now for inspiration, and it’s helping a ton.

If you read this I’m sending you love vibes from my part of the universe. Thanks for reading.

Wedding Planning For Spoonies: Getting Back on the Horse

Watercolor painting of red roses with two bells above a rainbow wash and two spoons, one in a blue bow tie and one in a wedding dress holding hands. The text reads "wedding planning for spoonies by Meara Mullen"

Special thanks to @KarenDScotland and @AManWithFibro who made this iteration of the book possible.

I am on iteration 4 of the book. Right now I am awaiting the official MS notes from my editor. But she did send me some more notes in an email. Right now my job is to:

  • Beef up word count (sitting around 20,000 words which is a bit short after gutting the book)
  • Make the book more hopeful and peppier

The book’s job is to serve:

  • the mobility impaired (meaning wheelchair users, cane users, walker users, anything that helps you move, etc)
  • those who suffer from chronic pain
  • those who have chronic illness (this is a huge range – and includes those with epilepsy)

I’ve taken a break for a week or two from writing because of various stressors in life and I’m going to take advantage of a calm day of chaos to get back in the saddle again. Thank you to those who have helped me with my interviews and surveys, you are invaluable and amazing.

If you should wish to contribute to the project, email me at spoonielifestyle@gmail.com. The more research the better!

Keeping Myself Writing Via Flash Fiction

a dip pen writing in cursive on a lined page, with the text keeping myself writing via flash fiction

As I am awaiting to hear from agents and my freelance editor, I’ve heard the old advice to move on to my next project. But which one? I have half a dozen projects the way I read half a dozen books at once. I wear out easily, and then the soul-consuming anxiety sets in again.

What if I get rejected again? What if this initial contact is all a ruse? What if the direction my editor wants me to go is not what I originally intended?

So, I’ve discovered flash fiction. I know, most of you in the literary world may be rolling your eyes at me, going “How does she not know about flash fiction?” Well, I had my head in the sand for a long time when it came to my natural talents. For example, I made all A’s in my English classes from Kindergarten to Graduate School but never really put much stock in being a writer, excluding my Technical Writing master’s program of course. And when I had a horrible boyfriend tell me I was too fragile for the art world, I gave up my art dreams to be with him. I ended up with PTSD from that relationship and a blackened inside because of that.

Enough about all this emo BS. What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is fiction under 1000 words. It’s the perfect thing for me to work on for a day or two and then hop on to something else. Right now I’m working on some sci-fi. Only having a 1000 word count makes me feel accomplished once it’s done, and then I polish it up over a day or two while working on another flash fiction project.

If you find yourself stuck in the writing world, I suggest reading about flash fiction and trying your hand at it.

Self-Encouragement

I’m not looking for feedback but I feel this is the classiest one, as the watercolor accessibility symbol is gone.

In the past, I was an art student studying graphic design. It was my dream to create beautiful things for others. But then I dated some jerk who told me I was too fragile to spend time in the studio without him, and I switched to the liberal arts.

It was the greatest regret of my life. I vowed that I would never let anyone or anything keep me from achieving my goals.

As some of you may know, I’m in the process of being published. I will be talking about this a lot for more than one reason, namely because it’s an emotional rollercoaster, and anyone who reads this blog knows I am pure emotion. I am 100% F in the INFP.

My post yesterday revealed the staggering amount of rejections I received in a month as well as someone attempting to con me. I’m not giving up, but I do need self-encouragement on my journey.

A weird thing I like to do is go back to my art roots and design dummy covers. Every morning I design about 6 and choose one to three that I like best. I choose my favorite to be my wallpaper on my phone and computer, and the grand slam of the week is printed out and taped to my desk. It helps me imagine a book on the shelf.

I have a creative vision of what the book will look like: delicate, cute watercolors. Because the book covers so many different types of conditions, I wanted a classy way to be inclusive. No bodies will be represented with images. No mobility aid depicted in a pictorial form. Just symbolic representations of what it means to traipse along the wedding planning process in a whimsical way. The book is full of whimsy.

The book needs to communicate that the differently abled, disabled, and chronically ill are people who are loved. People love us. The world needs to know that.

And with my pep talk, I hope you are looking forward to the weekend, and have a happy Thursday.

Blessings Keep Falling in My Lap

Another experimental cover.

Today I was asked to send in my resume for a writing internship. I listed all of the writing I had done, and I felt a warmth inside me.

While checking my publications at the Mighty, I discovered one article that received over 400 likes. This is a milestone, as only a few before mine broke one hundred.

I haven’t told the husband yet as he watches John Oliver on his iPad, as is his morning ritual, but I am quite excited. Maybe one day I’ll be a thousandaire in the likes.

In addition, yesterday I was told by Offbeat Bride that I had two more articles I was going to be published by them. As a longtime fan of the website (seriously… I was thirteen) I can’t wait to say I’ll have three articles with them and be part of their bride tribe.

Then there is, of course, my experimental poetry book, It’s Okay, Magic Happens.

My book, It’s Okay, Magic Happens written under my old pseudonym and available for $0.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

It’s experimental mainly for the fact that it was my coping mechanism for PTSD over 9 years and I only took the good stuff, stuffed it into Scrivener, and wanted to see if I could make a book. I wanted to see if I could learn a new technology. Friends who had read my poetry for years told me to self-publish for about three of the nine years the poems collected static on my computer.

Right now I am working on a bridal book I hope to get traditionally published. Email me for more info.

I am hoping this internship leads me closer to becoming a paid, full-time writer. But I am still blessed even if I don’t get the job.

BIG Project Reveal: The Differently Abled Bride Guide

Those of you that follow this blog closely know that I have been hinting at something big. Something huge that I’ve undertaken, a research project that I hope will change the world.

It’s called The Differently Abled Bride Guide.

I came up with The Differently Abled Bride Guide after mourning my own wedding planning experience and still grieving my diagnoses. What I wanted to do was use these two strange experiences to help other women.

In the media, the female disabled body is never portrayed, and when if it is, it is pitiful or evil. There is a lack of understanding from the outside in, and ultimately a lack of representation. More specifically, there is absolutely ZERO representation of disabled women in the bridal industry.

I decided I would write a book about this phenomenon. I’m almost there. All I’m doing is waiting for permission from the people I need it from and to get in contact with an editor.

This book I intend to go the traditionally published route after I was inspired by friends and professional book people in my circle to do so. I had originally planned a KDP book, but after I shared the idea in real life and was met with high praise, I decided to learn how traditional publishing works. As a result I am now a member of my state’s premier literary society.

It’s been a wild ride, and if you’re interested in learning more or helping out with the research, you can email me.

As always, I designed an amateur book cover using a commissioned watercolor used in the book by redlittleberry who, authors, if you need illustrations is fabulous. My book covers are always meant to be motivational for myself. I think these 4 book covers turned out pretty well. However, I could use a little sensitivity. What do you think? Offensive?
The last thing I want to do is hurt someone, so please give me feedback. Note: this book is an all-inclusive look at people with chronic illnesses and varying abilities.

Writer’s Block and Chronic Pain

For the past three weeks, I have been writing and revising a book. During this time the book was all I cared about. I didn’t eat or sleep – I could even ignore pain. Did I hurt like hell? Yes I did. But I put in 12 hour days working on my book in search of the holy grail of literary perfection.

I even hired an editor, who I start with in a week or so. But now the creative flow has ended, and my pain has hit me like a drunken bus driver with a load full of bricks. The stop sign was open, but he kept on driving straight into my measly Honda.

OUCH!

There’s nerves about the book. This time around I’m seeking to be professionally published. I want to know I can do it and there’s no guarantees. This is the bus full of bricks.

I also want my medical leave to be successful and I can go back to school when it’s appropriate – that is, when I have more answers and can manage my pain better – and also write this book to its polished shininess. AAAND this is the bus full of bricks slamming my Honda.

But if there’s one thing Disney movies have taught me is I can have it all, I just have to align the pieces in the balance of life. I don’t doubt Disney, y’all.

It’s Okay, Magic Happens

My book, It’s Okay, Magic Happens, is finally here! Over the course of about 6 years I wrote this collection of poetry. I do believe this is chronic illness related, as these poems are related to PTSD and the general feelings that come with developing chronic pain.
I have worked on this for the past week, so please, give it a look over and a nice rating for me. It would be appreciated.

Preliminary Ebook Covers

Those who have been on this blog for any amount of time know that I suffer from PTSD. I also believe that it is the root cause of my chronic pain.

There is a lot of evidence that if one has untreated trauma, it explodes into fibromyalgia, and later other diseases. The therapist I work with now specializes in people with chronic pain and their trauma. I am blessed to have found her.

The year following my trauma I began writing poems. I have written poems since 2013 up until today. When I was in DBT I made a writer acquaintance who shared her writing resources, one of which was Scrivener. I got into the program and wanted to see how easy it was to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

It was very easy, however, there were some blunders. I will need to get better and this poetry book is my guinea pig book. Printed in a PDF it’s about 72 pages. I’m still figuring out how to create a print book through KDP.

Anyways, my poetry book It’s Okay, Magic Happens is on the Kindle store. I’m only not linking to it yet because I’m still trying to figure out cover art.

The magical cover
The blue Cover
The glitter cover
The flowers cover

Comment/tweet/contact me with your favorite cover (tell me magical, blue, glitter, or flowers) so I know which one to use.

Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful quarantine.