Katherine N. Friedman

The Occasional Musings of a Writer Mama

Author: Katherine N. Friedman (page 1 of 2)

Updates and a call for submissions

Since it’s been over two years since I last posted, I have a few updates! As the long delay between posts indicates, I decided that it was better use of my limited writing time to work on my stories and novels than my blog entries. Over the last couple of years I was able to finish and revise my novel The Wish Doctor and get some helpful feedback from beta readers. I’m now in the trenches of the query process, so my fingers are crossed that I can get professionally published. I also had another short story, “Life Hacker,” published in the 9th Los Angeles Nanowrimo anthology, Alien Gaze.

After a year-long hiatus, the anthology is coming back again this year, and it’s currently open to submissions! The theme is “Utopia… or is it?” and the prompt is that the story (4000 words or fewer) must include something or someone that gets stuck. I’ve submitted my story, but the submission deadline has been extended until April 30, so anyone who is interested should sent theirs in!

More publication news!

I haven’t posted on this blog for quite some time, which I completely blame on my three kids. (Yeah, since that post about being a writing mother, I had two more kids!) I don’t recommend having three young children as a step to becoming a prolific writer, though I love them dearly and wouldn’t trade them for a published novel. 🙂

While raising young children, I’ve found short stories to be a much more manageable way to be able to write, revise, and publish my work. Since my last post, I’ve had three stories published in three different anthologies:

  1. My short story “Significant” was published in the 8th annual Nanowrimo anthology Engineering Chaos. I also served as an Associate Editor on this anthology. Helping other author’s revise and improve their stories was rewarding, and the anthology itself is a lot of fun to read!
  2. My short story “Dreaming in Duet” was published in the 7th annual Nanowrimo anthology Songs in the Key of Sunset. The year before I was the leading story, and in this anthology my story concludes the collection.
  3. My short story “Ex Post Facto” won third place in the Owl Canyon Hackathon and was published in the anthology of winning stories From the Corner of My Eyes. This was especially exciting because it came with a cash prize, which makes it my first paid fiction story!

One of these days I’ll get around to finishing the revision of my latest novel and working to publish it, but for now these anthologies are a fun way to get published without abandoning my work and family obligations.

Exciting publication news!

One of my short stories, “The Wish Doctor,” has been published in Journeys to Uncharted Lands, the sixth Los Angeles Nanowrimo Anthology. And my story is the first one! That means that if you click on the free preview, you get my story! Of course, if you do that and you like my story, you should then go on to pay $3.99 and buy the Kindle book and read everyone else’s stories, which are also really good. Elisabeth Ashlin was a pleasure to work with, and she and her team did an excellent job editing this anthology. The print version will be out soon. It’s very exciting to see my name in print!

I should also mention that I also had a story, “Collateral Damage,” published in the third Los Angeles Nano Anthology Meet the Systems, also available for purchase in print and paperback on Amazon.

Hello, author website! How have you been?

With the recent release of the 2019 Nanowrimo Anthology, there’s a chance that someone besides my mother might visit this website. So after three years of near-silence, I thought I’d say hello.

It’s amazing how quickly the time went by since my last post, and how outdated this website has become. In my header I called myself a “new mother,” but my oldest just started transitional kindergarten, and I now have two kids. My political post right after the elections seems naive and over-optimistic, sadly. And my previous banner title, “Almost Published,” doesn’t fit because I’ve had a few stories and articles more-than-almost published, but I still haven’t found an agent for my finished novel. I suppose “Slightly Published” would be accurate, but since that sounds unimpressive, I replaced it with my name.

Time is in much shorter supply now that I have two young children, but I love being a mama. Motherhood hasn’t killed my desire to write nor stopped my flow of ideas, it just makes it much harder to sit down and put in the hours required to produce something good. That’s probably why I’ve done more short stories lately–I can finish and revise one in the valuable hours when the kids are sleeping and I’m not too exhausted to type. Plus, contests and submission deadlines are good motivators!

Even with my neglect, upon revisiting my site today I had one real comment waiting for me to approve and several people sign up for my email list that I hadn’t realized had done so. So if anyone is reading now, hello! Leave me a comment and I’ll try to check it before a year from now. And thanks for reading!

Five Principles the Left and Right Must Agree On Right Now to Preserve our Democracy

Note: This isn’t about writing, but given the recent election, I found it hard to focus on my novel for a couple of weeks, during which I wrote this article. I also posted it on Medium.

The results of the presidential election were shocking and scary—and Republicans should be as alarmed as Democrats. Donald Trump openly campaigned as a tyrant, suggesting we violate Constitution and international humanitarian laws, claiming he alone can solve complex problems, slandering entire groups of people, and threatening to jail his political opponents.

Now that he’s won with a narrow minority of the popular vote and has made an unusually nice acceptance speech, many on the left and right say we should give him a “chance to lead.” While his inauguration may be inevitable, we cannot wait to send a clear message about the limits of his power. The left and right don’t agree on much these days, but it’s imperative that people across the spectrum come together to protect five basic principles of our democracy: Continue reading

This is What Happens When a Writer Listens to Too Many Children’s Songs

I just got a flash fiction piece published on the Akashic website as part of their Terrible Twosdays series. Check it out here!

How to Finish Your Novel without Ignoring Your Baby

The week before my baby’s due date, after I had finally wrapped up my work obligations, cleaned the soon-to-be nursery, and inflated my birth ball, I sat down and spent several hours attending to my other “baby,” my first novel. Though I was already experiencing what I now realize were early labor pains, I was determined to complete a hefty round of revisions before the baby was born. If this baby is two weeks late, I thought to myself, and I somehow write polished prose really really fast, then I might, possibly finish this draft…or at least half of this draft?

My first contraction interrupted my thoughts.

I love my little girl and wouldn’t give up being a mother for anything, not even a best-seller. Fortunately, I’ve discovered that having a baby doesn’t mean the end of my writing dreams. Though I had to stretch out my timeline, I managed to complete a fairly final draft of my novel during my baby’s first year.

What advice would I give other aspiring parent-novelists? The one sentence summary would be this: Your novel must be the “next thing” on your list.

A parent’s first three priorities are pretty much set: Continue reading

Does Anyone Care About my Author Blog? A blog post about blogging (very meta, I know)

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a new blog entry in over a year. Actually, you probably didn’t notice, because why would anyone check this blog if I don’t even care enough to update it? Despite what it may seem like from this website, I have actually been writing quite a bit over the past year, I just haven’t been blogging about it. My question is: Does that matter?

I established this author website almost two years ago, after speaking to some other not-yet-unpublished authors at a potluck hosted by the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society. One of them told me that she had recently garnered the interest of an agent who wanted to represent her. What had the agent asked her? Not to see the first few chapters of her book, but rather how many people read her blog and how many followers she had on Twitter. When she answered several hundred each, the agent expressed interest. Other people sitting at the table around me began sharing their own stories of how they were promoting themselves through Twitter, Facebook, and their author websites. So I opened a Twitter account on my phone right there at the table, a Twitter account that I have posted to about one time. Later that year, I built this author website so I could start “building my platform.” It kind of makes sense—if publishers and agents already know I have a following, they will be more confident that people will buy my novel(s). On the other hand, if was really that brilliant at marketing myself, I would just go ahead and self-publish. Plus, I wasn’t really sure what to publish on my “author blog,” while I had plenty of ideas for my novels and short stories. Continue reading

Observations on Being a New Mom

Observations on Being a New Mom

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog, but I have a good excuse: I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl! I feel very lucky to have had a smooth labor and a healthy baby.

My last post, in July, was about how I really wanted to finish my novel and have it agent-ready before my baby was born. I did end up hiring a professional editor and he had a lot more suggestions than I expected, which together amounted to another rewrite. The bad news is that, though I wrote a lot of the newest version before I have birth, I didn’t finish it. The good news is that my writing didn’t completely stop now that I have a baby. It has certainly slowed down, as it’s harder to find time to write, but I’ve been able to take advantage of some of her nap times and the times when my husband is home to get a little writing done.

Most of my life, however, has been taken up with baby concerns, which is why the rest of this blog is about being a new parent. No real advice here, just some observations: Continue reading

Is my due date my deadline?

As my Web site title implies, “Almost Published” does not mean published. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even mean that my novel is finished, though I am at the point where I need outside editing and feedback to make it good enough so I would want it to be published, let alone good enough for someone else to want to publish. I’m considering paying for professional help (for the book, not for me), but the practical side of me hesitates at spending more than a small portion of my savings on an unpublished book that has no guarantee of making me money. The more imaginative side of me says that finishing my novel is part of my dream, and I am on a deadline.

Why am I on a deadline? Not because I have an agent, or a publisher, or even a somewhat arbitrary date set by the folks at Nanowrimo, but because I have a due date: If all goes as planned, my husband and I will soon have a baby! We are both very excited about this new stage in our lives, but I also predict that it will put my writing progress on hold for at least a few years.

baby-reading Continue reading

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