Looking Sharp

Hey Bloggos,

Maybe it’s premature. Maybe I’m counting chickens before they’re hatched, or whatever other idiom you’d like to apply to this situation. But today I took professional Author Headshots. 

My thinking was this: I am a writer seeking professional publication. I’ve worked on my craft for almost ten years, and I’ve grown in leaps and bounds over the last five years in particular. I ought to have photographs on my site and my social media that reflect who I am now, not who I was almost a decade ago. Plus, let’s be real. Writing isn’t just the art side of sitting down and birthing words into stories. It’s also a business, and this is one aspect of it that I was hesitant to do.

I’m not a fan of having my picture taken. I don’t photograph particularly well, and I’m really good at nitpicking my appearance in pictures. But, this was something I felt needed to be done. I wanted to have professional photographs on hand for when I might need them.

So, I contacted a friend who had recently launched her own photography business. I’ve followed her progress online, had seen her work and been wildly impressed by the skill she’d shown so early in her career.

And today we spent about an hour traipsing around downtown Salem, visiting my favorite businesses and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee. We caught up on life, talked about tattoos, my writing, her photography, and our mutual experiences working for Starbucks.

It was fun, casual, and totally worth it. But I’ll let you decide that for yourselves.

Photo credit to M.L. Photography

There are more photos, but these three are my favorite. They make me feel very pretty, and incredibly author-like. So, I’m gonna bask in this self-love for the rest of the day, and let it help me get past the fact that I’ve barely written this week.

I’ll see you all tomorrow to talk about this week, as usual.

Until then Blogland,



Visual Outline Exercise

Just a quick one tonight guys, mainly because I have time to kill, and because I think this’ll be interesting.

For my novel writing class, we have to prepare a visual outline to present. Now, at first I was confused. Visual outline of the entire story? How? And then Malik explained it.

Go through your entire novel, beginning to end, and find pictures that represent the moments and scenes. You can draw them, find them on the internet, or pretty much anywhere.

Also, I built albums in my Photos folders that are filled with just story related things. For example, I have a “Characters” folder, filled with pictures of what my characters look like, or at least the closest I could find on the web. I also have a folder of just setting images. My novel takes place in Seattle, so I dug up pictures of all sorts of stuff from my favorite city.

If you have Scrivener, which I highly recommend, it has all of these options in the templates for you, which is really cool. But, if you intend to do any sort of presentation of the images, the software isn’t really set up to handle that, so I used iPhoto instead.

Not only is this a good way to share your story with others, but it helps you think of your story in different ways, and allows for some visual stimulation. As writers, we tend to get caught up in words, but you know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. As we good as we are, sometimes a picture says it all.

Anyway, this is a good exercise, especially if you’re one to ding around on the internet when you should be writing!

Keep your pens to paper!


P.S. We start workshopping two of my chapters tomorrow… Wish me luck!

The Gila River Review

Hey gang!

Not gonna lie, I felt like Freddy from Scooby Doo in that moment.

Anyway, I decided that since it’s my last semester at Chandler-Gilbert Community College that instead of submitting to the campus’s online Literary Journal, I’d be a member of the editorial staff!

Our first meeting was Friday, and we have a big group! I’m really excited because I love critical and analytical reading, and essentially I’m sort of an Editor, which is my dream job! Plus, being an active member of the Review looks great on a resume and in my portfolio that I plan to send to potential Universities.

Anyway, I wanted to spread the word about the Review. It is student run and is intended for an adult audience. The Review accepts Visual Art, Micro-Fiction (fewer than 1,000 words), Short Non-Fiction, and Short Fiction, as well as poetry. Being that the Review is a purely online experience we are also able to accept Audio Files, be it original music or spoken word.

Here’s more info if you’re interested, I’m looking forward to reading submissions!

The Gila River Review

CGCC’s Online Student-Edited Art and Literary Journal is Accepting Submissions from CGCC Students, Faculty, and Staff for Issue 5, May 2012


Microfiction: 1,000-word limit

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction: 15 double-spaced page limit

Poetry: 3 poems, no longer than 10 pages total



Photography, Painting, Sculpture:  Limit to 3 submitted pieces

Comics, Graphic Novel Excerpts:  10-page limit

Music, Spoken Word:  5-10 minute limit



Email all submissions to patrick.finn@cgcmail.maricopa.edu.

In the subject line, write “Submission” and genre you’re submitting—“Submission Poetry.”

In the email text, write a brief bio.

Creative writing submissions must be attached in either .doc or .rtf formats.

All visual art submissions must be attached in either .pdf or .jpeg formats.

Audio submissions must be submitted in .mp3 format.

Limit one submission per genre, though you may submit to more than one genre.



Thanks again guys! Hopefully I’ll see some of your work in the Review this semester!