Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dead on the line


Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count. I hope you’re having a great week, as I am. My birthday is edging ever nearer, I have a new chapbook working its way toward the horizon, and the Mavguard Magazine submissions window is just about to close—which means things are about to get crazy, in a super fun kind of way.

I know, I know, I talked about Mavguard on Tuesday, but you know what? I’m going to talk about it again.

Why? Because it’s not just the place where I work, it’s the place where I get to publish things by amazing creatives, many of whom have no idea just how creative they really are.

I get to work with creatives all the time, with authors and artists who are still on the indie side of things, still struggling to get some publications under their belts and figure out what to do with this creativity they’ve fostered for so many years—and Mavguard is one of the best ways I get to help them out.

How? Through publication.

When you’re trying to get a novel published, or a picture book, or even a poetry book, it helps if publishers see you have a few publications under your belt. It helps if they know you really have what it takes, that you’ve put in the time and sent your work to be published outside of their submissions form. They want to know you’re serious about this.

And I know you are.
I know how much this means to you.

I know, because it meant that much to me, too.

I hunted for years, for the best places to submit my work. I lived in dread of rejection letters. I know what that’s like. But now I’m on the other side, and I’m doing everything I can to help you, to get you published.

Whether you write short stories, novels, rhyming poetry, free verse, or prose, whether you’re a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, calligrapher, or sketch artist—your work needs to be seen by someone. There’s someone out there who needs to see it, to be inspired by it.

I just want to help you get it there.

I just want to help you get published.

And as of today, there’s not much time left to do it.

The Mavguard Magazine submissions window closes at the end of the month. If you don’t send your work in by then, I can’t look at it. I can’t help you. I can’t get you published.

But if you know me at all, you know how deeply I desire to see you succeed. You know I want the best for you and your amazing talent. And you know how much I want you to get published.

So please, don’t wait. Don’t put it off and forget about it again. Head over to now and send in your work. Do it. Please. I promise you won’t regret it.


{Rani Divine}

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Near and Dear

All this month, we’ve talked about my reading, my writing, and my editing. So, today, let’s talk about something that’s also very near and dear to my heart.

My work with Mavguard Magazine.

See, last year I was brought on by RAD Writing as an associate editor and as the primary editor of Mavguard Magazine. It’s an amazing opportunity, and I love getting to be a part of it—I hope you’ll each at least check it out, see if it’s something you’d be interested in.

But! For some of you, Mavguard is something more than just an interest. It’s a vehicle.

I know what it is to want to get your first publication under your belt. I know how much it matters, what pride is held in knowing that you’ve gotten your first publication. I know what a big deal that is, I know how much it means to each of us.

Who do I mean?

The creatives, of course! Authors, poets, writers, artists, those of us who create as a way of life. It’s what we do, it’s who we are—or at least a very great part of who we are—and we wouldn’t give up on it for the world.

We’re the ones who gain the most from something like Mavguard Magazine, because we’re the ones who want to be published, who want to have our work in print and know that we did it, that we’re good enough to get published.

Unfortunately, we’re also the ones who so often don’t submit our work, because just as much as we’d like to get published, we also tend toward terror of receiving the dreaded rejection letter. It doesn’t matter if other people have thought our work was amazing, if we’ve been told over and over by countless reviewers that our work is worth it and that we should at least try, we’re still so often gripped by terror over the thought of even sending it in.

I wish that wasn’t the case.
I wish I could remove that fear from your minds.

But all I can do is guarantee you that we’re nicer than you think. I can’t speak for every publisher out there, but I can speak for RAD Writing and for Mavguard Magazine. I can tell you right now that we’re honestly pulling for you, that we want you to succeed, and that we’ll do everything in our power to help you get there.

So please, I urge you, take a chance on us.

Submit something.
Try it.

You never know—you might just get everything you’ve ever wanted.


{Rani Divine}

 p.s. Mavguard is having some issues with their art form today, so if you have trouble submitting anything, feel free to contact me or send them a message at their Facebook page. <3

Thursday, June 21, 2018

People of Sand

Hey there! I hope you’re all having a fabulous week.

Personally, I think it’s finally hitting me that we’re already over halfway through the month of June (that means my birthday is right around the corner!). I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

This week, we’ve been talking about editing. That being the case, I thought I’d let you in on what it’s like to edit one of my novels.

Anialych: People of Sand

This is the next to be released from the Druid Novels. We haven’t set the release date yet, but I’m guessing it’ll be sometime in March of 2019. Less than a year, then. And I’m only about halfway done with all the edits—but remember, it really takes about six months to get all the editing done, on one of my books.

I started editing Anialych back in February, and finished the first run-through in April. What did I do in that run-through? Well, I edited. ;-)

The first round of edits is basically a thorough cleanup job. I went through the text line by line, checking to make sure everything was in order, fixing any plot holes, making any changes that I thought would make the story flow more smoothly and better fit into the world of the druids, and removing any typographical errors I came across on the way. But this round of edits had absolutely nothing to do with making sure everything was grammatically correct. In fact, that won’t happen for a while.

Round two, which will start up in another month or so, will be all about perfecting the changes I made last time. I’ll be going through the text and expanding on the tweaks I made, ensuring that the bigger changes I made are actually working the way I want them to, and, of course, fixing any of those typos I find along the way.

In the meantime, a friend of mine is reading the manuscript. Actually, a couple friends are reading it. They’re checking my work, for story only. Essentially, they’re beta-reading, fact checking and story marking to make sure I did an okay job on the first round. I’ll use their notes when I make changes in round two—and if I didn’t have these people, there would’ve been holes I missed in both Cedwig and Dwr.

Round three is the one I like to call “let’s go fix all the typos,” and I usually do it at the same time that we begin laying out the manuscript for print. In this phase, I’ll have another editor (Kristina or Tammy) checking my work, making changes, while proofers go in behind them and make sure we didn’t miss anything grammatically, and I come in behind them, making sure everything remains the way I like it. That’s where we’ll do the finalization, the checks that clean up the manuscript and make it completely readable. It's also a bit chaotic, because it can be too many cooks in the kitchen, by that point.

And after that? Well, the proofers and I will go over it a final time, I’ll make any changes I want and approve the proof, and it’ll go to print.

Thankfully, I don’t have to mess with any of that for a little while yet.


And that, my friends, is the life of a manuscript on its way to print. 


{Rani Divine}