Cordelia’s Mom Gets the Publishing Bug (and a Reality Check)

Frantic writing
This  post was originally published on the blog “Cordelia Calls It Quits“, as part of a special series entitled “Cordelia’s Mom Is Still Hanging in There” (“Cordelia’s Mom Is (the) S.H.I.T.” for short.) :)

Sadly, it’s still as true today as it was when first published.


Everyone has been telling me what a wonderful writer I am—not just family and friends, but people I’ve never met who are now my readers! My readers tell me they look forward to each of my new stories.

Predictably, this went right to my head.

Since I’m so wonderful, I thought, maybe it’s time to find a way to get paid for writing. It would be nice to have even a little extra income so that maybe I could retire at 65 instead of 70. Or maybe I could help Cordelia through her current difficult financial times.

I began Googling “buyers of short stories.” A light bulb lit up in my head when I came across an article touting Kindle Singles and indicating that anyone could submit short stories. I found the link for the Kindle Singles site and carefully read the requirements. The site says:

A Kindle Single can be on any topic. So far we’ve posted fiction, essays, memoirs, reporting, personal narratives, and profiles, and we’re expanding our selection every week. We’re looking for high-quality writing, fresh and original ideas, and well-executed stories in all genres and subjects.

Hell, my writing is high-quality, fresh and original, etc. Time to go for it!

Cordelia’s Mom Goes For It

The first step was simply to send an email to Kindle Singles attaching the work in progress, or a portion of it, along with a “cover letter with a detailed summary of the submission.” After submission, the selection process seemed fairly straightforward:

“Each submission is carefully reviewed by our editors. Once your submission is received, we will read and respond within four weeks. If we are interested in your submission or pitch, we will provide you with further instructions on how to submit your title via Kindle Direct Publishing and any additional next steps.

Easy enough. I spent an entire Sunday polishing up two brand new, unpublished “Cordelia’s Mom” stories, and late Sunday night, off they went via email to Kindle Singles. Imagine my gasp of surprise (and hope) when I received a responding email on Monday morning with the “further instructions.”

I admit I was a little suspicious that the response came back so quickly. It was also a little unsettling that the response kept referring to submission of books rather than short stories. It did occur to me that it might be a response that was automatically generated by some computer wherever Kindle has their headquarters, and that probably no one had actually even read my submission.

But, being somewhat of an optimist, I went ahead and signed up for my Kindle Direct Publishing account, providing my legal name, address, Social Security number, and bank information. (Yes, I knew that was probably somewhat stupid, but it did seem to be a secure site, and I was ready to be published!)

I then learned that short story submissions are normally a minimum of 5,000 words, and my stories are always less than that. How could I get around that? Another light bulb: “Cordelia’s Mom TwoFers”! Each TwoFer would feature one previously unpublished story, coupled with one reformatted and improved post from the blog. (Yes, improved. I know, is that even possible?) Surely that would meet the 5,000 word requirement, and would also get around the instruction that the submissions to Kindle Singles be “not published on any public website in its entirety.”

The excitement began to build…

Those of you who have gone ahead of me in this whole writing business are probably laughing your asses off right about now.

I walked around for a day or two calculating in my head how much I would charge for each story, and then tallying up how much I could expect to earn from the royalties on each one. Yes! It wouldn’t be an enormous amount, but possibly it would supplement my upcoming Social Security enough that I wouldn’t have to work until I drop.

At some point, I decided to look at the Kindle Singles already being offered.

That’s when the bubble burst.

Janet Evanovich is offering a 35-page Kindle Single for 99 cents. Steven King is offering a 47-pager for 79 cents.

But, I wasn’t dead in the water yet. Sure, I’m not anywhere near the writing ability of those two outstanding authors, but my writing is unique and is non-fiction and exceedingly entertaining. My readers are continually complimenting my awesomeness—would new readers be any less impressed? Why wouldn’t people be willing to pay 75 cents or so to entertain themselves with my wonderful stories?

Still, there was that story length issue. I began reworking my first TwoFer. No matter how much I padded it, I could only get up to just over 4,000 words (13 pages total, what with an added introduction and whatever other fluff I could throw in). As any writer knows, adding verbiage simply for the sake of making a piece longer is useless—it just bogs the story down. After all, I had already said what I wanted to say, I did it concisely, and there wasn’t anything more.

Finally, I had to realize: really short stories on Kindle Singles, and stories by unknown authors, are being offered for free. Why would I do that when I’m already giving my stories to the world for free through this blog?

At that point, the burst bubble simply evaporated.

At least for the time being, I will not be submitting anything to Kindle Singles. Maybe at some point in the future, after I’ve written many more stories, I can create an entire book compiling my work. By then, I anticipate having enough of a following that the book will sell.

For now, I am content with all the glowing support I get from my current readers.

And a little wine on a Friday night always helps.

PS: If anyone knows of a legitimate buyer of short stories, please pass that along. I haven’t given up yet!


Cordelia’s Mom always loves to hear from her readers and can also be reached at


Image: Bluestar Tam

Posted in Re-Blogs, That's Life | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

A year in the death of one man: Communing with spirits


Now, here’s something I’ve never thought about. It gives a whole new perspective on grave sites. Definitely makes me want to go out and take some cemetery pictures!

(Comments are disabled here – leave any comments on the other site.)

Originally posted on ROAMIN' GNOMIALS:

Two different trees in an everlasting embrace just behind William's grave, one dormant, the other an evergreen. Two different trees — one dormant, the other an evergreen — embrace just behind William’s grave. The scene is perhaps not unlike what happens when the living visit the dead.

I don’t expect anyone else to do what I do. Who in their right mind would visit a dead man every week for a year, especially when the visitor doesn’t even know the dead man in question? Answer: Nobody, that’s who, except for me, and it’s certainly debatable whether I’m in my right mind.

I visited William again this week and snapped a few photos, but I got distracted from writing when I returned home, and now here it is, Saturday morning, and I’m just starting to process thoughts that have taken a few days to develop.

Upstairs, my daughter and her family are still sleeping after driving through the night to get here. They thought the kids would sleep…

View original 352 more words

Posted in That's Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spam-Bam Thank You Ma’am (April 2015)




Dealing with spammers is very much like dealing with home repair contractors – you need to keep your sense of humor:






Short, unexpected, and totally nonsensical.  Otherwise, I love it.



 “certainly like your web-site however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality on the other hand I will definitely come again again.”


My spelling may have issues on occasion, but you definitely have some grammar problems problems.


Comment (excerpt):

“…Chubby cheeks, dark under eye circles and double chins could be the response to lack of exercise rather than eating a nicely balanced diet.”


Or they could be due to that really tasty wine I received for my birthday.  But the wine’s nearly gone, now, so the noted symptoms should pass, as well.



“You could certainly see your expertise within the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.”


Doesn’t that seem like a really nice comment?  Don’t I wish it were a legitimate comment?  But the fact that it was written on several different posts on the same day leads me to believe you’re not as sincere as I’d like.


And then, there are those spammers who post essentially the same comment over and over again, but who at least try to make each version somewhat unique:


“For one reason, I can’t see all of this article, it keeps disappearing? Are you using something crazy?”

– and –

“For some reason, I can’t see all of this article, stuff keeps disappearing? Are you utilising java?”


So far as I know, the only crazy thing I’m using is the WordPress editor – that gets crazier day by day.  Or maybe I just need another cup of java – extra strong.



The snow has finally melted (please, God?).  Those of us in the northern climes are busy digging out and, in many cases, repairing damage caused by the extreme winter weather.  Everyone is looking forward to warmer, drier days.  Which will sprout up faster – May flowers, or May spammers?  Join me next month to find out.



(As usual, apologies to the appropriate commenter if any of the foregoing weren’t, in fact, spam.  I realize that some comments suffer in translation, and I try to take that into account when determining what is spam and what is legitimate.)

NOTE:  Because I’m lazy today, I’m delegating the above picture of Teddy Rosalie with Daffodil as my submission to today’s challenge by Marilyn Armstrong for the “A Serendipitous Photo Story Prompt #2  And it’s a good thing I took that photo yesterday, because today that daffodil is covered with snow (again).


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at or


Images by:  Daniel Go, and Movement Six, and Cordelia’s Mom, respectively

Posted in Maintain It Up, Spam-Bam, Teddy Rosalie, That's Life | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

And on the Eighth Day, God said …



And Men and Women – old, young, tall, short, fat, thin – of all races and creeds came from many varied  and far-reaching lands and formed a World Within a World.


And God called them Bloggers and was pleased.



But sometimes the Bloggers were confused.



And sometimes they were sad.



And sometimes they made God frown.



But God’s forgiveness is always sweet.



And so, my children, please come forthwith to our World Within a World, which we call the Blogosphere, and henceforth may ye create.



The above post is in response to Marilyn Armstrong’s A Serendipitous Photo Story Prompt.”  Join the fun – post a photo and write a story, then link back to Marilyn Armstrong’s post.  The more, the merrier!


I love to hear from my readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at or


Images by: Cordelia’s Mom

Posted in Photography, Teddy Rosalie, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 36 Comments