Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Fireflies and Platforms

Posted on Jan 19, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   23 Comments | Posted in contests · writer's journal
Clip art courtesy of Webweaver.

First, welcome to Fay’s Too and Margaret Bednar, my newest followers! Thank you for visiting and opting to stick around. (Visit their links. You’ll be glad you did.)

Yay!  The Jan/Feb 2011 edition of Writers’ Journal is now available, and I’m proud to say my prizewinning story “Fireflies” is published in this issue.

Were you to know of me only through Writers’ Journal, you might think I am a romance writer since both of my stories published in this magazine (“Dusk” appeared in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue) are romances. You would be partially correct. I do write romance, but I also love writing everything else! In other venues I have published horror, memoir, humor, essays and general fiction stories.

I mention this because my fellow blogger, Linda O’Connell, lamented via her blog the problem writers face of being pinned to a particular platform when many of us enjoy writing across multiple genres. It may be true that real success depends on choosing a favorite flavor and sticking with it; but that doesn’t mean we can’t branch out if for no other reason than the sheer joy of it.

Were you ever typecast in a particular role/job/genre?  Are you bothered by that, or do you think it helps define your goals?  If you are a writer, do you find the insistence of a “platform” bothersome? How to choose, when everything appeals? I’m curious, and would like to read your comments.

My writing Yoda, the scathingly brilliant Cathy C. Hall, once counseled me this way: “Grasshopper,” said she. “You are a writer. That is your platform.”

Sounds like a good flavor to me. I’ll stick with that one.

Off to write who-knows-what!

23 Responses to "Fireflies and Platforms"

  1. Comment by Sioux Roslawski
    January 19, 2011 at 7:17 am  

    Lisa–First of all, congratulations! I am going to the bookstore this evening. Hopefully I can find that magazine and read your story.Secondly, I don't have enough publishing credits to have become pigeon-holed, although I have had some experiences switching genres. There have been a few pieces that began as prose and did not "work" until I switched and wrote them in free verse.I think Cathy C. Hall is right. We have to think of ourselves as writers first and foremost…writers willing to wade in, no matter what kind of pool we find ourselves in.

  2. Comment by Bookie
    January 19, 2011 at 8:47 am  

    Thanks for the heads up, Lisa! So happy for you…now to find the magazine around here!

  3. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm  

    Hi Sioux – Thanks for the thoughtful response. I like your pool analogy. It made me think that wading in can be scary and uncomfortable, but it is rarely without merit. And after a while, we warm up and get used to the water!

  4. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm  

    Hi Bookie – Thanks for the comment. Good luck finding the magazine…I've only seen it in bookstores.

  5. Comment by irishoma
    January 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm  

    Hi Lisa,How wonderful! Congratulations on being published in The Writers' Journal not once, but twice.Cheers,Donna V.

  6. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    January 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm  

    Hi Lisa,Congratulations! I want to read everything that you have published, Lisa … I'd better get started, I think it is going to take me a long time. I'm proud of you.Kathy

  7. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm  

    Hi Donna – Thanks!Hey Kathy – I appreciate all your support. Thanks!

  8. Comment by Scott
    January 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm  

    congrats on the "publishment" that's really wonderful!

  9. Comment by Nessa
    January 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm  

    Congratulations on your story publications. i will get me a copy of the magazine and check it out.

  10. Comment by Sally
    January 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm  

    Congratulations on the stories. Too bad the magazine is not also online, I've become a fan of the e-zine.

  11. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm  

    Hi Scott – Thanks!Hey Nessa – Thanks. I hope you like it!Hi Sally – Thanks. I love e-zines, too. The internet has made it easy to stay caught up with a lot of publications.

  12. Comment by Lynn
    January 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm  

    Congratulations! I wish I knew that earlier (although you may have posted it earlier – I just got around to reading blogs), but tomorrow we're suppose to get a ton of snow… and I want to read your story! I love the advice from Cathy Hall – You are a writer – that's your platform! I thought I was a memoir writer – okay, well I am, but… I didn't think I could write fiction until I did NaNo (fellow NaNo bud). I met with a writer friend today who said I can write poetry, but I don't think I'm very good at it. So who knows, I'll just use Cathy's advice! I'm so excited for you though! Woot! Woot!

  13. Comment by Sioux Roslawski
    January 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm  

    I went to Barnes and Noble, found the magazine, and read your story. I am not much for romance stories, but I enjoyed yours. The line about her face blushing/reddening and turning away (to get a coffee cup) was great. I also liked the note her husband left, "He can rebuild anything." There were some small details that made the story ring true.Sorry I did not buy the magazine, but I figured, you had already gotten paid for the story…

  14. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm  

    Hi Lynn – Amazing how much NaNo taught us about ourselves, isn't it? Even if I never get the story finished/organized/edited etc. the time was well spent. P.S. I'd love to read your poetry. :)Hi Sioux – Thanks for reading the story and for your comments, and I'm glad you liked it. No problem that you didn't buy the mag. You're right, I've already got the check in hand so they can't change their minds. LOL

  15. Comment by Katie Gates
    January 20, 2011 at 3:57 am  

    Congrats on the publication!!! As for your general question, I used to be such a damn good secretary that I had trouble getting promoted. The one who had that power didn't want to lose access to her own personal filing nerd! (What can I say; I really am a filing nerd!) As for that pigeon-holing issue in the writing world, I think the lack of flexibility comes from those in our field who aren't writers, but rather are there to take care of the "business" that leads to publication. It's tricky!

  16. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 20, 2011 at 6:41 am  

    Hi Katie – Thanks for commenting. Your theory of how/why the platforming exists makes good sense. I wonder, did it arise in a publisher's boardroom or did it evolve over time? Once we strip everything away it comes down to marketing, which ties to money come publishing time. Ugh. Everything always trickles back to that.

  17. Comment by BECKY
    January 20, 2011 at 7:54 am  

    Congratulations, Lisa!! How exciting! As Lynn mentioned about the ton of snow….well, we certainly did get it! I looked out the window and it's definitely a Winter Wonderland! Anyway, as soon as I can get out, I'll head over to Barnes & Noble! I agree with the others, too…We are "writers"!

  18. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    January 20, 2011 at 8:55 am  

    If we don't challenge ourselves to step outside our comfort zone, platform, whatever you want to call it, then we miss discovering more about who we are as writers. I've surprised myself more than once this way. I think it's a great way to exercise those skills and become a better writer. That said, I AM partial to the children's market, from little board books and all the way up to YA. There's so MUCH great stuff! πŸ™‚ I'm looking forward to reading your story! Congratulations again!

  19. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm  

    Hi Becky – I don't envy you guys all that snow, although you are more used to it than we here in Georgia. That storm we had last week shut things down for days. Stay warm, safe and do lots of writing!Hey Deb – Well, I have the advantage of knowing what a terrific writer you are since I'm lucky enough to be one of your critique buddies. You're right about YA…I'm learning how much really is out there and how little I know. Some day when we both have ooh-gobs of books on the shelves we can commiserate about how far we've come. πŸ™‚

  20. Comment by K9friend
    January 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm  

    Congratulations! Another terrific accomplishment! As far as pigeonholing is concerned, I write what I feel compelled to write. That way, I figure everything else will fall into

  21. Comment by Margaret Bednar
    January 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm  

    Just purchased a one year subscription to the magazine. I look forward to getting it in the mail – I hope I get the Jan/Feb issue. Our local bookstore doesn't carry it. I look forward to reading your article and all the helpful "tips" for writers. Thanks.

  22. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    January 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm  

    I am constantly amazed at some of the things I've said. πŸ™‚ But I'm sure glad I said that about writing. Because you just keep writing and writing and writing!Yay! I'm gonna read it tomorrow!

  23. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    January 22, 2011 at 8:46 am  

    Hi Pat – Falling into place is the key, and I guess the more we write the more likely we are to find the area that pleases us more than others. My problem seems to be that my favorite is whatever I happen to be writing at the moment! LOLHey Margaret – Let me know if you enjoy the magazine. I like reading the contest winners to see what appeals to editors over the different genres.Hey Cathy – You amaze all of us, m'dear, that's why you're the Yoda. πŸ™‚ Oh,that's right, you can read it at the bookstore before our group meets. Hope you like it!

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