Mary Beth Writes

11/11/2023

Let’s call this “Old Dog Versus New Tricks.” Does it feel to you as if I’ve been extra quiet these past months? It does to me. One big reason is that I’ve been figuring out Substack.

Here’s the deal: In addition to this blog, I’ve been writing more creative fiction. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m finally taking it seriously. I’m not giving up this website, but substack is going to let me concentrate on short stories and other stand-alone pieces.

What’s Substack?

Substack is an app that is an email newsletter platform. It has a simple interface i.e., it’s not that hard for you the reader to read my stuff and find other writers to explore. Substack is a designated place where creators can publish their work for free, or they can charge a subscription fee, or they can do both at once – some things will be free, others will be behind the subscription wall – and creators determine that price. When I get that far, it will likely be $5/month or $50/year. But that’s down the road. (10% of that goes to Substack, the rest to the creator.)

Creators own the rights to their work. AND no email addresses are collated for any marketing or research reason. NONE. This creates an open-ended platform for all sorts of people – especially writers with small audiences. Writers who want to grow their readership plus earn some money for their work. Substack is both a site and a tool to facilitate publishing of innovative work that doesn’t have to first get a publisher or agent or editor or sponsor. It allows publishing without traditional hurdles that block new thinkers, writers, journalists, and artists.

How does it work?

Go tothis site and look around:https://substack.com/home

Enter my name in the search bubble aka my domain name aka: https://substack.com/@marybethdanielsonstories

If you enter YOUR email address in the bubble on my page, every time I post a story it will come to your email. If you already are subscribed to my blog website – and I hope you are – you’ll still be getting those emails. But the Substack one will let you know about my stories.

I have quite a few stories already and I plan to post one every weekend going forward. I will not charge a fee until I have enough time and savoir faire to write new fiction. I might publish a few things that are not short stories, but for right now, Substack will be my short story venue.

I will absolutely continue with my website where I publish essays and updates and where I talk to you who have been my friends and readers for months and years.

The most powerful thing you can do to support a writer – is to read her.

Thank you.

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Comments

This sounds really exciting. Kudos to you for pursuing your creative writing and exploring what it does. I can't wait to start reading more of what you create. Good luck!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks! This has been a slog for me and I've been at it for months. I just went out and celebrated with a Culver's hot fudge sundae. Party on...

I got mine in my email this afternoon! Reading your new story is up next!
Mary Beth's picture

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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