The Kinder Muse Newsletter for October and November 2017


Apologia . . .

Why yes, October’s newsletter is a bit late. That said, it’s now a combined October and November issue instead. Here’s to finding where I stashed the time machine! Hope you all had an awesome October – and here’s to November!

The Monthly Article

Given several recent discussions on the practice of sim-subbing (AKA simultaneous submissions), I decided to post this article of mine. Looking forward to your thoughts on this and other practices!

Some Thoughts as to Whether or Not Sim-Subbing is Such a Good Idea

What, you may ask, is a “sim,” and how does, or would, one sub or not sub it?

If this were one of those “word association” tests, some people might immediately think of a simulated human being, or as they are referred to in some quadrants, synthetic humans (AKA Synths). Androids, robots, cyborgs, and a veritable cornucopia of additional beings may also come to mind. Another person, perhaps one with a military background or prone to reading—or viewing—a variety of genres, might begin to visualize a some sort of submarine releasing a small—or smaller—pod into the water. Still others may consider the word, “simulacra,” and begin to have nightmares that they’re still in grad school, surrounded by postmodern theorists expounding mutually-exclusive, and yet strangely-similar positions, on the existence and/or nonexistence of the author.

Of course, all of the above is just a bit of fun. You and I both know that a “simsub” is a “simultaneous submission.” Well, at least I know now…When I first began to focus on really getting published (as opposed to just simulating the action, i.e., actually sending work out), I had no idea what it meant. I was pretty darn embarrassed, too, when someone explained it to me like I was some kind of neophyte or something, which I was, but jeez, did they have to make so much fun of me?

To add further embarrassment to the situation, after this well-meaning friend explained what simsubbing was, I expressed genuine confusion. Why would someone send the same poem, story, or article out to multiple publications?

After the laughter died down again, my friend said something like: “your chances of getting that piece picked up by all—if any—of those publications is about nil. And if it does happen, then you decide which publication is more reputable, which one pays better, and so forth, then send a ‘thanks but no thanks’ letter.”

That didn’t set well with me then, and I admit to it still not sitting well with me now. However, I do know quite a few people who engage in this practice, and the law of averages actually does seem to apply. The only time I’ve done this myself has been an accident (Yes, I admit to occasionally keeping ah-er-ah, bad, I mean, incomplete, records…)

While many publishers and/or editors will say, “Don’t do it!” there are others who will say: “If you do it, don’t tell us.” I’ve actually seen a few writers’ guidelines that address it with a “we know you’re going to do it, so the least you can do is let us know if it’s accepted elsewhere.” And yes, there are those who say, “ok, go ahead,” as if it’s expected. I actually know a few who will put you on a very special list if they discover you’ve simsubbed.

And trust me, you don’t want to be on that list.

As always, there are variations on this theme, so why all the hoopla?

Well, there are several obvious reasons, and a few that may not be as obvious. Consider the following gleaned from a few sources that preferred to remain anonymous (NOTE: I’ve taken the liberty of embellishing for entertainment value.):

  1. If you didn’t intend it for us, then why did you send it to us?
  2. What? You’re pulling that poem I love most of all, the poem that I was going to publish, the poem that is already mocked-up and ready-for-print? How could you?!
  3. This is the third time you’ve done this. . .Please don’t do it again.
  4. It’s already gone-to-print—and no, we’re not going to yank the run unless you’re footing the bill!
  5. We thought you liked us. Please tell us that this was accidental, that you really didn’t intend to create all this EXTRA WORK for us…

Why don’t I simsub? For one, I like to keep things moving. When I first began to submit my work, I would send out a poem or a short story, wait for weeks, sometimes months, for a response. It’s not that I didn’t write during these extended waiting periods, but I didn’t send out much else.

I don’t remember when it finally dawned on me. No doubt one of my many mentors took me aside, told me to “keep it flowing!”

As of this writing, I’m waiting to hear back on two “essays,” eighteen short stories, and nineteen poems. There may be a few more I’ve missed (That record thing again. . .). I write, edit, and revise every day, so there’s always something to send out – especially with all those rejections. I keep it fluid (It helps being a water sign. . .). There are times when I kick myself for sending something to one publication when it might be a better fit for another, but if it’s accepted, I rejoice just the same. After all, even though I write because I love and need to write, I also do it to get published.

As an editor, I don’t want simsubs for the some of the reasons cited above. Okay, for all the reasons cited above. Perhaps a solution for those who can’t fight the urge to simsub is to focus on creating several ready-to-send-out poems, short stories, articles, novels, and screen plays at a time. I’m sure that this is nothing new to you, but the more work you have in orbit, the better odds you have for pinging a landing dock.

Another point that bears repeating is that when a publication doesn’t mention simsubs, it’s not necessarily a green light to do so. I know I want to get in good with editors. I want them to like me. I want them to need me. I want to know what makes them happy because happy editors can really make a poet’s–or any other type of writer’s— life that much better.

When you get-in-good with editors, they may not only publish you, but hire you to be an editor, too.

Then you get to say: “ABSOLUTELY NO SIMSUBS!” With your award-winning smile. . .


This article, which has been slightly edited for errors, appears in my book, Poet’s Workshop – and Beyondavailable from Alban Lake Publishing.

A Day in the Life Interview Series 

Curious about your fellow writers and such? There are currently 56 interviews posted!  If you’d like to be interviewed for this series, please contact me!

Shout-Outs & Other Accolades
It feels good to share your success and inspire others! Please send me a note (preferably with links included) and I will post it here.

Tamsin Woolley-Barker has a new book out: Teeming: How Superorganisms Work Together to Build Infinite Wealth on a Finite Planet (and your company can too).  You can also check out her regular column on biomimicy right here.

The OB Writers Networking Group

We’ve had several new people joining us! Would love to have you join us as well. Here are the particulars:WHO: Published and yet-to-be-published writers, poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, editors, copywriters, and content providers, indie publishers et al. Whether you’re a local OBcean, live in San Diego at large, or are “just visiting” the area, you are welcome to join us.

WHAT: The Ocean Beach Writers Networking Group.

WHERETe Mana Cafe  on Voltaire, between Cable and Bacon in Ocean Beach.

WHEN: Each and every Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (weather conditions willing).

WHY: To connect, share resources, referrals – and more!

HOW: Just go to my business FaceBook page, and scroll down to see the events. Then click  “join” on the most-recent Ocean Beach Writers Networking Group announcement.

Please be sure to thank Te Mana’s owners, Marguerite and Jason, for welcoming us. Check out this awesome menu as well as their excellent coffee, beer-on-tap, decadent Mimosas et al. Show your appreciation for the inimitable, cheerful and dedicated staff by tipping often and generously.

To receive the somewhat weekly OBWNG reminder notice, please complete the contact the form at my website or email me  at

Looking forward to connecting with you!

The Weekly Coaching Call for Writers
Looking for some motivation? Need to be held accountable to your writing and publishing goals? Have questions about style, point-of-view, or how to write a query letter? Each weekly complimentary coaching call is unique and focuses on these and other writerly issues, including drabbles!

I also wanted to let everyone know that for the past several months, these calls were scheduled for two hours. However, due to my busier schedule, I’m returning to the hour-long session effective October 11, 2017. Remember that you can always schedule a private session with me as well.

Here are the particulars:

WHO: Poets, fiction writers, non-fiction writers et al.

WHAT: Complimentary* weekly coaching calls for writers with YT, a certified Master NLP & Hypnotherapy Integrative Life Coach.

WHEN: Every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (PDT).

HOW: Just dial into! The number: 712.775.7031; the pin: 428380# (NO DASH!)

(*If you’re so inclined, donations are appreciated. Contact me at the email below and I can send you my paypal address.)

Questions? Comments? Topic requests? Please contact me using the form at my website or email me at

Drabbles and Other Alban Lake Updates

The Poet’s Corner

This month’s poem is another one of mine . . . If any of you have a poem from an upcoming collection or a reprint you would like to share “for the love,” I would love to include it here.

Attempting to Excavate Planet 30971

the elegant torque
of Cellini’s spiral
broiling sky

dark descent
cold eyes burning
scent of dust

sacred mound
the incessant hum
of robots digging

remembering old earth
and what once was hidden
hematite puzzle box

tectonic shift . . .
the release of
ancient spores

serrated weeds
how the planet burgeons
while they dream

whirling through
the airlock
ashes . . . ashes

(published in Chizine, October-December 2011, online.)

Fall Coaching SpecialCurious what a coach can do for you? Check out this article I wrote for Natasha Ewendt’s Goodread’s page a year or so ago:  “What Would I Do With a Writing Coach? Here Are a Few Ideas . . . 

Finished reading? So, while that was a bit of fun, at times, writing and life coaching can be as well. On a more serious note, coaching is all about you embodying your goals! Learn more about the packages I offer here, and please contact me for a complimentary consultation! When you provide the code word, Sozar!, you’ll receive a 20% discount on my coaching services until the end of this year!

Here’s to your writing goals!

Terrie Leigh Relf
(AKA Your Kinder Muse)

Copyright © 2017 Terrie Leigh Relf DBA, All rights reserved.

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