Three stories in slush piles--Hummingbird received a rejection today.
But on to better things:
As promised, Chocolate for writers.
The book is The Writer's Mentor by Cathleen Rountree.
This was one of the first books on writing that I picked up when I started into this writing business. That and a new Thesaurus. We were desperately poor at the time. If I remember correctly, I used some birthday money given to me by my mother-in-law to buy it.
The thing that makes it chocolate for writers is that it is filled with good advice, excellent author quotes, and writing exercises in a very gentle and encouraging format. Read a chapter--any chapter--and you'll get to the end feeling empowered and ready to face the writing demons that beset you. And all with no calories! How cool is THAT!?!
Ms. Rountree is comforting while realistic. Instead of just writing a book about writing, she takes time to let you get to know her, so it feels like you're sitting at the kitchen table with a friend, a huge tub of (insert favorit flavor) ice cream, laughing and talking and learning from each other. I very much enjoyed this book the first time through, and refer back to it often--especially when I need a writerly pick-me-up--like right after receiving another rejection.