Tag Archives: success

How To Start Your Own Company

OR

Challenges?
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Challenges!

So here I am once again at some ungodly hour with my brain spinning at break-neck speed, spewing countless ideas and plans for Romantic Shorts. What to do next. A new curve on an old plan. A tweak in the grand plan. A new goal. A new and improved goal. The next post for Romantic Shorts HQ.

Which brings me to the point.

I started this venture – can I call it a company if I’m working from my dining room (having recently lost my office)? ; I’m still hesitant at throwing around the ‘Publisher’ title; it’s not really a business until it’s making money. So I like the word ‘venture.’ It hints at adventure, challenge, excitement, fulfillment. I like it….

Right. So I started this venture, seriously and with conviction, about a year and a half ago.

One of the biggest incentives of diving into this, was pure and simple distraction it provided to one of – okay, the most difficult personal challenges I’ve ever faced: my oldest child began making really bad decisions, forcing me to make decisions as a parent that drew on a strength I didn’t yet know I possessed. Watching him struggle beyond hope has been the most unbearable experience I could imagine. How many times I wished him dead – both for his own sake and ours – I can’t begin to count – immediately thereafter being knocked over by a wave of guilt, remorse, worry and pure, cold, fear.

I’ve heard about challenges. I grew up with a dad who was a dreamer. He never really accomplished anything he set out to do. But he was always doing something. And we were constantly bombarded with one inspirational speaker/book/movie/idea after another. As a result, I, too, am a dreamer. But thanks to Mom and an incredibly supportive husband, I am also a do-er.

And so I know about challenges.

“Nothing’s worth doing if it’s easy,” “Bumps in the road,” “Sticks in spokes,” and all that.

What I didn’t realize 18 months ago when I committed to Romantic Shorts, was the variety of form and severity of those challenges. I had no idea what was truly in store for me.

And frankly, if some of the things I’ve muddled through recently are typical of your average business start-up, it’s no wonder so many don’t make it. I get why, if building your own successful business is the (North) American dream, not everyone manages to accomplish that. Nor do they even want to.

A slight stroke of luck led me to my hometown Hamilton’s new McMaster University Innovation Park the other day. We have an entrepreneurs support centre called Innovation Factory and I snagged a meeting with a couple young fresh minds the other day. Amidst all of the ideas and advice (and kudos!!) they shared, was a reminder that the Internet can be a big barren wasteland of connections. And that success will at some point require a more personal touch.

In my vast wanderings and wonderings of late, I had lost sight of that.

All of my most successful posts and ‘reaching-out’ campaigns have come from my heart. Straight from the person who’s doing all the work. I had forgotten that.

And now I share with you this post. And warn that it will be followed up with more about the day to day challenges I’m facing and sometimes even overcoming. That’s both therapeutic for me, and insightful for you, a reader whom I invite to return to enjoy our stories, or to write a romantic short story for us, or to contribute in a way that you feel might benefit all.

I’ll probably return in a bit to lament on the various challenges I do face. Not the least of which is the current crash of my beloved MacBook Pro, who has been with me every step of the way and whom I miss terribly right now as I type this on my husband’s laptop. (Again, an unbelievably supportive man.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to run. I have the incredibly overwhelming task of leaving the house at this still-ungodly hour to pick up said son from work. And I do not have the time right now, or the strength to hold back such forceful tears of joy at the pride and love I feel for this young man, knowing where he’s been, and seeing where he is now – back home with the love and support of his family, working and going to school.

Challenges are meant to challenge us. We don’t have to like it. We just have to do it.

Dream Big,
Alex Brown.

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought

Unexpected Rewards

Having just spent the last few days announcing competition winners, tweeting like crazy, emailing new Romantic Shorts Authors, and doing my best to keep everything straight and my excitement in check, I was caught off-guard yesterday by a budding phenomenon that I could have never anticipated.

It was great fun to be able to give good news to so many people. Notifying writers of their successful competition entries, and authors of the acceptance of their manuscript submissions was, as I had expected, a very emotionally satisfying activity. As I tweeted their kudos, and posted their details, I couldn’t help but feel, almost recognize, the pride, enthusiasm, and excitement I expected to feel at this point.

But as I continued my tweets through the day, I began to see something else.

Writers that I had communicated with through the day were now talking to other Romantic Shorts writers! They were connecting, @mentioning each other, sharing URL’s and FaceBook addresses. Conversations were developing and the seeds of friendships were planted.

I’m not sure yet exactly what feelings this is bringing out for me – they are all new. There is a sense of awe and wonder in the growth of something I hadn’t intended. A feeling of excitement and anticipation as I realize that there’s a lot more to all of this than I had planned. And then there’s a wave of responsibility and obligation as I begin to understand my role in changing my life, and those of others whom I have never met, in ways that are yet to be clear to any of us.

With a growing impression of the potential of Romantic Shorts, I am heading into summer with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. There is still much to do in the remaining weeks before we launch in August. But in the end, ready or not, here we come. And if things aren’t quite perfect, well, we’ll just fix those things when we get to them. I have always been of the mind that planning is crucial to any project. But at some point you have to just jump and get started, working out the kinks along the way.

A dear friend once told me that the most difficult part of designing and creating her own leather coat was the first cut into the insanely expensive material with a pair of scissors. After that, everything else is manageable.

And so, with scissors in hand…

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Filed under For Writers, Just a Thought

Announcement of Winners

Romantic Shorts

is pleased to announce the winners of our

New Year New Story Writers Competition

It is a common comment after the judging is finished and the winners are to be announced.

“The judging was difficult. All of the stories are worthy of a first place finish. Our decision was quite difficult.”

And we think, “Yeah, yeah, stop trying to make everyone feel good and get to the good stuff.”

But in this case, we had a most remarkable turn of events for our competition. Because we specified “unpublished authors,” we did ourselves a bit of a disservice. We received queries, engaged in conversation, researched, asked, and deliberated at length. The big question, “What exactly, in this age of technological advance in publishing, is a published author?” We drew a line in the sand and decided that, because of the clear ambiguity of the term, we would go with what we have, and, in the future, will not make any division amongst our writers, accepting entries/submissions from all authors.

And so, after all was said and done, we received four entries that actually qualified for the competition. If we also look at the number and quality of the non-competition submissions, sent to us simply with the query to consider publication, we are most pleased with the response to our first Writers Competition!

Enough already, get to that good stuff you mentioned!

The winners of the
New Year New Story 2011 Writers Competition
are as follows:

Winning a cash prize of $40. and publication by Romantic Shorts

A centuries old curse unites good and evil,
future and past, prisoner and guard.
The power of love can release these captives from their tortured fate.
But only if they can find each other and rediscover their feelings.
Will the cards finally lead them to their heaven on earth?
Or will they be forced to relive their quest yet again?

Rosetta Stone by Ashley Long

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Winning a cash prize of $50. and publication by Romantic Shorts

Having mortgaged her very self for her marriage and children,
Laura finds herself trying to accept ‘content’
as an acceptable measure of her life.
Until a handsome stranger she knows too well
shows her that passion conquers acceptance,
and opens a door to a new beginning.

A Day In St. John’s by Deborah Schenberger

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Winning a cash prize of $100. and publication by Romantic Shorts

While VP Evangeline Martin knows exactly what she wants and how to get it,
the off duty side of this walking contradiction
has no idea what her heart truly desires.
At least, that’s how Cedric sees her.
But when her life is threatened and it falls on him to protect her,
it’s difficult to say whose heart is in more danger
and which darkness holds the greater risk.

What The Darkness Proposes, by Kirsten Blacketer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And, winning our top cash prize of $250. and publication by Romantic Shorts

In the true spirit of Romance,
this story deftly takes the reader on a journey through the past
in the mind of a man in love.
As we follow his memories to a time and place where his heart was free,
we hope and want for the girl on the train to be his one.
We are left with the feeling of our own first loves:
the joy, the anticipation, the excitement, and the fear,
and we connect with him in a way that leaves us in awe
of the strength of those tender moments spent with our hearts on fire.

Play Me A Song, by Jeannine Wynne

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It is our profound pleasure to introduce these new authors to you. Congratulations to our writers!

Watch for their winning entries, as well as many other addictive romantic short stories, to appear at RomanticShorts.com beginning in August. Biographies and links to our authors’ pages will be released shortly. Readers can subscribe now to catch the launch of our much anticipated publication by clicking over to our Reading Room. Watch for announcements, polls, and perhaps the odd contest as we prepare to provide you with some of the most eagerly awaited reading on the Web.

Follow us on Twitter @RomanticShorts

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Filed under For Writers, What's New @ R.S.