C E Hoffman

May I Live On In Love and Literature

Tag: Writing

Defunct Magazine 2022 May Day Chapbook Contest

Yesterday, I tweeted:

It’s more a reminder to myself than anyone else.

We work harder when we love our work, and I adore creativity. Yet I need to learn to pause and celebrate how far I’ve come. I need to get as excited about where I am as where I’m going!

So, today, I’m taking the time to thank Defunct Magazine for selecting my chapbook NO ACTUAL SIN as the winning entry for their 2022 May Day Chapbook Contest.

The chapbook explores intimacy, sexuality, healing, and shame, the title taken from a D H Lawrence quote.

They said of the submission:

“Our judges were enamoured with the authentic voice… and the way consistent themes and ideas were weaved throughout the collection.”

It reminds me of another Tweet I’ve turned into my desktop wallpaper:

I crave validation, yet I’m reticent to accept when the validation is there!

I am so grateful that my work reached the judges and editors at Defunct, and hope it will reach you, too.

Also, congratulations to the runner-up Durell Carter and the honourable mentions Secret Hallelujah, Marcia LeBeau, and Alison Lubar. Let’s all celebrate each other!

Stay Creative!

C💕

Dear Danuta Gleed {Stuff About Success}

We get obsessed with struggle- especially artists. Struggle feels like part of our identity. We struggle to create- our art, and a living. 

When did we equate struggle with effort? 

There’s an effort that is joyful, exuberant, easy. Like darling Lesley says in Ted Lasso, 

“When you’re with the right person, even the hard times are easy.” 

For me, that “person” is my purpose, my passion, my vision for my life, my art, and my world. 

I believe I am worthy of a life beyond struggle. But that doesn’t mean all the struggle will disappear.

We get obsessed with success- especially on social media. Success is a peak, but according to algorithms, it’s the only thing worth writing about. 

When did we lose reverence for the valleys? 

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award exists thanks to a generous donation from the late Danuta’s husband. It was one of the few awards Sluts and Whores was eligible for, and the only one whose deadline I didn’t miss. 

An award like this can launch a career. 

I didn’t even make the shortlist. 

What do we do when our dreams fail us? Or when we feel rejected by a world we so long to be a part of? 

We have two choices: give up, or keep going. 

Not too long ago, I fell in love with a man, and he helped me fall in love with country music. 

This doesn’t embarrass me. (For an explanation, see my other music loves, including but not limited to emo and musicals. My Spotify is a cringe fest!)

I love country because it has a song for every moment: the goods, the bads, the highs, the lows, the maybes, the nos. 

The country song for this moment: Doin’ This by Luke Combs

For those who refuse to click the link (fair enough), I’ll elaborate: 

In the song, an interviewer asks the singer, 

“What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?” 

His response: 

“I’d still be doing this.”- with or without success.

He goes on to describe a life “feeling on fire on a stage”, no matter its size. 

“It ain’t about the fame.
It ain’t about the fortune.”

It’s about following the call of your soul. 

Full disclosure: I wrote most of this post well before knowing the results for the Danuta Gleed shortlist. Up til this morning, I was still hoping for that glorious email that said, “Yes.”

As much as this hurts, it doesn’t make a difference. It doesn’t change what I’m here to do. 

I’m doing what I love. 

That’s the only worthwhile reason to do anything. 

If you lead with love, you’ll make mistakes, but do no wrong. You’ll fail, but you’ll thrive. Material success will be revealed for what it is: a bonus. 

I do not mean to diminish the financial struggle artists face. I have explored and sometimes suffered some of the “lowest” jobs you could think of. I have literally shovelled shit. I have disinfected menus and toilets. I’ve broken down from a glance at my bank account, panicked at credit card statements, and, as it seems, will continue to do so. 

My closest experience to financial stability was via sex work, which both increased and crushed my confidence. Why was that service my sole financial validation? Why didn’t my art hold the same value? 

Capitalism is far from a meritocracy. There are too many struggling who supply indescribable value to world- whether through their art, or their presence as human beings. People have to ride the luck of the market to subsist. Artists shouldn’t rely on grants and awards, as grateful as I am for their existence. 

Art is not a product. People are not brands. Life cannot be reduced to Likes and trends. 

I am proud supporter of UBI, and hope to see it arrive as soon as possible. I’d love to receive universal basic income now, but would be just as happy to see UBI enacted after I’ve achieved financial independence. 

For some, $10 000 is a boost; for others, a shopping spree. 

For me (and most artists), it would be life-changing. 

True happiness is having the power to love life no matter what happens. 

To give, no matter what you have. 

I promise I will keep giving, because it is all I can do. The world gives us so much: inspiration, beauty, struggle, surrender. 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude. For all I have, all I receive, and all I can give. 

I only want to receive so that I can live well, and give more.

Keep an eye out for exciting changes soon. 

Stay Creative! 

PS Right now, 25% of Sluts and Whores ebook and paperback sales will go to Doctors Without Borders to provide humanitarian aid to the Ukraine. Buy it now

Podcast: The Writing Sparrow

Had a lovely time with the amazing Sarina Langer on her delightful podcast The Writing Sparrow.

We discuss #OwnVoices, Jungian theory, and enough abstractions to make my heart sing!

Listen below, on Spotify, or anywhere else you get your podcast fix!

How to Write Historical Fantasy with Katie Hayoz The Writing Sparrow

Welcome back, folks, for a chat on what I thought would be historical fiction but instead morphed into a fun discussion about historical fantasy! Katie Hayoz is back for this one with lots of great insights.If, like me, historical fiction isn't really your thing but fantasy is, or if you want to know how to infuse your historical settings with more fantasy elements, then we've got you covered!Next week: Writing Routines | Astrid VJ.***Come join The Writing Sparrow on its very own Facebook fan page or its very own Instagram account!To find out more about Katie, check out her website, find her or Twitter, or follow her on Instagram.Find out more about Sarina and her books on her website, and find her on Twitter,  on Facebook, and on Instagram.Support the show
  1. How to Write Historical Fantasy with Katie Hayoz
  2. How to Find and Agent and Get Traditionally Published with James Fahy
  3. How to Resurrect a Dead Book with Cara North
  4. How to Find New Readers on Facebook with Jo Holloway
  5. Social Media Warnings with Sarah McKnight

Stay Creative!

C💕

Chapbook Announcement: Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature

I’m delighted to announce that Alien Buddha Press has offered to publish my poetry chapbook Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature.

Inspired by slam poetry, punk, and The Beats, this collection tenderly and irreverently explores mental illness, sexuality, the nights we’ll always remember, and the ones we wish we could forget. 

Release date: May 15 2022.

Stay tuned for a cover reveal!


As always, Stay Creative.

C💕

Interview: To Tony Productions

Thank you to Daniel Hess for this great interview in his Better Know An Author Series!

“Writing is as natural a reflex as breathing- and equally enjoyable.”

Read the full interview here, and follow Daniel on Twitter!


Stay Creative!


C💕

Publication: Moonburn in Filth Magazine

Delighted to have my latest work published in Filth Magazine!

“I lick galaxies off my lips.”

Read Moonburn now!

Stay Creative!

C 💕

Interview: Writer Vs Writer

Thanks so much to Neda for this wonderful interview. I got to quote Ntozake Shange, which is always a plus!

Remember to follow Neda on Twitter.

Stay Creative!

C💕

Review: Alana M Kelley @Maudlin House Magazine

Thanks so much to Alana M Kelley at Maudlin House Magazine for an exceptional review!

“Sex and the City meets an episode of Black Mirror.”

“Hoffman… leaves us with pockets of hope.”

“Hoffman presents their audience with a refreshing compilation of self-doubt, resiliency, and growth.”

Read the full review here.

Remember to follow Maudlin House and their editor Mallory Smart on Twitter!

Stay Creative!

C💕

New Publication: Missing The “E” On My Keyboard

Now I know why that fruit was a no-no.”

Many thanks to Tyler and everyone else at the amazing Mad Swirl magazine for publishing my experimental flash fiction.

Read it now! And be sure to follow Mad Swirl on Twitter.

Stay Creative!

C💕

My first grant!!!

I want to thank the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for their Literary Individual Project Funding Grant!

Thanks to them, I can continue to grow and learn as a writer- and above all, a person.

I so appreciate this encouragement, validation, and acceptance.

We all deserve abundance. We’re here to follow our dreams, and create a better reality- not only for us, but everyone.

I am so grateful to share more of my words with the world.

Thank you: to the Foundation, my family, friends, my partner, and of course, the universe. I’m so thankful for every damn minute within this exceptional, insane subjectivity.

Above all, thank YOU! (For being here.)

Buy Sluts and Whores here.

Stay Creative!

💕 C