Monday, October 31, 2011

One for the road!

One last post for October (before the clock strikes 12!). It's been a long month, with more rejections than I would have liked, but each one makes me harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Now excuse me, I have to do the robot. Daft Punk has that effect on me.

Anyway, all I can say is I'm keeping up the grind. Work, revise, send in, repeat. I've met some really cool people at the weekly writer's gathering - mostly poets, who I am greatly jealous of, with their ability to distill what I try for (imagery) to the purest form. They are whiskey to my beer.

And as the weather turns, I have a feeling the winter hunker down will polish my manuscript clean. Queries will go out, agents will be found, works will be published. I know this, because if I don't know this, I have nothing. Faith, friends. Faith is what it's all about.

Keep your heads up, and I'll keep up mine.

Wordslinger-117, out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dammit, Poetry

Poetry is something I haven't done since third grade. But can I just say I kicked ass at it? But that is not to say I cannot appreciate poetry. Poetry, good poetry anyway, boils away all the prose and filler in a story and leaves really good imagery. It's the mental slap that makes you pay attention, the metaphor that immediately connects you to the writer's mental picture, the simile that's so familiar and true you can't help but laugh or weep or groan. Most poetry is not good poetry.

That being said, I'm still attending the local writer's meets on Tuesday hoping for fiction each time. Selfish of me, I know. Whenever it's poetry, I groan and die a little inside, but I make the best of it. I hang in there and pick out little phrases, good imagery and other things you'll get from good poetry.

Sometimes it's rather good, and I laugh or clam up the way the writer wanted. Mostly I try to look interested as not to be impolite. I found myself playing with beer coasters tonight, waiting for that electric shock of a great metaphor to hit me. It did hit now and then, like a white ball bouncing around a roulette wheel. But like that same roulette wheel, it missed more than not.

If nothing else, I get to take in the people around me. The traits, the sounds. The ebb and flow of conversation, the details that make these people real. The awkward way a teenage girl holds a cigarette as she tries to look cool. The glances of undergrads at pints of beer, like caged wolves eyeing a cut of steak. The guy sitting next to me talking to somebody about how good fantasy novels have the same hitting points as literary fiction, all in a nasally voice that makes me weep to be in the 'Sci-Fi/Fantasy' bookshelves. The little things.

But if I keep going, it can't ALL be poetry. I think. I hope. And besides, networking - such a God-awful word but one we all have to do in some form or another - can always be done.

I'll keep writing, you keep reading. That's the deal. I'll see what I can do to make it worthwhile.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reach for the sky

So that fat paycheck from the story that I didn't quite expect to sell never came. Really I think I've found a happy medium for submitting my stories for publication. I'm never scared to submit to these guys, the pros, the big wigs. Am I crushed when I'm not accepted? No.

There are so many great stories out there. Somebody probably had one better than mine, or the editor just wasn't feeling it. Are the rejections going to keep me from submitting to them again?

Not a chance in Hell. Reach for the sky because tomorrow may never come.

One day, my time will come. If you work hard enough and don't give up, you can make it. I believe that with every fiber of me.

It's funny, the words I see most in my 'Submissions' folder of me email are 'Unfortunately' 'but' and 'thank you'. I like Thank You the most. Anyone who's submitted knows that 'Unfortunately' is usually the tenth or so word in the email. At least they don't string you along!

I'm just going to keep on going until I get more tallies in that 'W' column. (That's 'Wins' for the non-sports inclined).

It's not over yet. I've been down but I've never been out.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Monday, October 3, 2011


The summer is over now. My beloved Red Sox are not in the post season. Any day now, the weather here in Tallahassee will take a turn for the bitter cold of... well, it's Florida, so it won't be too bitter. But it will get colder.

What that means is that my summer distractions are mostly done now. I'll be getting that Salinger-esque 'lock myself in the office and write' thing going again, but it's been a while coming.

I made a submission just now to a publication that pays ten cents per word (!) and the idea of getting $290 for a short story is beyond my grasp. It's out there the same way the quantum physics and string theory blow my mind. That is roughly one (1) of my paychecks for a slow week right now working in the garage. I'm not holding out much hope on accepting the story - I think, personally, it's a good story, but the editor might not - if only not to be crushed. But the very concept of such prestige makes me drool.

Interestingly enough, I never know how casual or formal the cover letter for my submission should be. I don't want the readers to think that I've sent them a blanket, form cover letter (though it would only be reasonable, since they send out blanket, form rejection letters). But I don't want them to think I'm just here, clowning around. You want to present yourself as a professional, but also as a human being with plenty of personality.

Like most things in the writing gig, I'm starting to get that you need to find a balance.

Speaking of balance, know what would help balance my checking account? $290 for a short story.

Let's hope I rolled a seven. Or a natural 20, if that's more your bag.

Wordslinger-117 out.