Showing posts from September, 2010

While You're At It...

Our house has become Rejection Central in the past ten days or so. I am receiving rejections from places I'd forgotten I submitted work to. I did wonder, because writers have that kind of ego, whether I am the target of pre-emptive rejections. Maybe word got around all of North America that I've been submitting, and the lit mags have taken a proactive approach. You know: " The Journal of Really Good Writing is desperately searching for new, fresh voices. We publish new writers, seasoned writers, breathing writers, dead ones--in fact, anyone writing in any genre. Except you, Marion Agnew. No, not the one who lives in Ottawa. You there, in Thunder Bay. Don't even think about it." However, I keep a spreadsheet. So I have, in fact, submitted to these places who saw fit to reject my work. As they have said somewhere but apparently taken off their submissions page, The Fiddlehead does indeed send really great rejection notes. In fact, their notes are so great that the


I'm going through a combination "busy time" and "dry spell." As the fall starts, groups of which I am a part get back together. Administrative stuff needs to be done. Events scheduled. People hired. Posters thrown together and disseminated. Plans made, and many of them are mighy grand plans, indeed, since we're all rejuvenated from summer. And all of these busy-busy activities seem awfully tempting in the morning--if I just do these things, this X & Z, then I can mark them off my list. The novel, the stories--they'll be there at 11, or just after lunch, or I'll just go for a walk, and hey it's 5 and the day's done! Guess I'll get back to it tomorrow! (Or....) As a complicating factor, some of us are not feeling rejuvenated from summer. Some of us are a little frazzled from all the people. Some of us have come to the point in our creative work where satisfactory work is elusive. Perhaps our characters (more people!!) are surly. They de

The Fundamental Things Apply

In creative pursuits, I do this thing (that likely showcases the size of my ego, but the need for creators to have egregious egos is a post for another day): I know the rules but think they somehow don't apply to me. And not in a productive way, either. I also don't mean the rules of grammar. Them ones, I have a passing familiarity with, and also too, I do believe in having a reason to break them there things. (Hat tip to Stephen King.) I'm talking about "rules" in the sense of "how to solve this problem," or "strategies I have found useful," or "received wisdom that may or may not be true but works for me, the successful writer." Rules as in tools. Which, of course, DO apply to me, regardless of my default position of "sounds great but it probably won't won't work for me." (It's my Eeyore nature with a splash of terminal uniqueness .) Anyway, rules. (Or tools.) Like these. 1. Goals, such as minimum time spent wr

Two of the Best

Recently, I have been trying to say "I was wrong" when it needs to be said. This post is far less maudlin but no less heartfelt, because I really was wrong! A conversation with the excellent writer and blogger Susan at Mama Non Grata turned to blogs about parenting. Through the BlogHer links at Mama Non Grata I had sampled other blogs and found them less interesting than Susan's. Partly that's because Susan's blog is well written and inherently interesting, and partly because the others...weren't so much. It's nothing personal, and that's the problem right there. I mean, I'm not a mother, so I don't need to read blogs about parenting for practical, personal reasons. Being a step-grand-mother is a totally different level of responsibility. If the step-g-kids don't eat while they're here, I shrug and send them home hungry. For example. (Not every time. They eat. Mostly.) So my personal interests lay elsewhere. I have always made an exce