Showing posts from May, 2012

Reframing Rejection

Writers get rejected. That's how it goes. Someone else is picked for a project. A different style of work is a better "fit" in some intangible way. Your work wasn't quite what they were looking for. Recently, I've heard "no" again, after a spell of silence. I didn't enjoy it -- but I did enjoy hearing something. My family upbringing trained me to say, "Well, that's a setback, but I can get back on track" -- and resume doing whatever I was doing, only more of it and for longer hours. But not this time. Instead of powering through a blue period by pretending I didn't get rejected or otherwise relying on willpower, I'm reframing , which is a fancy-pants way of saying "looking at things from a new perspective." Rejection is information. I can learn something from it. At the same time, I don't have to kill myself trying to figure out "what this means." A rejection might tell me that 1. before I sen

Just How Easy is that Livin'?

It's not summer yet but you can see it from here. Even I have taken the faith-filled step of washing our winter hats, mittens, scarves, etc., figuring it's probably safe to put them away. And once the grass dries, it will need cutting -- a sure sign of summer. Summer = vacation for those of us still on school calendars, whether mentally/emotionally or practically (by teaching, being in school, or having school-aged kids around the house). But when you work for yourself, whether you have paying clients or just write for (soon-to-be-less-)imaginary (one hopes) readers, how do you know when it's time to quit? Not quit working -- just quit for the day, quit for the weekend, quit for the summer? Do you take work on vacation? I recently went away for two weeks. "Recently" meaning "last month." I didn't take work -- a couple of things found me anyway, but I mostly punted them until I got home. It was refreshing. On the daily level, I usually find it

Boy oh Boy, Girl

A few weeks ago, I got some interesting feedback on a short story. The story is written from the point of view of a guy. (Although the character is male, I would not call him a man.) The woman who read the story -- someone I'd never met before -- said that she was sure it had been written by a guy. I took that as a compliment, because she obviously meant to indicate that the character rang true to her -- not that she found it astounding that any female person could create a convincing man (or guy). But it reminded me of an old podcast I'd just heard: "Mad Women," an episode of  The Age of Persuasion on CBC radio. The program looks at advertising, as does "Under the Influence." Both interesting programs. "Mad Women" features work from women in advertising throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The podcast goes into more detail than the material on the website and is worth listening to. I don't buy into the idea that "only wo

Taking Stock

In March 2010, I received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to support the creation of a short story collection. Since then, five of the ten works I proposed in the collection (and revised extensively, thanks to the $upport) have found homes. * "Iceberg," The Blind Hem , May 4, 2012. * "Improvisation," chosen as part of the Liar, Liar project of Northern Mosaic, an integrated arts organization based in Thunder Bay. * "Walking Out," South Dakota Review 49.3 (Fall 2011).  * "MacDonald Variety," Prairie Fire 32.3 (Fall 2011). * "Thirty-Two Faces," 11th edition of Ten Stories High , the annual anthology of short fiction published by the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. I have nattered around before about the difficulties I get into when I try to apply the mindset and metrics from "writing as a day job" to writing fiction and essays. However, taking stock is one activity

Fashionably Recognized

My short story, "Iceberg," is featured at The Blind Hem today and throughout this weekend. You can find it here: The Blind Hem is a site related to fashion. Let me repeat that, for those who have seen my extensive collection of jeans and t-shirts (and flipflops, though they are mostly for show up here) and may doubt the validity of that statement.* Fashion. The clothing kind. Oh, here, I'll let them tell you: Our mission is to portray fashion and personal style in an intelligent & honest way, through words and art. We believe in diversity, inclusivity, feminism and truth. Our features range from non-fiction to fiction to art and photography. We are interested in the different lenses through which personal style, feminism and society can be viewed – and we are interested in the stories behind the clothes. Go there and read -- and although it would be great for you to read my story (and send your friends to read it, too)

Tick Tock, Drip Drop

I've written before about time, and about how suffering for 25 minutes works for me. (Thanks, Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project .) It still works for me. Doing the taxes this year has been far less difficult (one country down, one to go). I maintain some knowledge of the complex financial tapestry that is my life, 25 minutes a week (Money Monday). I've worked through nearly all my photos and have a list the length of my arm of other projects to assign to a day. Little bits of time add up. Recently, I noticed that process in reverse. The other day, I used the last coffee filter in the package. (Yes, we use paper coffee filters. We're quirky geezers in some ways, and dadburnit, we like our paper coffee filters. Also our traditional 12-cup coffee makers.) The last coffee filter: one of those moments I wasn't sure would ever occur, which is why I noticed it. We (I) go through a carton of milk in less than a week, so I'm always aware of the milk supply.* We b