revision

The Day After the Day of Love

I’m disgusted. I could write about guns. Or mental health care. Or schools. I have written my misogynist representative. I’ve attended forums, school board meetings, bitched on Twitter. I hope this school shooting is the last one. There is no animal you can hunt with an AK47 and if you want to whine about how you think I want to take away your rights, save it. If you don’t believe children should be safe in schools, you don’t deserve to hold anything in your hands to protect you from the truth. As Kathy Fish so eloquently wrote in Jellyfish Review, it’s gotten to the point where children can be classified as targets. That’s wrong; end of discussion. We need sensible gun restrictions and the laws we already have enforced.

2.13.2018

In other news, Husband brought home a lovely bouquet on the 13th so I’d have an extra day to enjoy these beautiful blooms. (Translation: He was in Hamburg that day to run an unrelated errand and also wanted to avoid the last minute rush of other husbands on Valentine’s Day at the Hess Brothers Florist shop.)

I found out I was on the long list for the London Independent Story Prize and couldn’t say anything for a day. On the 8th, I went to JD’s Brew Pub to hear J.T. and the Law play, and to keep my mind off possibly losing. They have gotten better and it was great to hear J.T.’s brother sing a song called “Galileo” and Anna sang Maddie Larkin’s songs beautifully.

Last week’s meeting of the Hamburg Writers’ Group consisted of me, Patrick, and Michael. The conversation about craft and submitting was both interesting and inspiring. I read the piece that was long listed and Michael said he thought I’d win. I still had doubts. On Saturday, I went to the library for my shift. It was hard to concentrate on reading submissions because I kept refreshing the LISP page to find out who won. With Lent coming up, I wanted to go out to have a glass of wine with a meal before I couldn’t. Husband let me use his phone to check. Just as we were finishing our meal at Julie’s, the winners were announced. As anyone who was in the restaurant that afternoon can tell you, I won.

 

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So, today is the last day to submit to the American Short(er) Fiction contest and I’m preparing my entries. I’ve sent out some queries to agents and next week, I send pages to my darling, awesome novel critique group after the incredible Nina Fosati has gone over the book again. In this revision, she’s highlighted the parts she particularly likes. I’m now in love with the color turquoise and I’m seeing a lot of it, which I really need because “new book” is pure dreck at the moment.

Writing…not for the thin skinned or the impatient.

Thanks for stopping by and for the read. As always, these are merely my creekside reflections so I expect your experiences to vary.

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On the right path. I think.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m now the managing editor of Literary Orphans – words I never thought I’d be privileged enough to say. I’m still numb from the news. It came during the novel revision crunch. I wanted it done by January 31st – and I succeeded – but just barely. I’ve since extended the “listen to the whole thing being read by the computer to catch any glitches” deadline to Ground Hog’s Day and may have to go further – to Sunday – because I need to catch up on real life. While I was in the book, laundry piled up, the woodpile dwindled, and Husband’s truck acted up. I stayed off-line for two days and there are Twitter & Facebook messages to look at and respond to, along with the possibility of diving into the recent scandal.

Wednesday, I found out Shirley Palmerton, a dear friend from Hamburg Writers’ Group had her piece accepted and published in the Buffalo News “My View” column. It is sweet and made me miss my great grandparents and my grandmother.

I also got what I’m taking as a sign from the universe that I’m on the right path. In the emails with Scott, he said at one point I was “someone who lives and breathes indie lit,” which was so sweet. I received an email from Page & Spine accepting “Anam Cara,” one of the early flashes that were the genesis of this book. In the story, the two main characters mention Karen Stefano, Pat Pujolas, and of course the great Alex Pruteanu. Many thanks to N. K. Wagner for the acceptance and her lovely compliment.

Right, so I need to end this and get to work catching up on boring household chores so I can start the fun of querying agents. This time, I’m looking forward to the process. I’m also looking forward to finding out what the little rodent says tomorrow. Gardens in winter are forlorn looking, and kind of sad.

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Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

 

 

 

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Reunion time.

When last I posted, I was preparing for the reunion. It’s over now.

Many thanks to Kate

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and Ernie, our gracious hosts. Ernie brought beer that he brewed. It was fantastic and how cool is it that he inadvertently named one after me? (It’s not the first time I’ve been described as “toasty”)

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A group of us went to see the Essex Theatre Company’s production of “The Birds.” It was such fun to walk back up the hill and discuss the plot and motives. The cast party was at the schoolhouse so I got to touch base with Ted Cornell (the designer, director, and “Tierney) and Kathryn Cramer (the dramaturg) and to meet Martha Swan and Rob Farkas.

There was an excursion to swim.

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Croquet.

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Flights and corn hole at the Ausable Brewing Co.

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Paper flower making.

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And many, many meals

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and conversations

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and laughter.

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Rachael and I had a lovely chat across from this embroidered coverlet that hung in the room Husband and I shared.

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Once home, I went to both nights of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” tryouts. I have no idea if I got a part. The director said one of my readings invoked guilt in him, which – I think – was a compliment. I spent several lovely hours visiting with Nina Fosati at her home. Husband and I had a fantastic early supper with Bob and Teresa at Julie’s. And today, I hit the shops before three when the car had to go back.

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Today was the last bit of the “vay-cay” where I sadly turned in the rental. I hated that car but loved the bit of freedom it provided. Now all thoughts are on finishing up the revision, preparing for the reading I’m hosting in October and freaking out over how badly I did at the audition. Real life is such fun!

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences ought to vary.)

Same circumstances, different pictures.

Well, here it is 6 July 2017 and from the looks of things, my life isn’t much different from the last time I posted. Book revisions are ongoing, I’m still looking for stories in the Literary Orphans queue to accept, and the kitchen is still a mess. In reality, progress was made and good times were shared.

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This is the state of the shelving. The trays are made, the glides in place, and I’ve given the cat several rides in and out. She likes it, I swear! We ended up on a road trip to PA in order to plane the maple for the fronts and got to spend time with Husband’s Twin and Amazing Rachael who’d cleaned and painted before we got there. Did I take pictures there? No. Once we left, we were off to the Tuttle’s for a tent raising good time and I got to see Alana for the first time. Do I have pictures of that? No. What I do have pictures of are these gorgeous flowers and limited data left, so please excuse this truncated post and remember, I think you’re awesome for stopping by for the read. Cheers!

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*These are my creekside reflections. Yours ought to vary.

May the 4th be with you, too.

Once again, I started this blog post only to discover I could write most of an essay without thinking about it. I don’t know if I’ll finish this one—I haven’t looked back at the last one yet. That’s out of laziness, not fear. This latest assemblage of words scares me a bit since I’d be unmasking a “truth.” Sigh. I don’t know. I suppose I should write it, try to find it a home, explain —like in most essays— that we, as humans, are less different than we suppose.

I had a bit of niceness writing wise. The editor at The Journal let me know that my story “Anum Cara” went far in the process but ultimately didn’t make the cut. The nicer part being that he genuinely seemed interested in me sending more work. What I have plans to do is pull up that story, look at it again and send it out. If it was close for a venue that sports a 1.09% acceptance rate on Duotrope, the odds are in its favor to be accepted somewhere. It worked for “Our Mother’s  Memoir was Published Posthumously. On Purpose.” Mark Budman at Vestal Review gave it a “good” rejection and the next time I pulled the story up, I changed a few words and sent it off and BOOM. It will be up in Blueshift Journal #7 soon.

The days of Board of Education duties are soon to be over and then it’s back to audience member for me. Whatever will I do with my free time – other than read books that I choose instead of Alison Duwe’s choices? Well, there is the revision of “Near Eden, New York,” which “Anum Cara” is a chapter of, to complete. Luckily, it’s in fairly good shape so knock on mahogany that won’t be a horrible slogging mess. I could be wrong though. Nina Fosati sent two pieces last night with the lament, “Are they ready? I can’t tell anymore,” and those were for short stories. Mary Akers is going through the same thing with changing the point of view in “The Belongers.” Sure, writing is rewriting but where does one get the gumption? If you hear of a sale, please let me know.

Otherwise, it’s been rainy outside. I need to pull out the tulip and crocus bulbs and plant the lilies I just got. The neighbors would probably appreciate it if the lawn got mowed—at least the roadside yards—but eh, it’s too wet and I don’t care about property values at the moment. It isn’t like anyone drives by to consider moving here. The road is in piss-poor shape and there are no new businesses to attract people to the area. Well, these two were attracted to our property. Probably because of the lack of traffic on the road.

4.27.2017

Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experience may vary.

 

Reading, revising, critiquing, and the need for a better system

For the last week, I’ve been revising L&C in that I’m addressing glitches and questions that have been brought up by my brilliant editor and the awesome women in my critique group. I sent Mary Akers and Gina Miani the last pages on Tuesday. In the notes I got from her last month, Mary wasn’t sure I could wrap it up. Now, I wait to hear her verdict. I’ve heard from Gina and had to pull a news item from 7 years into the character’s future to show her one thing that happened to them so she’d stop swearing at me. 🙂  I wonder if she caught that the characters are living in Manhattan 4 months away from 9/11. Yes, their lives are not easy.

I need to come up with a better system or be more diligent about my notes for revision. I’ve come to several spots where I know I had worked out a phrase I wanted to use but can’t find it or remember it now. *Sigh* I will remember this for the next book and that will make it go easier. (Stop laughing!) As soon as I post this, I’m back to revising. I printed out two scenes that are passable, but I want to be smoother, so that’s going to be my day–it’s too muggy to work on the ditch so maybe I’ll get some laundry done, too. I also need to pick out an outfit for my first day back at the West Falls-Colden Community Library. I’ve missed that place!

The best part of the past few weeks is my new love.

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This chair. It’s wonderful, my lapboard fits it perfectly and since Husband stole my rocking chair, I’ve been making do with the sofa, but that wasn’t working, so once the new chair arrived, all the furniture was rearranged and things are remarkably better on so many levels. As a bonus, the furniture had to be moved anyway because of winter coming up, so that bit of yearly hassle is already over.

Plus, it was a great spot to take pictures of my recent houseguest wearing tiny hats!

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I’m reading a book called “Convergence” to review from fellow Western New Yorker, Deborah Madar. The writing good, but she goes to dark places and I need to set it down and walk away, so DM, if you’re reading this, please know I like it, but for me–and my personal history–this is not a book I can read in one sitting.

r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal is back open for your submitting pleasure. I’ve read the pieces that have already come in except one which I’ve sent to my kindle to read–as a treat–in the library on Saturday. I like this person’s writing, and I’m hoping this is the “one” for him that I fall in love with and insist gets published–but no pressure on this piece or anything. Through several rejections and emails, I’ve gotten to know him a bit. Strange, the Internet.

Literary Orphans is always open, and if you haven’t read it lately, you should.

Otherwise, a drainage ditch was put in this weekend, well the hard part, anyway. Phase One, from the low spot in the woodshed lawn to the ditch went in the weekend before.

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There’s a bit of mortar work and back filling to do, but otherwise, it is done! Yeah!

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Thanks for checking in!

(These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experience may vary)