Vestal Review

Career Progress, Rewrites, and Sex Scenes

In case you missed it, I am Fiction Editor at Literary Orphans now!!! This thrills me like you wouldn’t believe. I thank Scott, Mike, and Brittany for being such wonderful people to work with and willing to let me join the next tier. And as I assured Mary, I will remain in my position at r.kv.r.y., too.

The Blueshift Journal published “Our Mother’s Memoir was Published Posthumously. On Purpose.” Oye, I’m so glad. The original version was written on 4/16/11. I worked on it occasionally and earlier this year got a higher tier rejection from Vestal Review. I looked at it again, tweaked it and boom! Six years later, acceptance.

And while that is a tale of not giving up, I admit that I did give up on this lilac bush. I planted it at least 5 years ago and nothing. I quit weeding around it, neglected it, really. Yesterday, it caught my eye.

6.1.2017B

Gorgeous, isn’t it? And it smells great.

I nervously sent my pages to Mary and Gina. Nervous because “Sweet Spot” was part of it and in an earlier chapter I’d mentioned how badly written most sex scenes are so I was basically setting myself up for comparison to that and if I didn’t nail it, if it wasn’t right, organic, plausible, good, I feel the whole book would have failed. It worked. There were a few (very few) comments on that part so, now I have the confidence to proceed with the rewrite.

So here’s to more reading and writing!

6.1.2017

6-1-2017c.jpg

The Columbine and Iris are in bloom and even after all this rain, the tomato plants are in the garden. On a deeply personal note, Husband and I have made it another year so happy 17th anniversary to the man who never reads this blog unless I print it out.

Have a lovely day.

Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Remember, you are a great person!

Cheers!

(*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

Advertisements

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.

 

Birthday, Flowers, and the Mr. Bear Surprise

In Zoetrope, Mary Lynn Reed recently told of an inspiring ending to an old story. She dusted off some earlier work, sent it out again, and had it accepted. I’m exaggerating, but it was something dramatic like 10 years, 1000 submissions and boom! The piece ends up accepted at a great venue. You know where this is going…

I recently received a personal rejection from Vestal Review on a piece. I was ready to stash it, but after that post, I looked it over, tweaked it and sent it off to The Blueshift Journal. Three days later—on my birthday—I  received an acceptance from them. That totally made up for having to attend a Board of Education Meeting later on that night. Even that went well! I was given a bag of Girl Scout cookies that I shared with the administrators when they gave their reports, there were no public comments, no executive session, and we were out of there BEFORE 9:00!

The next day arrived with a mystery. I, and other writers were mentioned in a Tweet by Mr. Bear regarding a show on Boston Free Radio. I pinged my niece, she knew nothing about it. I asked Mary; she didn’t know, so I found the station online (mind you I was misdirected with “download this” for over 40 minutes or I would have mentioned it on Facebook) just before 8 so I was able to listen to the whole show. The title was These are No Ordinary Gardens and you can listen to the podcast here. (Mine is the last piece, sandwiched between songs by The MaMas and the PaPas’ and The Cure. Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Jan Stinchcomb, Jolene Mcillwain, Marilyn Horn-Fahey, and Jennifer M. Donahue are the other authors, and Georgia Bellas is the DJ.)  Let me tell you, that was the most amazing thing – to hear someone read my work! I have no idea how my flash came to Mr. Bear’s attention, but I’m so grateful! And that Jellyfish Review got a plug, too? Awesome!

The Monday birthday meant we went out for a nice lunch on Saturday. Shoe shopping and a trip to the bookstore were included, so it was a great day and on Monday, Husband brought me roses.

4.3.2017

Spring felt like it was here; we even had the usual signs:

4.4.2017A

4-4-2017c.jpg

4.4.2017B

Now it looks like this:

4.7.2017.jpg

Ah well…Another lovely problem, right? I have another that I’m off to solve. I don’t have any more flash to send out! I have to create more. I love my problems. I hope you appreciate yours, too. Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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

 

Summer: Hot and Hard

Summer always seems to be filled with interesting beautiful opportunities, and hard, hot work. On Monday, I went to Burger King and met up with an old friend. He had put out a CD and since he lives in Gowanda, I didn’t see the need to pay postage. We had a lovely catch up and he signed my CD case. He’s putting together another collection and I wish him well on that project. (I’d link a website to plug him, but he doesn’t have one yet.)

On the 11th, I sat in the library and wrote 1500 words–a story and a partial flash. By the 14th, the story “Brown Eyed Bess” was sent out to three places. I don’t know where it came from, but it is good. I sent it to XO man. He loved it. I sent it to an honorary member of Ugly Babies. I asked, “Yes? Or is it lacking?” and received this response, “Yes. This is new, both in timeline and in voice. I like the location very much.”

When I started the celebration thread on Zoetrope, I asked a paraphrased question that Mary Akers had brought up in her office, “How can you tell whether what you’re writing is good or not?” Some people mentioned “flow” and while I understand that, that isn’t what I meant. When I was writing “Brown Eyed Bess,” I knew it was a good story. I can’t say why I knew, but I just took a look at the original draft (written in a font I’ve never used before) and while I polished the piece, the bones were there…and really good bones at that.

Husband and I usually get two loads of firewood per summer weekend and that takes up so much time. This year, after the initial two loads, Husband signed out the white dump truck from work on a Sunday and in two trips, got ten cords that are now sitting in the driveway. I put up the first row in the woodshed on Monday–just moving the wood left over from last year over, really. Yesterday, I put in the second row. I had plans to put up the third today, but I forgot that the picking up the pieces and putting them in the wheelbarrow is different from just moving wood over. So, I’m achy today and I don’t see that happening.

Instead, I’m packing. Since Husband is working in Cuba, we decided we’d stop in at Jeff Rose’s party. Tonight, Dog is going to a kennel. I’m getting up early and going with Husband on Friday. I’ll be camping out in a teacher’s lounge and reading. Then we’re driving to Binghamton, checking into the hotel and walking over to Mr. Rose’s place for a bit. On Saturday, we’re going to the museum, then the party and then home. I’m nervous! New people, which aren’t all that ne. I’ve interacted with them on Zoetrope for years. Mr. Budman is likely to be at the party. He is Editor of Vestal Review where my first flash was accepted. I don’t know why this makes me so nervous, but it does…

So, that is a roundup of my recent doings and upcoming weekend. I hope yours is fantastic and filled with no stress at all. Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.)