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It's Saturday in Bodh Gaya!

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Nov. 25th, 2012 | 08:01 am

Well, it was Saturday morning when I wrote this, and Saturday afternoon when the internet all over town went out indefinitely. Power has been cycling on and off, internet may or may not be back before I leave.

To get here, I took an autorickshaw, another autorickshaw (first one ran out of petrol on the highway), a plane, a cycle rickshaw, a bus, and another autorickshaw. Now I am safely ensconced in the Welcome Guest House, there’s a place I can get omelets and honey pancakes two doors down, and there’s internet in the lobby only, which is perfect:

Email YES
Staying Up Too Late Wasting My Life Online NO

And I have hot water! Like, hot enough that I have to fill my bucket and wait a few minutes for it to cool before showering! Ah, luxury…

What’s also pretty luxurious is not being the only tourist around. There’s a bajillion pilgrims from all over Asia plus a few Europeans. Bodh Gaya is where Buddha attained enlightenment. There’s a huge temple complex around the bodhi tree under which enlightenment happened (the current tree grew from a sapling spirited away from the original tree, which was poisoned by a jealous queen, Buddhist soap opera for sure) and temples all over town built by different Asian Buddhist sects. Groups of pilgrims—in ceremonial white, in souvenir hats, with badges on lanyards around their necks, with guides with flags to follow—are everywhere. In a country where I don’t pick my nose or scratch my ears in public because someone is always watching, it’s nice to be one of many.

That said, if I sit or slow down while in the temple complex, I get hit up for photos. It’s sweet, but I can’t imagine what they say back home.

“Oh, we worshipped Lord Buddha and then we saw a white lady!”

Can’t be any worse than my hilarious pictorial series of Monks On Cell Phones.


REJECTED!
Neither the St. Petersburg Times nor the Detroit Free Press showed any interest in my Bal Thackeray story, but I’m spurred to find out how to become a freelance journalist. Have looked up Associated Press and Reuters, and I think I need a door in so I’m going to see if any of my grad school professors know anyone.


SCORED!
Nothing solid this week, but I got a line on a Mumbai tabloid from one of my fellow NaNo writers. Emailed the editor and we’ll see if I hear back.


OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
The Marie Alexander Poetry Series Press is putting together an anthology of prose, Flash Sequences. I like their guidelines on what to submit –

A flash sequence is an accumulation of two or more prose pieces, with each segment not to exceed 500 words…rather than try to define the form, we hope each writer will use whatever organizing principle seems best in any particular case: fiction, nonfiction, prose-poetry, whatever.

They’re accepting submissions starting January 1st, which gives us all something to do over that holiday doldrums. “Gee Mom, I’d love to stay longer and listen to you snipe at Aunt Harriet, but I have a submission due next week.” Complete guidelines are here.


ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
It surprised me that people liked the essay about being at the funeral better than the one about deciding to go, which felt more literary as I was writing. But the will of the people has spoken (maybe action is better than thought?), and I’m submitting The Surge to The Sun and The Believer.

Why?
They pay. It’s a long-ass wait for “unsolicited submissions” (3-6 months on either) but I’ll send it out, log it in my Excel chart and forget about it. If they accept one, it’ll be a nice surprise. Both are places I’d like to get my foot in the door.

How?
The Sun is mail-in submissions only. I’m going to get my ass to the shop that prints, the shop that sells envelopes, and the post office—maybe an Indian stamp will light their interest? The Believer uses Submittable, a website used by a number of literary magazines. I’ve just got to format the file for uploading.

What?
Funeral essay, as above.


LINK OF THE WEEK
This is so much truth, right here.  Matt Inman from The Oatmeal, on both the self-publisher’s creative process and making your creative space on the internet a safe place. Win, win, win.


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Know what makes writing better? Masala tea and a honey pancake. Thanks to Lindsay Price for last week’s writing tip: Use The Pen and Notebook You’re Carrying You Dumbass. She didn’t say “dumbass,” but I think we can take that as a given. It’s working!




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Comments {5}

notodette

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from: notodette
date: Nov. 25th, 2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
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Brooke can help you. I'm on my phone but remind me later. She's a freelance journalist right up your alley. She's on my flist and ridic awesome and knows all the people. Mariaoumania or something.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 30th, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
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Thank you!!! I will absolutely look her up!

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 30th, 2012 06:00 am (UTC)
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You're welcome, and thanks!

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Rowan

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from: mzrowan
date: Nov. 26th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
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One more writing venue at the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/fashion/howtosubmit_modernlove.html?ref=modernlove&_r=0

Also maybe ping my friend rezendi about freelance travel journalism/writing if you're still looking for contacts.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 30th, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
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Thank you! Yes, I am still looking and I will contact your friend - thank you!

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