Not every day is a gem—yesterday I wrote 5 pages with the note on them:
THIS SECTION BORING, OVERFORMAL, UNINSPIRED, TECHNICAL, FIX IT, ALL PARAGRAPHS SAME LENGTH, WHERE’S THE FUCKING RHYTHM?
And then wrote to kathrynrose:
I'm going to keep plowing through until my goddamn five fucking pages are fucking done and I can go be shitty at something else.
But you know what? I wrote the five goddamn fucking shitty pages, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to fix five shitty pages than write them from scratch.
So of course, having found a routine, having even adjusted to sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the noisier bedroom now that my aunt is in town and gets the guest room, I’m ready to plan the next trip! Coming up—Memphis, Michigan, Africa. As one does.
Right now the big focus is to get enough pages done that when I hit March 22 and start working again, March 26 and start traveling again, and April 3 and start working with kids again, I’ll be able to do a page a day to stay in the groove, and be close enough to the end of this project to want to keep going and wrap it up. It’s looking like I’ll have five weeks in South Africa in May, with my boyfriend home for only two of them, so private time and space to write. One of these days I should read A Room of One’s Own, because goddamn I need one.
Pitched to self-described new magazine recruiting writers on Craigslist, nothing back. I suspect that’s good.
Pitched to Definitely Not The Opera on the topic “legacy” and did not get picked up. I’ve started listening to their podcasts more so that I can tailor my stories to their aesthetic.
I met with a young couple who are ‘makers’ establishing a lifestyle brand. They’re thrifters, dumpster-divers, excellent cooks and reality-TV veterans, and I enjoy their blog as well as knowing them personally. They want to write a book reflecting their aesthetic with projects and recipes as well as philosophy on following your dreams and creating a brand from nothing. They liked my pitch and I’m waiting for a contract back, but I think this one is moving forward on a terrifyingly tight timeline.
Big thanks to frecklestars, whose awesome work on her own non-fiction book submission led me to a proposal template that’s going to serve me well!
OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
Remember, if you’re doing Lascaux Flash Fiction again, the deadline is coming up fast—March 20, get those entries in!
If you’re a non-fiction person, check out the Oxford Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference in Mississippi. There are some top-notch presenters, panelists and workshops, and there will also be agents and editors there. This is the sort of thing that you can write up a grant to get money to attend—check your local arts council to see what’s available to local artists for career development.
ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
I entered the Gulf Coast Magazine contests for fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
They’re a solid mid-level magazine and the cash prizes are large compared to the entry fee. Also, I get a subscription and my pieces are considered for paid publication in the magazine if they don’t win.
I went through a few days in advance and double-checked all the rules. I read the previous years’ winners and some sample pages of the magazine to see what style they generally pick. Submissions were electronic and I paid by PayPal.
‘Kalighat’ for non-fiction, ‘Seven Days’ for fiction, and ‘Curiosity’, ‘Auguries’, and ‘Go Away Closer’ for fiction. I think Seven Days has the best shot. And incidentally, last year’s winning poem by Lo Kwa Mei-en kicks ninja-monkey ass and should be read by everyone.
And then I hit ‘send’. WHICH IS LIKE BEING IN THE MIDDLE OF A GRAPHICALLY PORNOGRAPHIC PERSONAL SCENE IN YOUR MEMOIR AND YOUR MOM COMES HOME WITH THE GROCERIES AND ASKS HOW THE WRITING IS GOING.
LINK OF THE WEEK
I know a lot of people around LJ who are thinking about e-books as a publication venue. There are some great ways to go about doing that, and there are also some horrible pitfalls in which to get impaled on sticks. Recently, Random House announced four new imprints for e-book genre fiction on a “profit-sharing” model. John Scalzi, among others, ripped their contract apart, and Random House has retracted and repositioned.
Nate Thayer’s excellent overview is currently down, but here are some links to Scalzi’s relevant posts. If you’re feeling really excited, Victoria Strauss over at Writer Beware is also mentioned in the article, and the Writer Beware archives are a writer’s sword and shield against shady practices and publishing scams. Anyone who self-publishes—or publishes at all—should be on top of her information.
Would you enter a writing contest with a fee?