Saturday, August 06, 2005

My Soul Cries Out

On Wednesday, Stationery Queen posted a list of things she would do if she were not afraid. I started out thinking about my own list, but my mind got hung up on one item. SQ's list includes "* Ride in an airplane and travel to Spain". It's the traveling to somewhere part that has possessed me.

I have been fascinated with Scotland my entire life. I collect books of photographs and read anything I can get my hands on. I have a vision:

Grey rocks veined with white under my feet, wet and black below where the waves
batter against them. The battleship-grey sea, itself veined with whitecaps and foam, stretches to eternity under low overcast that slowly bends down toward it, their kiss hidden behind the mist and fog that rise from the edge of the world. Beyond the hidden horizon lie dreams and legends: the eternal icy wastes of the Frost Giants, Heimdall guarding the Rainbow Bridge, golden Asgard rising stern above the world.

Off to my right, a stony headland stands proudly against the waves, wind, and spray. A dark stone cstle hulks silently, ignoring the world outside as it regards its own ghostly memories. If not for the sea-noise, I would hear the bagpipes drone and skirl, calling the clan to arms, telling tales of red-haired beauties and black treachery, strong men of courage and honor stone-hard and steel-sharp. It's music that rises from the very heart of this land and lives forever in the air and sea.

The wind bites my face, exploratory nips that bring a blush to my cheeks and nose. I snuggle closer into my thick cardigan. This is home.

If I ever get there, no way in Hell will I ever come back here. My heart may live in Georgia, but me soul belongs to Scotland.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Waiting...

I hate waiting to hear from markets about my submissions. I HATE it! I also hate writing query letters when somebody has had a story way beyond their published response time. I'm always afraid it will aggravate the editor, who will then reject my story just out of spite. I know only a very small percentage of editors would actually do such a thing (I think, I hope), but it still bothers me. On the other hand, I think I would rather go ahead and get the rejection, so I can get that story out to somebody else. Fish or cut bait?

I screwed up my courage last night and sent out query letters to 2 magazines. One of them I have queried before and received no response. I'm afraid I will have to withdraw my story from them if they don't respond soon. I wish they would at least tell me they still have my story, and it's in the slush pile. Anything. I feel like this. Maybe I should try that.

The usual advice is just to work on other things, and I am doing that, but I obsess about this. I feel like I'm teetering on the razor edge of success, and I want, no, need somebody to tell me either it's good or it sucks. It's the not knowing that drives me crazy. I'm not as good at patience as I used to be.

I submitted "Carrion Comfort" to Son and Foe Magazine last night. They're new; first issue is due out in November. They also have a 30-day response time: either "Yes", "No", or "Haven't got to it yet". I hope that's accurate.

Reading Bird by Bird has got me thinking that maybe I can pull off writing a novel after all. One of Lamott's points that she stresses is allow yourself to write shitty first drafts. That's what I need to do. Just let go and be bad. Write crap. That's what rewrites are for, right? TRying to talk myself into doing that.

God, I hate August. Temps in the 90's, humidity in the 60% range. Rain only makes it worse. No rain only makes it worse. Heat pumps don't work well in this kind of weather. Blows wet air. I feel like I'm mildewing. Just got to hold out until Labor Day. Head hurts, mood sucks mud, can't sleep. Gah!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

An Embarrassment of Riches

Got 3 books in the mail today to review for Green Man Review. Talyn is also on the way and should be here "any day now". It's like Christmas in August, except without the carols and parties and trees and stuff.

Must finish Bird by Bird tonight. Damn good book.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Toddling

A couple more baby steps:

A review of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles at Green Man Review.

"Google Tricks: Advanced Features that Let You Do More Than Just Search" now online at Associated Content. I have 2 more articles that should go live there sometime this week.

Writing for these 2 sites is more for name exposure and practice than anything else. Green Man Review only pays in the books they send me to review, and AC pays somewhere around 1-3 cents / word. While I'm working toward getting my fiction published, these reviews and articles and this blog give me a chance to get known to the world. Pretty cynical, huh?

OK, I have to admit that I really enjoy visiting with my 'Net-friends, so it's not all about marketing. And, I have to admit that I like the writing part some, too. A lot, actually. A whole lot. A real big old whole lot. A great big huge giant...you get the picture.

At the same time, in the back of mind, I have this notion that one day the fact that I have finished work out there available for an editor or agent to look at might possibly maybe (please, God!) mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. Realistic? Probably not, but we all have our fantasies that we hold on to so we can keep going even in the face of the reality of the publishing world.

Bought a copy of Anne Lamont's Bird By Bird on impulse over the weekend. She's a real hoot! She also says a lot of the things that I think. I'm about 50 pages in right now. Trying to stretch it out some while I wait for my copy of Talyn to get here.