Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rejections Are Not Always Equal . . . . and Counting My Blessings

Hey, blogging buddies. It's been too long. How are you all? Wearing your sunblock? I hope summer is treating you well. It's flying by for me. All is well in my life except for on the writing front. I can't say that I love it right now. Presently, it makes me kind of sad.

A few months ago, I sent a publisher my first three chapters. This company then asked for a full manuscript with very specific, glowing comments about how the acquisitions editor loved my story Charm Bracelet. Last week, I received a form letter rejection from them.

Don't think I'm new at receiving rejections.

No, I'm a well-seasoned rejection recipient. I received one just today, in fact. Yet that one didn't bother me. It came in response to
a query I sent to an agent over a year ago. They were just getting back to me. No biggie. I can handle that type of no.

The painful dismissal comes after unprecedented praise from someone who appears to love what you write and then, after consideration, decides it's not publishable. Ouch. I repeat, ouch. If you are in a discouraged place at this moment, blogger-friends, I'm with you in the trenches.

No, I'm not giving in. Or up. I'm just counting my blessings. I have other things in my life to cherish besides writing. Here is a short list of what brings me joy . . .

#1. My beautiful children. They are an endless source of happiness. Who could feel bad with them around?

#2 The early morning view from my deck. Whenever I see the sun come up, it makes me glad to be alive. I'm thankful for a new day, each day.

#3 I like that I can wear a faded baseball cap and an old pair of tennis shoes, and my husband still calls me gorgeous.

#4 I love flowers! I can spend hours in my yard and never grow bored. Gardening can be great therapy.

Of course, my list could go on indefinitely. I'm sure you have a long list of your own, dear readers. Let's continue to remind ourselves of the blessings we have while we reach for those dreams that are just beyond us.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sunshine and Faulkner

There are no clouds above me, just an endless wash of blue. I close my eyelids and the steady July sunlight turns them yellow and then orange inside. There is the smell of coconuts and warm skin on the wind. I can hear my children doing their best to outwit our Slip 'N Slide. Old and patched, this strip of plastic seems to have a will of its own.

I feel a book resting against my chest, the dark leather warm beneath my hand. I smile because I have made a new friend. This book is special to me. I've gladly taken what it's offered.

I've heard mixed opinions on Faulkner. Some people loathe reading his work, claiming it's confusing and too much effort. I had read random snippets here and there, but I had never attempted a whole book. Until two days ago, and now I willingly have Faulkner addiction. Unlike chocolate, this won't add to my hips. Though it might to my brain.

Reading The Sound And The Fury was like a walk by faith. My perspective became clear after I'd proved myself, and eventually, the intricate puzzle fit together. My mind sparked and flared and came to life. I love Faulkner. I love his specific style of tagless, punctuation-free stream of consciousness mixed in with present moment action. He gave me a gift with his artistry and brilliance.

Don't you love that kind of discovery? What new literary friends have you made this summer?
Any new beach books as well? Writing instruction books? Do tell, blogging buddies.

I've just finished A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce. Interesting, surprisingly theological. But that's another post for another day.

Now back to sunbathing and sipping my diet Coke with lime . . .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Havoc

Yes, I am not dead. I am merely overwhelmed. And sleep deprived. Damn, but I miss the sweet assistance of the public school system in my life. Where is the drama-free order I once cherished? And what of the steely-eyed high school Assistant Principal? September through May, I didn't properly value his contribution to our overall family peace. Now that it's the first of July, he's looking kinda good to me. I miss that man.

Why, you ask? Is it the mustache? The strapping male physique? No, sorry, it's neither of those. His attraction lies in the fact that he can intimidate my teenagers into behaving themselves. And, quite frankly, I suck at that. I'm a marshmallow. I give out work assignments and my children look bemused, as though I'm speaking gibberish.

Is this sunny season unleashing chaos in your life, too, or is it just me? I'm the first to admit that I lose all sense of direction and purpose once the kids are free of school, outnumbered as I am six to one. I don't even pretend to set goals anymore because they'll never be realized.

Part of my problem is that I am caught between the exacting, grownup world my husband exists in and the shiny, devil-may-care, it's-summertime-and-I-can-stay-up-'til-the-cows-come-home realm my children inhabit.

The Dilemma: hubby wakes up at 5:00a.m./ kids stay up late.

The Result: I'm tired all the time. My brain hurts more than usual. I don't write as much as I should. And, really, who has the energy anyway?

I'm not seriously complaining. It's nice that my husband likes to talk to me and kiss me goodbye in the morning. It's also good to have my children at home. I just wish that sleep wasn't so necessary.

How is your summer going? Have you done anything fun or wonderful? Have you experienced some havoc yourself? Are you happy with your writing?

Cheers, blogging buddies! I've missed you guys.