Sunday, June 06, 2004


I am feeling at loose ends like a revved up race car at the starting line and they won't drop the flag. And so I sit.

I handed in my notice to the editor in chief of The Rose & Thorn almost a week ago, but I'm still here. It's as if something is holding me back, keeping me from moving on. First it was all these changes to the staff issue and then more changes to the web site, none of which would go thru because the host is screwy right now. I finally called them today and asked what was going on and how soon I could expect it to be fixed. Six to twelve hours. In the meantime, the EIC is bugging me about canning the contest and the staff issue "if it's too much trouble", which basically means she doesn't want to deal with it anyway, especially since I won't be there to carry the load.

I don't feel like I can move on until this last issue is safely up and working properly. I'm just tired of trying to get it right because I am ready to move. If I don't turn my back on R&T soon it will seem like I was just trying to get some attention, which is the least of my worries or needs at any given time, but most especially now. I need to get back to writing and submitting my work. I can't until this is done. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow. As Scarlett always said, Tomorrow is another day. Like there was an option for tomorrow to be another week or month or year or elbow.

I know. I'm being a bit sarky right now. But I itch and nothing seems to help, which means I'm am tense and unsettled. My body reacts to my inner turmoil by itching.

On another note, there is a thieving raccoon climbing up on the deck railing and spilling what he doesn't drink of the hummingbirds' syrup. Two days in a row I went out on the deck to find the syrup was all gone. I didn't think the birds could go thru four cups of syrup, but I couldn't figure out what else was happening. And then I saw the shadow and white rimmed eyes of a great big old raccoon. And I do mean big. He's about the size of a German Shepard. Of course it might be a she raccoon, but the result is the same. Thief. I brought the feeder in last night and the hummingbirds scolded and circled and buzzed and whistled at me. It was nearly dark and the coon shows up just after the sun goes down. I didn't want to forget and leave him with more of their food. Tonight when I took it down they scolded and whistled at me again, so I stood on the deck holding the feeder while they flitted and sipped and landed for a good long drink. I didn't think they'd do that but I was wrong. Guess they're getting used to me being out there.

My plants are in various stages of growth and I had to heavily water my pole beans because the leaves looked a mite withered and dry. They perked right up and I noticed I had quite a few two-inch long beans. I guess they're going to grow after all. The one test pea I planted is also growing and sending out tendrils.

I did one quick writing project this afternoon while I was fussing with the R&T web site and trying not to scream and throw things. (It's rare, but it does happen when I'm really frustrated and something still isn't working). I wrote a quick 230-word essay about writing -- But I'm Doing it Right. It comes from the sudden realization that I'm spending a lot of time sending out clips and resumes and looking for markets, but I haven't really written anything of note for a couple of weeks. Not a good thing at all. In order to be published one must write. I did think it was funny--not in a ha-ha way--that market searches and clips and organization can be a way to put off writing. So here it is quick and short.

But I Did it Right

I just don't understand why I'm not getting published. I did everything right, but let me go over the check list again.

I bought plenty of paper and ink to print out my submissions. I invested in a good computer and spell check program to make sure errors don't get past me.

I have all the books on characterization, dialogue, formatting, and markets and I have read and made detailed notes. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent going over markets and updating my files on editors, agents, and publishers, but it's safe to say I spend at least 30 to 40 hours a week making sure my submissions don't go astray. I even have plenty of SASEs of all sizes typed and stamped, ready to send. I have been very thorough and organized.

I thoroughly read and research my target markets and magazines, making sure I know exactly what they publish, but I'm still not getting published. I'm doing everything right, but nothing's happening. I must have left something out.

Supplies, organization, research, marketing, studying, reading, and keeping updated copies of my files. There's nothing missing that I can see. Stamps, SASEs, right size envelopes, and a quiet room of my own to write.

Oh, yes, I see. All the marketing and organization and preparation don't matter if I don't write.

Well, I did almost everything right.

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