Saturday, May 16, 2009

My first submission ever

...And my first rejection.

It was for a short story anthology. The editor said it was a good story, just not what she envisioned for the anthology and added I should sumit to other markets. It looked like a form letter (my sister also submitted and received the exact same thing), but it's still encouraging.

Would have been more encouraging to get accepted, but that's how it goes. I've always been afraid of rejection. I wanted people to like me, I didn't like to get into fights, and I'm a horrible devil's advocate sometimes. But I knew, if I wanted to be a writer, rejection was going to happen.

I stood on the teetering beam of confidence, on one end, the inflamed ego a writer needs to be able to get herself out of bed in the morning, with the certainty that she will be published despite the odds. On the other end, a somewhat self-deprecating humility. The absolute sense that I will never make it and the odds are against me and I'll never be published.

I'm somewhere in the middle, hopefully with a realistic sense of the possibilities, with the hope of getting published, the confidence to think my work is good enough, while still being aware and accepting of the numbers involved, how many people get agents, get into anthologies, get published, and then are successful at it.

The numbers aren't good, but I'm willing to make the effort. This submission and rejection was the first step. But the destination is pretty far to walk.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update: Taste like Pomegranate

Today I translated the last 125 lines of Beowulf, a 3182-line poem in Old English. One of my classmates thinks we should write our professor evaluations in Old English. I totally get a kick out of the thought, but I don't know if I have the time, since perhaps my weakest area (besides the bloody grammar--darn you dative and accusative cases!) is memorizing the vocabulary.

We'll see. I'm working on my ten-page "What I would write on had I more time" paper for Beowulf. And slogging through it, too. I just can't seem to keep my attention on it. But that done, I'll only have to worry about the final next Wednesday and my work at UH is complete.

I graduate--black gown, cap and fancy-schmancy hood--on May 16. Part of me is giddy and squeeing in relief and excitement. I'll be the first one on either side of the family (as far as I know and at least for immediate family) to get a Master's degree. The other part is terrified. I'm taking the summer to focus on querying agents and making my work the best it can be. I won't have the excuse of school or a job taking up so much time that I can't edit. And it is an excuse. After this summer, I start looking for a day job (hence the terror, I have no idea what I want to do or where I want to work, besides writing novels), and at that point, I will work and write and can just shut my cake-hole about being too tired.

I can be kind of mean to myself. ~shrugs~

But the Hounds book has been done, HS is now done and needs an overhaul in one area that will affect the whole book, I have a high fantasy parody/travel narrative complete for my other class, and just finished a short story (self-contained, new characters, and none of them are clamouring for something longer right now, a first!), which is with a few beta readers right now and then goes off on submission for an anthology. I am excited, but trying to keep it to a minimum since I haven't even sent it in yet.

We'll have to see how it goes.

Right then, the women of Beowulf beckon, and the gabby bunch.