Thursday, May 1, 2014

We're Here Again?

Happy May Day, everyone!

It's been a very cold spring here in the NYC area. Which, of course, I just love! I'm so sick of the trend that's been going on here as of late, which is winter, then spring for one month, followed by summer for the next five! This year, I think spring won't really get started until mid-May, and by then we will probably be only 4 weeks away from the brunt of intense summer. Yeah, yeah ... people are saying that all signs point to a rather mild summer, but I'm not fooled. I know better. It's in my bones!

Anyway, as to the title of this post: May is the month I moved out of my old life and apartment, and into a new one (on both accounts). Has it been a year already? Weird how insanely quick time flies, isn't it? But life moves on, and I'm feeling fairly good about things.

So, that short story I completed recently has garnered some positive early reactions. For the most part people seem to like it a lot. I've received in-depth feedback from two readers already, and their notes are very helpful and thought-provoking. I will be trying to implement some (if not most) of their suggestions over the weekend. Then I'll give the draft another once-over and final polishing. After which, I'll leave it alone and go back to an earlier story to make some tweaks and finalize as well. At some point before the month is over I should be ready to send both stories out to different markets. This will be the first time I've had more than one submission out in about 3 years. Wow, has it been that long?

I'm glad to see that there is a noticeable improvement in my writing. The stories I write might not be everyone's cup of tea, and my plotting still needs a lot of practice, but in little steps I can see the mechanics of my writing getting much better. There are people out there whom seem to believe that all the famous writers you hear about somehow got that way out of the blue. Ha, what a laugh!  I wish the average person knew just how long it takes--how many years of practicing the craft over and over and over it requires, and how many hundreds of rejections you receive during that time--to get to that point where your stuff starts to shine and really click with readers. That smooth, almost breezy prose all the best writers are known for? They had to spend sometimes decades perfecting! And that's fine for me. I've always known the rigors involved. But it's funny when non-writers try to tell me what I should be doing, or how I should be much better than I am by now.

Fuck off, you. Try it yourself first before you complain about how I'm not as good as Stephen King or J. K. Rowling yet. It takes time. And who said I wanted to be like them, anyway?

But, yeah, this is the state of my writerly pursuits right now. After a long hiatus, I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. And most importantly, it seems I haven't really lost the skills after all. I will continue to build on them, and continue to collect the rejection slips. These are the dues I will pay, and which I should pay.

In the meantime: I go on living! How 'bout you?

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...