Thursday, June 02, 2005

Thursday, June 2, 2005
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Cloudy and cool

My editor e-mailed me within an hour of my sending in my articles to thank me and let me know he got them. Always nice to be appreciated.

“Blueberrying” was rejected. I’m not quite sure why I feel relieved about that -- maybe because I have a higher paying market on the list for it? I’ll send it out by Saturday.

I’m interested to see the tone of the pieces in the magazine that rejected it – I have a feeling they share the angst-ridden vision so many literary mags have right now. Which is fine. It’s their magazine and their vision.

But it’s not where my work is right now. It’s where my work was ten years ago.

I don’t write it right now, and I no longer read it, because, frankly, it bores the heck out of me. Plenty of astonishing writers cover that territory so beautifully and few writers early in their careers can hit those specific notes properly.

We might be a good match in the future, at some other stage of my career, but not now. I have to hold true to the stories I want and need to tell and then find the best matches for them, rather than worry about matching a tone to a specific market.

There’s nothing wrong with matching a specific market when you get a high-paying contract in advance. But most fiction is too delicate to be forced into someone else’s mold. That’s why so many good writers are constantly getting rejected by lit mags. It’s not that the writers chosen for publication are bad – it’s a matter of matching visions. And, in particular, lit mags have a very specific and personal vision. The editor/publisher looks to fill that vision. It’s one of the things that makes the genre so interesting – because it’s so personal.

A “general interest” publication, by definition, must serve a wider audience in order to survive.

Anyway, the letter was quite friendly and professional. Once I’ve read their issue (the story was for the premiere issue, so I wasn’t simply being lazy by not reading it), I’ll know if their vision is something close to my own. Since the guidelines were vague, it was worth a shot.

Deep Throat. Anyone who wasn’t alive for Watergate probably doesn’t understand why there’s so much fuss. Watergate was fascinating, and that’s what interested me in journalism. Of course, as I learned more about journalism over the years, I realized the excellence of Woodward and Bernstein was the exception, not the rule.

I wish the secret had been kept until after the source’s death. The articles I’ve read thus far about his motivation for becoming the source in the first place sound more like revenge than doing something out of strong beliefs, and now, he’s openly admitted he wants to make money by coming forward. I guess it’s better than pretending there’s a different reason, but at least, with the secrecy, one could hope he acted out of patriotism, rather than self-interest.

Oh, yeah, I forgot. It’s Washington.

Anyway, I want to get some work done on the next Salt Marsh story. The characters are talking loudly in my head. I need to work on the serials some more, but don’t quite know when, since I’m working in the city today and will be there all day tomorrow.

I actually voted for a reality show performance last night. Turns out someone with whom I worked is on Dancing With the Stars – so I watched it, and, yes, I voted for him. I knew him before he started this training – he’s obviously worked his butt off and I thought he did very well. He’s got amazing focus. In conversation, he’s never looking past you or splitting conversation between people. He’s talking to you and he will finish the conversation thoroughly before talking to someone else. In the dance, he focused on his partner and they looked like they were having the best time. I thought some of the judges were nuts in their evaluations (in regard to everyone), but, then, who said judging is objective?

Guess I’ll be taping the show for the next few weeks, and voting when I get home from the theatre. Not happy about the whole reality show thing – I spent a great deal of time groaning and rolling my eyes – but I’ve got to support someone whose work I like and respect, and who I think is a pretty excellent human being.

Off to get some writing done before I catch the train.

I dreamed about Iceland last night.

For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.


At 9:10 AM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

Oooo.. Iceland... fjords... Vikings... Beowulf. :)

I'm so sick of reality TV (okay, so I watched American Idol...). They are just coming out with ridiculous stuff now, though.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

from Devon: "And, in particular, lit mags have a very specific and personal vision. The editor/publisher looks to fill that vision. It’s one of the things that makes the genre so interesting – because it’s so personal."

You're so right. That is something I hadn't perceived about literary magazines until you said it. I'm going to keep that bit of helpful information in mind. Thx, d:)


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