Friday, June 29, 2007

Confusion Has It's Way with Me

I probably need to give a little background so that you can understand, or perhaps unravel my confusion.

First, I sent a story to Other Voices in July of 2005. I haven't yet received any mail from them about it, or at least I think not.

Second. I entered the Other Voices short story contest, (yes, that's me your typical writer/sucker) on March 13, 2007. The contest closed March 21 and I didn't expect to hear about the winners for a a long while. And there's nothing posted on their website.

Third, on June 21, I decided to send a -could you tell me pretty please what happened to my 2005 story - letter to Other Voices. Naturally I included an SASE and, in my letter, I gave them a choice of boxes to tick. That way, they; the editor, the go-fer, the strange volunteer, or whoever, might be able to give me some information, they could simply mark the page, slip it in the envelope and mail it back to me.

Is this too much detail? Maybe, but here's why I'm confused. Today I got one of my envelopes back from Other Voices. The date on the letter is June fifth, so it's been kicking around somewhere, Maybe it was in someone's purse, or under their lunch judging by the stains on the envelope. The letter says my work is not chosen for inclusion in the upcoming issue but does not mention which work they are talking about. Maybe it's the contest story. But there's no mention of the contest.

So, I still don't know what happened to the story I sent in 2005. Maybe a few months from now, I'll receive another food-stained envelope.

The contest had a rather hefty fee which includes a subscription to O.V. They'd damn well better send me the journal.

This situation calls for a Tim's coffee and something sweet.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Monday, June 25, 2007

When I'm Sixty-Four. The Birthday Blog

This morning I woke up thinking of that Beatles song and it stuck in my head until after I'd had my coffee. Well, I thought, I'm not crossing over into outright geezerhood until next year, so I'll just keep on enjoying my birthday celebration. It's been a lively and lovely three days.

D. and I had a wonderful time in Port Stanley. The inn we stayed at is right beside the water and had more than the usual conveniences, including a double Jacuzzi. We had dinner at a nearby restaurant then went to the theatre. The play, Don't Dress for Dinner, was quite funny and we had front row centre seats, so we didn't miss any of the nuances. I have no idea how the actors remembered some of the very complex and funny dialogue, but they carried it off very well. Even the weather cooperated. It was sunny but not too hot during the day and cool overnight.

Tonight we were at my daughter's place for barbecued salmon, salads, and strawberries dipped in chocolate. I could sing, 'heaven, I'm in heaven.'

I'm still here on earth, but it was pretty close there for a while.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nancy's Twenty Seconds of Local Fame

My daughter was on the six o'clock local CTV news last night. I didn't know she would be and I missed it. But, they showed the same clip on the late local news at 11:30 p.m. and on the repeat of the late news at 6:00 a.m. this morning. So, I caught the clip twice. One of the Nutrilawn trucks is clearly visible so Nancy is happy with the free publicity. I imagine though, that she is not happy with the weather. A lot of lawns have already gone dormant because we haven't had any rain in ages. Showers are predicted for later today and the temperature has dropped so maybe we'll be blessed with rain.

In other news, oh- there isn't any. No more mail of any sort has arrived. I'll be in Port Stanley next weekend with D. in honour of my birthday. I'm going to enjoy myself and not think about turning sixty-four.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Fat Envelope, But Don't Hand Out the Bubbly

There was a fat envelope in my mailbox this afternoon. I rushed upstairs to open it only to discover a certain American review had returned all the pages of my story. And there was a tiny, I do mean tiny piece of paper, not even 2 inches by 2 inches tucked in the middle saying thanks but no thanks. I know I indicated in my submission letter that I sent a copy of my story and not the original. It's also the fourth rejection in two weeks (though two of the rejections were for the same story). So, I guess it's true - litmag editors are clearing their desks in preparation for the fall onslaught. And I guess it's also true, as the writer-in-residence said, that some writers paper their walls with rejections slips. That's a bit too masochistic to suit me. I've made a note in my story tracker and in my day book so I know I have to send the story out again, eventually. And now, I think I'm going to rip the slips into itty bitty pieces.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Alas, Camp Head is Fleeting

The weather wasn't perfect while we were away, but it didn't matter. There was a fresh breeze by the lake, so fresh that we needed jackets and hats, and the sky was a deep blue with no pollution smudge on the horizon where the lake and the firmament meet. There was also ice cream, a scoop of butter pecan for me and two scoops of Tiger Tail for D (no Raisin Bran was allowed anywhere near the campsite). We had a camp fire on the second night since everything was soaked on the first night and there was no dry place to sit. There are ways to start a fire, when the wood is wet, but I've promised not to reveal them.

We decided to eat out on the first night, well actually, D. decided I shouldn't have to cook. So, we went into Port Elgin and spotted what looked like a very nice place to eat. Maybe it was too nice for the likes of us. D. and I were both wearing jeans, and he had his baseball cap on because of the wind. We went in - the waiter looked us over - and asked if we had reservations. It was all of 4:30 in the afternoon and only three tables were occupied, but he said they were full. Okay then. I bet that fresh fish they claim to serve is really from the freezer. We found a place that served fish and chips and didn't mind our attire. And, we didn't have to tip, either. Take that - Monsieur actor/waiter/ snob.

My mood improved when we visited the chocolate place in Port Elgin. They have truly delicious handmade dark chocolate, a perfect dessert since one cannot acquire extra pounds while on vacation. Yes, I made that up and it might come true since we did lots of walking.

There's no good writing news. Grain rejected a story of mine, but at least the editor wrote a personal note, (yes, I grasp at any straw that comes my way) though it took me hours to decipher it. And I didn't win, place, or show in the Ten Stories High contest this year. I'm trying not to stew about it. Maybe as D. says, I just wasn't the flavour of the month, this month.

I've just finished reading, Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church: Eyewitness accounts of how American churches are hijacking Jesus, Bagging the Beatitudes, and Worshiping the Almighty Dollar by Becky Garrison. I liked it a whole lot. Garrison writes for The Wittenburg Door, a religious satire magazine. In fact, it's the only magazine of it's kind, as far as I know. As the editor of The Door says about Garrison's book - "you've got to care what happens to America, and you've got to care what happens to the church to write successful religious humour" and she does. In her loving but abrasive way, she cheered me up.

Now, it may be time for more ice cream, to finish the job of restoring my good humour.