This is where I’ll be spending the next three days. I can’t wait!
Read Bread on Running Waters, a poetry collection, by the talented Ani Gjika and Middle Men, short stories by Jim Gavin.
Read the heartbreaking “Italy” by my dear friend and fellow BU alum, Antonio Elefano, just published in The Journal.
Earlier this summer I downloaded the free trial of a writing program called Scrivener. I have always used Word, but find organization within that program frustrating. I often keep a separate document for notes and a third for an outline. If I do not work on a particular project for a few weeks or months, I end up lost and spend much of my time trying to figure out where I was. Enter Scrivener. This program allows one to organize a novel by chapters and scenes, or however one wishes. Each scene has a “note card” attached to summarize the contents. There is a note card view and outline view. I can make all of the buttons and clutter disappear so all I can see is words with a white background, helping to eliminate distractions while writing. I can also keep a research folder with images and character profiles. The combination of Scrivener and Freedom has made my summer writing productive and less frustrating.
There was a bit of a learning curve, so I did go through the entire walk-through, which took an hour or two, and I’m sure there is functionality that I am not using right now, but for the first time in the 1 1/2 years (on and off) that I’ve been working on this novel, I feel organized. It is decidedly a first draft writing tool; when it comes down to editing and formatting I will be working in Word, which gives far more control in that arena.
At the moment, I have six short stories that I consider ready for publication. It’s entirely unpredictable which does and doesn’t get attention. The story that was published in The Gettysburg Review was one of my most criticized at BU. I had low expectations for it. Stories that I expected more from have been rejected by a dozen magazines already. C’est la vie.
It’s a discouraging process, but I have learned not to take it personally. Every time I click “submit” or hand a stack of crisp yellow envelopes across the counter to the postman, new possibilities arise. Here’s hoping this round will be fruitful. I have a list of about 15 more magazines to submit to once their reading periods open in September.
Story #1: 12 rejections, currently with 6 magazines, some nice personalized comments from editors
Story #2: 11 rejections, currently with 6 magazines
Story #3: 5 rejections, currently with 4 magazines, some nice personalized comments from editors, request to see more of my work
Story #4: 8 rejections, currently with 3 magazines, request to see more of my work
Story #5: 4 rejections, currently with 2 magazines
Story #6: 0 rejections, currently with 3 magazines