Tag Archives: madness

Submission Madness

In “the Secret Life of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4”, by the hilarious Sue Townsend, Adrian’s class is on a field trip when the bus driver, driven to the ends of his nerves, submits to motorway madness. All of the kids arrive home safely, but shaken, and the bus driver gets a well-deserved rest.

We’ve all been there, right? In the car, with howling kids? My oldest son just about lost his hearing thanks to the endless screaming by the middle one. I’ve felt that madness slip over me. (My sister still tells the story of me putting them out of the car.)

Well, today a different madness came over me. I started submitting things to publishers and journals. All sorts of things. Stories that have lain fallow for months, little ditty poems that struck my fancy, shorter or longer versions of other works in progress (called WIPs by the trendy Humber).

It’s not strictly speaking a sane process. I mean, I could work on these stories longer, could probably edit them for another few years, but there’s something about being in this crazy Humber program that makes me want to take it all seriously, start sending things about. It’s been a while since I was published, except in our local grass-roots poetry journal, OHForgery (which I love).

Oh, I’ve sent things in for competitions, sure. Won a few. Placed in a few others. But going for the publication thing – hesitant. See, in a contest, you can always argue there were so many competitors that you couldn’t possibly be expected to win. So when you don’t, that’s cool. No self-abuse required.

But when a journal writes back, no sorry, this isn’t for us, well, it chews a bit of your soul away. Immediately you start the inner walk of shame.

So today, I’m sending out submissions like I used to send out flirts in online dating. Send out lots, you don’t notice the no replies as much. Someone usually replies pleasantly…

Of course, if I don’t, I’ve got some lovely Writers Tears to drown my sorrows…


Day Three #3DayNovel

Yikes! Is that 8:22 already?

Foggy day to go with my brain. It’s been days of sitting, dwelling in my head, I still have miles to go before the story ends, and my fingers just aren’t fast enough to get them all in.

Haven’t had a decent meal except for dinner the last two days – not hungry, given my total exercise is mental. Not ODing on coffee, yet. I think today may be the day as I scream into the finish line…panicking, wind in my teeth, madness in my glance.

Need a soundtrack for today. Oddly, given my novel context, my iTunes shuffle kept playing “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I shifted to Seaside -FM last night, usually perfect for writing, only to be assaulted by hymns for their late night “songs of praise” show. Given that I am writing about religious matters, it kind of freaked me out.

Beginning to get paranoid about being watched from above…

But maybe that’s the muse I’m courting. God knows (as it were), I could use her help.

And wheeeeeeee! Off I go!

#3daynovel : dawn of day two

images-7It’s early morning, day two. I’ve just been up to drive my son to the airport for his year away in Istanbul. So I’m feeling foggy from the early hour, blue because I miss my darling boy already, and tired.

The fogginess matches my story. It’s coming together, slowly. I have my character, my intro to her troubles, the main players on the stage. But it’s still foggy out there in story land…

Today is the day I start throwing horribleness at her. It’s going to be unpleasant as I dangle her from precipices, threaten her life, her sanity. I am feeling sorry for her already as I kind of like her gutsy character, sketchy as needs must, be given she is just coming to life.

I’m hoping she’s strong enough to fight back at these slings and arrows of my generated outrageous fortune. We’ll see.

For now, I have to have just a wee bit more sleep..perchance to dream.

Pulling a mate from a candy machine


Okay, I know my kids don’t want me writing about this. So they should perhaps skip this post entirely.

I just read Anne Lamott’s excellent article in Salon.com about her year on Match.com :http://www.salon.com/2013/03/31/my_year_on_match_com/

I could identify with it all. The men who are not as described, the ones who never call again, the ones who call too much. The ones who think they know more than you about everything. The ones who use up the 1728 minutes (or whatever) she describes, while you do your shopping list and think longingly of the ice cream in your refrigerator that seems oh so much more rewarding than what you are doing just then.

The “social smokers” who keep vanishing to suck back another tube, thinking you won’t notice that all of them smells and tastes like an ashtray. The political hounds who tell you about the world as if you have lived under a rock forever. The ones who are looking for a sympathy partner, to listen to all their problems with their “crazy” past partners. The ones who end every conversation with, “Shall I take the blue pill?”

My favourite was the guy who was an artist and wanted to discuss the shades of white. But found fault with my silver hair. “I’m visual” he said.

Or the other guy who texted me all the time but who had naughty pictures animate with his text so when I told him I was going skating on the Canal, it would change it to c-something else. Eww. Strangely, I felt I had to meet both of these guys. For research. In very public places, mind. Using an assumed name. Curiosity, you know.

One of my girlfriends says “What is it about over 50-year-old men? They all patronize!” Now I thought it was just me, at my height of 4’11 3/4″, that got the patronization thing.

vulpix_used_flamethrower_by_firecloak-d4u0gnrI’ve been patronized all my life and have developed a tendency to incinerate the patronizer. No mercy. Ever.

But she’s tall and gorgeous and they patronize her, too.

What IS that?

Like Anne, I think I am looking for someone to spend evenings with, not in acrobatic sex scenes involving pulleys and elaborate body positioning, but reading, watching TV, talking. Curling up in bed with. Getting up in the morning with. Lifting heavy objects with. Travelling with. Laughing with.

NOT someone who has spent too much time with online girls and expects me to shave every hair off my body and indulge in unusually strenuous activities while keeping up a potty-mouthed commentary. (Not that I’ve met any of those folks, mind – they just send me messages). Also NOT someone who tells me he is still married and looking for fun outside his marriage, because he no longer gets it together with his wife.

Fish or cut bait, fellah. Sheesh.


It makes me tired. I’d give it all up except that I still have this silly thought that I might actually meet someone interesting this way.

It’s obviously insanity. I should stop, but like the men, I suspect, the tendency to shop is too much. It’s like looking at one of those candy bar machines. Yeah, this one tastes okay, but I’d really like to try this other one…

And then it’s my cheapness. I paid for one site and I’ll be darned if I am going to take my profile off and let them have my money until I have used up every minute. I’m going to wrestle that chocolate bar out of its spiral if it kills me. At least for another few weeks, til my subscription runs out.

Besides, it’s spring. Hope springs eternal. Or is that Spring, hope eternal?