I was feeling so heady last night. I stayed up until 4 a.m., writing like mad, and it was one of those times when everything flowed, when words dropped like fruit from my fingertips. I was so happy that I got up and danced around the room a couple of times (humming bad songs from the 80s).
I straggled to bed at a ridiculously late hour, and when I straggled out a few hours later, the sun was shining through the windows and I felt so optimistic, so big with hope and gratitude that I could barely stand it.
Then I sat down to open my email, where I was sure there would be good news.
Well, there was news. It just wasn’t good, at least not for me.
It seems that Wildness doesn’t want the poem that I submitted, “To the Bear That Charged Me, Richter Trail, Alaska.” This should come as no surprise since the poem well exceeded the word limit. But, you know, I kind of got caught up in my own importance and thought that because my poem was so damned good, they would of course make an exception.
They didn’t, and as someone who has worked as an editor, I should have known better, too, because word limits are a bit of the holy grail to magazines and newspapers. (Though there’s also the chance that word limits had nothing to do with it and that my poem totally sucks. There’s always that possibility, that lingering and nagging doubt.)
The second rejection carried more weight and I have to admit: It hurt. In fact, it still kind of stings.
Essay Press‘s First Chapbook Contest didn’t choose “Lies, and Saturdays” as a winner.
This manuscript led me far (far!) outside of my comfort zones, for I mixed poetry with creative nonfiction and flash nonfiction, switched from past to present tense and took giant leaps back and forth in time. It was truly an experimental piece, and as I made last-minute edits before submitting (not sleeping and barely eating for two days), I thought to myself: This is either terribly brilliant or terribly stupid.
I’m still not sure which one it is, either. The only thing I’m sure of is that it won’t be published by Essay Press.
So, as you can see, my Tuesday didn’t start off on a very empowering note.
But it’s 70 degrees here in Tucson and the sun is shining, and there are trails to run, and outdoor swimming pools await. And life is so much more than what we make it out to be.
And I am reading this book, Carrie Snyder‘s “Girl Runner,” which stuns me, over and over again, with the writing, and the beauty, and the voice.
I’ll have a full review sometime next week but until then, here are a few tidbits.
I won’t consider how many times my father has undertaken this task, how many times he has done what he can to help his own child rest easy in death as in life. How proud he is of the smoothness of the boards he has worked. How it is all he can offer, now. I won’t let myself think of it, or try to understand.
The sight of those boards fills me with raw terror.
I am totally in love with this book. Last night, I’m ashamed to say, I kissed the cover before I went to sleep.
Okay, enough of writing and reading. I’m heading outside, to enjoy this. Hope everyone has a great and rejection-free day.