News3/28/22: Gateway... is up to 47,000 words. Yes, that works out to be 1,000 words/month, which isn't much, but considering I only wrote 2,000 words for the previous ten months, that's progress. I also worked on two other projects that have been in my head for some time. Combined with the Gateway... work, they would double my output. Still not great, but that's ok. Progress is progress.
I took a class entitled "Fearless Writing", based on the book of the same name. It helped me to see what's been blocking my attempts to write (me) and showed me how to dispel those thoughts and get back into the flow. It's not an overnight cure; I have to keep working at it until it becomes automatic. But I feel a bit of hope now, which isn't something I've felt for some time.
1/25/22: The essay didn't place in the contest, and "Staking Sunflowers" was rejected by its seventh market.
Gateway is up to 45,000 words. I haven't written as much as I would've liked—I never do—but something is better than nothing.
12/2/21: Renovations at my mom's place are done, and I've completed my share of the work at my sister's place for the year. Firewood is chopped and stacked. Leaves are raked and dumped in the back, except for those newly blown into my yard by my neighbor's inconsiderate "landscapers." Is that redundant?
Anyway, the holiday season is upon us, and so far, so good, but the worst is still to come. Just have to get through the usual shopping angst and upcoming gatherings. Should be all downhill from the 15th.
In pertinent news, I found another market to submit "Staking Sunflowers" to. It's only been two weeks. As for the essay contest, I won't find out the results until January.
10/3/21: Five months since my last update. Sorry! And furthermore, there isn't any news to report. I've been busy with renovations at my mom's new place, chopping and stacking wood (97% done!), and the usual chauffeuring of my daughter to her after school activities. We did take a family vacation up to Cape Cod, though, which was nice.
Haven't tried finding any more markets for "Staking Sunflowers". I haven't given up, just haven't had the time.
I'm reluctant to admit that I dug up an essay from the trunk and submitted it to an essay contest. Why? 1) It's really old, and 2) it's a contest. So you have an entry fee to cover the cost of the judge. I did update it a bit, adding some material to buff up the word count, make it seem less spare.
5/4/21: After ten weeks, "Staking Sunflowers" was rejected by its sixth market. I think I've got one more first or second tier market to try before having to start looking up third tier markets.
Between an editing job, having to drive to Tennessee to help Mom do a pre-move purge, and scoping out potential new places for her here, I haven't had any time to write.
Spring is in full swing. People are outside. So many new people have moved into the neighborhood over the last couple of years. They all seem to be from New York. I feel like I don't belong here anymore. Am I a bad person for wanting to build a twenty-foot wall around my property so that I can enjoy the solace of my yard without awkward encounters with my neighbors?
3/15/21: "Staking Sunflowers" is in submission limbo. Five rejections so far. The most recent one has been there a month.
Writing on Gateway continues. Up to 43,000 words. Was hoping to be further along, but that's been the story all along.
Winter seems to be loosening its grip. We had a few warm days in the 50s and 60s. The daffodils have begun to peak above the mulch line.
Older news can be found here.