Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rain, rain, go away....

Day after day it has rained here for nearly two weeks. On Sunday afternoon I pushed DH into going to a movie just to get out of the house. I chose Russell Crowe in Robin Hood; I splurged for a theater drink and buttered popcorn, scrunching down in the seat for an afternoon of pounding horse hooves and swashbuckling in Merry Ole England on the big screen. I wasn’t disappointed and felt refreshed enough to walk back out into our world of gray skies dotted with ponderous clouds.

Somewhere after 10:00 this morning the sun came out. The afternoon was a perfect spring day if you overlooked the spongy earth, and though my flowers stood in water, they lifted their heads with hope. That is because they can’t hear the local weather forecasters telling us that the rain will return in the morning and stay for a few more days. Then by the weekend, temps should be approaching 90 degrees when the rain pulls out again. Oh great, then my flowers can steam like a sauna in their wet pots!

I visited each pot today and pulled out about 75 tiny maple trees that were growing among the sagging blooms. Amazing that those teeny trees could thrive in such lousy weather. My writing ideas were like those maples; they were popping up everywhere, scattered around, teasing my mind. I wanted to write but none of the ideas came to fruition. My thoughts rambled and felt fuzzy; they were more like irritating weeds than strong ideas that would bloom into great plots or essays. So I spent time making changes in existing stories or poems, hopefully making them stronger, not just different.

I checked my writing log and saw some pieces have been out long enough I should be considering resubmitting somewhere else. I went though writing folders and found a short piece I wrote for a contest that I did not log! Foolish me! The contest was to write about a picture of an open newspaper on a table in front of a rain streaked window, but I have no idea where I submitted it too!

I gave up and looked for markets, but that too was disappointing. Old favorite magazines have changed their formats or dropped their fiction. Many want a writer to be agented before dealing with them. I did find some interesting places that were not new, just new to me. One was Grace Notes, a place for writer to get critiqued and to enter contests. I saw no entry fees and prize money is small, but it is a paying market. Go to http://notesandgracenotes.com to check it out for yourself.

I saw an ad for Boulevard Magazine that is published in the St. Louis area. New to me, the web page at www.boulevardmagazine.org says the publication is 25 years old! There are short story and poetry contests and the entry fees are reasonable. However, when I saw names like Billy Collins, James Tate, Joyce Carol Oats, and Alice Hoffman among others as contributors, I was intimidated by their level of skill and success. Maybe I should think longer about approaching this market.

Activity changed again and I gave reading a shot. Nothing seemed to hold my interest. I went to the library and got some new books. Brought home Belle in the Slouch Hat by Mimi Mathis. Written by an Arkansas author, the book deals with a Belle Starr like character in the Carthage area. Maybe something regional will spur me into writing again.

As dear Scarlett would say, “Tomorrow is another day.” Yes it is, another day of thunderstorms and pouring rain. Hopefully, a lightning strike of creativity will occur somewhere near my desk!

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