Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Different Writing Woe!

Today is a new day. I am awake early after a night filled with busy dreams. The weather has been lovely this week. The cool air and dazzling blue skies filled with gauzy cirrus clouds act as a balm for bodies, minds, and souls that have been burned to a crisp this summer. Now a gentle rain to refresh the earth would be nice, but it is nowhere to be seen here at the moment.

While the weather has been lovely, activity here has been challenging. The Storm Country project rattles on. Now the chosen writers are posted on the web site. About 300 entries had to be whittled down to the range of 70 pieces. I am glad I was only a first reader, that other and more experienced readers followed to make decisions. Too many good pieces, poems and stories, had to be discarded, like prized possessions left out of covered wagons on trails West. Storm Country was headed for publication and something had to be abandoned.

Now notices had to go out to those writers. I found than sending a rejection notice was harder that getting one, especially if that writer’s work had special appeal, a clever line or two, or revealed an underlying pathos that rung a heart. But there just wasn’t room for every writer! So the painful process of rejection had to be done.

After hours of sending notices, my mail program threw a fit. My computer is new and everything should have been working smoothly, but problems arose. The mail jammed, things were erased, the program shut down. I was so tired I thought it was me. Just as I was ready to stop for the day, emails started coming back saying their note was blank or worse, they had someone else’s mail. Add frustration to tiredness. I stopped and ran a virus check and while no virus, Webroot found some ugly things to be removed.

Not every writer took the rejection news well or graciously. At the end of the day yesterday, I returned a call to a writer who had left messages all day on my machine. Locked away in my office with the odious rejections most of the day, I knew the writer wanted news of her own writing’s status. She had called numerous times during this project. I had to tell her that her own work was not used. She got disgusted and hung up on me. Ah, if writing is hard, editing/publishing isn’t easy either! I have a new respect now for those people on the other side of the desk.

All hours were not murky and trying though yesterday. DH and I left for a couple of hours to ride with friends to a local orchard. Oh, the ride was nice with the fresh autumn air and brilliant skies. Labor Day has always marked the opening of apple season here in southwestern Missouri, and it was a season where we took kids and dogs for a ride to fetch apples, pumpkins and autumn things. Yesterday the first apples were Galas and Jonathans. There were still a few peaches left too. We bought a new kind of peach, China Pearl, a lovely white flesh peach that is extraordinarily sweet.

After loading up with fruit, we all went in for a nice lunch at Bootleggers which is housed in a restored bank building. The vault is used for their microbrewery. Many other features of the old bank are still in use as a cashier’s station, bar area, and diners eat in various rooms of the bank. Tin ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and original woodwork are distinctive building features of another time.

But now it is today, the morning lightens…time to brew a pot of tea and tackle whatever this day holds. I hope that includes a working computer!


BECKY said...

Claudia, I sure wouldn't want to be you right now. I know it's got to be really difficult saying "no" to someone, especially if YOU liked their story or poem! I hope you have a stress free day, which includes having a working computer!

Rebecca said...

I can imagine the difficulty of editing! Your analogy of the wagons going west, etc. was very descriptive of the process...

I'm happy you were able to balance out some of the nastiness with your outing and lunch at such an interesting place.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Oh, Claudia! What a responsibility. I feel sorry for you; and shame on the writer for putting you through it. She better develop a thicker skin or she's destined for disappointment. Not every submission is a "go." I hope the rest of your week improves.

Linda O'Connell said...

What a difficult thing. Rejection is difficult for new writers, but sometimes the experienced writer has elevated expectations. Nobody publishes everything they submit. It is seldom because their piece wasn't good enough; it didn't fit: editorial needs or there were too many good submissions to fit in one book.
Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Bookie. That sweet peach sounds good. Take care. Susan from