Skip to main content

back off!

i've been absent a few days because i've been dusting off manuscripts and preparing for a couple of projects. yesterday, while doing so, i started to comb through a short story i'd written a while back, just to make sure it was perfect. i mean, i figured it was perfect, because i'd submitted it for publication some time ago, although it was [sob!] rejected.

this is when i had one of the most horrifying experiences a writer can have. it wasn't perfect at all. it wasn't even a little bit perfect. in fact, it was so un-perfect that pieces of it were difficult to follow if you didn't live in my brain, which few people do and none of them are publishers. i gnashed my teeth and wondered what the hell i was thinking and committed myself, once again, to a rule i try to stick by, but occasionally forget:

never submit anything that has only recently been completed.

i have this rule because, when i'm excited to have finished something, i usually want to find somewhere to send it right away. my best option would be to just send it to an unwitting friend and wait for them to get back to me to explain the parts that confused or irritated them, but sometimes, i'll get a big head and fire it off to a publisher because damn i'm good. and i might be good. but i'm almost never good enough when i finish something and then give it a couple of quick edits [as a brief perusal of this blog will surely reveal, since most of the posts here are "raw"].

when i'm still in that "i finished something and i am as a god" phase of self-delusion, reading through a piece is tricky. all the ideas are basically still flowing, so it's never a problem for me to make sense of what i'm saying. what i really need to do is step away from the manuscript and wait until the inspiration gets a little fuzzy. that's when i'll be able to notice things like "this sentence has no verb". or when i'll realise that my cutesy/ radical phrasing reads as semi-literate for someone who isn't already well-known for her daring style. [before you can make a habit of breaking all the rules, you do have to convince people that you understand them to begin with.]

so i spent much of last night and this morning weeding through the story and being a little scared of it, because it had so cleverly hidden its faults from me before. this is the long-term effect of editing failures: you start to doubt that you will ever be able to find all the problems and that there are always disasters hidden in your words. i'm getting anxious just thinking about all the embarrassing mistakes that are currently lurking on my computer, snickering as they play hide and seek with my over-eager eyes. damn those tricky word-fairies and their tortuous games!

so, to the editor who had to read my deeply flawed submission and who rightly rejected it, i apologise. you've probably forgotten about it amid heaps of word-fairy-tainted manuscripts you received before and since. i hang my head in shame before you.

and if you're reading this, i'm sure you've already noticed mistakes. but this is my messy space, and it always will be. i thank you for persevering with me anyway.

image source

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

dj kali & mr. dna @ casa del popolo post-punk night

last night was a blast! a big thank you to dj tyg for letting us guest star on her monthly night, because we had a great time. my set was a little more reminiscent of the sets that i used to do at katacombes [i.e., less prone to strange meanderings than what you normally hear at the caustic lounge]. i actually invited someone to the night with the promise "don't worry, it'll be normal". which also gives you an idea of what to expect at the caustic lounge. behold my marketing genius.

mr. dna started off putting the "punk" into the night [which i think technically means i was responsible for the post, which doesn't sound quite so exciting]. i'd say that he definitely had the edge in the bouncy energy department.

many thanks to those who stopped in throughout the night to share in the tunes, the booze and the remarkably tasty nachos and a special thank you to the ska boss who stuck it out until the end of the night and gave our weary bones a ride home…

making faces :: je vois la vie en rose

you may have heard that some enterprising but probably not too bright folk started a fundraising campaign to push kylie jenner over the one billion dollar net worth threshold after forbes magazine touted her as the woman poised to become america's youngest ever self-made billionaire. the idea that there are people out there who can think of nothing better to do with their money than hand it over to someone who already has way more money than she could ever need is pretty gross if you think about it, which you probably shouldn't. and that's before you even take into account that jenner isn't self-made by any honest definition of the term: she comes from a family who already had billions, who then made millions if not billions more because of a television show that followed them around doing their billionaire things. she always had lots of money to spend on building a cosmetic line, and her presence on reality television gives her a massive built-in marketing platform. t…

friday favourites 20.07.12

i was almost going to skip it this week. not out of any disinterest, but i always feel weird posting something flip and cheeky on days when the news is choked with stories of some location filled with people going about their lives suddenly getting shot up by a lone maniac with some sort of personal gripe or agenda.

awful things happen every single day. people who lead otherwise normal lives are suddenly transformed through violence every single day. by the harsh standards of the world, what happened last night in aurora, colorado isn't even close to the worst. i'm sure families in syria would consider a day where ten people died to be better than average. but there is something about these completely random mass shootings in otherwise fairly peaceful places that haunts us all here in the western world. it happened today with aurora. it happened a year ago sunday in norway. it happened in another colorado town, now synonymous with the terror of such a massacre in 1999.

what h…