Thursday, April 26, 2007

Near Miss

I recieved a hopeful rejection last night in my email box. I know, I know...hopeful rejection is an oxymoron, right? It was from Vestal Review and after the normal rejection that always goes something like "although we enjoyed reading your submission, due to the godzillion other fantastic entries we received, we will be la la da da da." But then, after the signature there was a little note: PS- Your story was a near miss.

Wow. Just wow. A near miss! Do you know what that means? It means these editors aren't actually laughing at me, wondering why I didn't try dentistry or something equally as painful as my writing is. Which is always in the back of your mind during the submission/rejection process. How bad were they laughing, right?

It kind of reminded me of a Loverboy concert I attended as a teen. We were in the third or fourth row, because this was before I was self-aware enough to know I was claustrophobic. We were all screaming as the guitarist prowled the front of the stage when suddenly he actually made eye contact with me! Then he pointed and threw his pick to me. Some guy in front of me wrenched it out of my hand, so I didn't get to keep it-- but, that didn't matter because the point was--he noticed me. I existed to him for a moment.

So, for a moment, I existed to Vestal Review. My story was alive in someone else's mind and they found it compelling enough to consider.

In this very subjective business, almost-good-enough is almost...well, good enough.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ray's Magic

I'm rediscovering Ray Bradbury. My daughter is reading Fahrenheit 451 for school. An amazing book, an amazing man. Although I'm glad this book is on their reading list, I wish that they would actually discuss the point of the book itself instead of what they are doing: being tested on things like quotes, what character says what...I think just to make sure they did the reading assignment. There's a strange disconnect in literature that's being taught in schools. The teachers (in my own experience) aren't making the kids think, only memorize. They aren't allowing them to expand on these writers ideas, analyze them, try to figure out what warning they are trying to relay, what message they are trying to give. They aren't teaching them to look ahead and envision the possibilities of their future. It seems the only thing that's important is passing the tests. Scary.

Anyway, I went to Ray's website and started reading about how he became a writer. I came across this little story from his "In His Own Words" section:

I wish there were more people in the world like this carnival magician. People taking the time to talk with children, feed them a sense of wonder, hope and magic.

Mr. Electrico did indeed give him the gift of immortality. Through his writing.

Magic, indeed.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bare-breasted Mama

No. This is not about naked women, so if you googled 'bare-breasted' or 'naked' then...go away.

This is about my friend, Gail Konop Baker, and her wonderfully poignant, honest and sometimes painful monthly column she writes for Literary Mama. Gail has survived breast cancer with her sense of joy and humor in tact. Here's an excerpt to gnaw on:

"The catch is, once a cell has mutated, the damage has been done long ago, the body's built-in self-protective system has failed. I have failed myself. No textbook, no research, no footnote can alter the fact that my body let cancer sneak its devious cruel-ass self in."

There you have it. The simple, naked truth of feeling betrayed by your own body. Captured in one sentence. Powerful stuff.

If you want to laugh and cry simultaneously, go check her out:

I promise you will hug your loved ones tighter and look at the world with a bit more appreciation...if only for a moment.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What Evil Movie God Decides These Things?

I'm doing self-therapy again, bear with me. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this:

It's somewhere between nauseous and confused.

If you don't feel like clicking today, here's the gist of it:

"Angelina is signed to star in the film as the powerful female Railroad Tycoon Dagney Taggert."

Atlas Shrugged happens to be one of my favorite books of all times. I have been waiting...and waiting for the movie to be made, even though I know a movie from a book is always a disappointment. I still want to see those magnificent, idealistic characters played out on the screen.

Angelina Jolie happens to be one of my least favorite people-that-I-don't-know people. I do admire her free-spirited save-the-world one child at a time attitude. Really, I do. I'm not sure what bugs me so much about her, maybe I'm just jealous. But, come on...first Brad Pitt and now John Galt???!!! How many fantansy men does one gal get to have in a lifetime?

Okay, jealousy aside, she is just not Dagney Taggert material. Dagney did not have the world by the balls because of her looks, but because of her mind. I'm sure Ayn Rand is rolling over in her grave about now. I think Jodie Foster would be great in the role. Is there still time to vote? Or boycott? Or have a temper tantrum?