I just got two rejections for short stories handed down by email – both within three hours of waking up. I guess it goes that way sometimes.
I like to talk about being rejected because I feel like you just have to be frank about it. No sense in posturing about this stuff. It’ll throw you a little, make you wonder if you were ever any good to begin with. But there’s thousands of people submitting shit every day, and who ever knows why something is rejected? All you can do is keep at it. I think I am writing things that are consistently just not what sells. I need to adjust that and do something else at least occasionally.
The world at large is a cesspool now. War and poverty. People dying and being displaced in Ukraine every day. No one has any money. Things are getting more expensive and even if you got a raise, you’re still probably feeling the pinch in your bank account. That doesn’t apply to the individuals who own all the wealth of course. They’re fine. Fine and insulated.
I was out at Lake James State Park in NC this past Saturday. First nice weather of the year. Shorts weather – as it always used to be back in Florida. I felt like I was back in my usual habitat right down to the sinus allergies that came on like fucking clockwork. It was good to be out there, though. There’s a lot of inner peace that can come with getting outside and away from screens.
Then I almost ran out of gas – I was spinning around those country roads, the needle dangerously in the red. I felt for sure this would end with me stranded out there with no cell reception and at the mercy of whoever’s house I happened to be by. I found my way back to the main road and ran into what I figured was a general store or a gas station, but which actually turned out to be a craft beer brewery. Nestled right there in the thick of the country. Everyone loves craft beer now. I helped myself to some before leaving, and after I’d somehow miraculously found a real gas station out there. It was a decent laid back afternoon once I settled the gas thing. It’s good to be able to go outside and enjoy this stuff again now.
I’ve been enjoying the new Sarah Shook & the Disarmers album, ‘Nightroamer.’ A great breezy country record that draws in all sorts of influences. It’s cathartic and seems to have a feeling of hope. And this Beach House album that’s just come out is good. A light listen like you’re immersed in a cloud.
And I’ve started thumbing through Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn collection of short stories again. It’s a killer collection of dark Western-styled stories, all with achingly great prose, very evocative, putting into words feelings that are complex and specific, luridly detailed places and sensations. Really good.