The title and the picture sums it up. I had a lot of plans for the day, well not specifically for this day but for every day this week. Nothing has gone according to said plans.
My daughter has a late start at school today due to standardized testing. This meant no workout for me this morning. I was shocked at how upsetting it was. I plan to go when I take her after lunch but it’s messed with my head.
Also, this is the first Thursday in a very long time my husband isn’t home. His schedule changed at work, including days off. I tried writing but my muse is hiding in a corner sucking her thumb and insisting Thursday is NOT a writing day. Tomorrow could be the same since he was previously off then too.
Another throwing off factor was some lingering disgust with a popular weekly national magazine yesterday. I got a subscription a while back because I’ve always heard they published one good piece of fiction every week. As I am looking to submit some short stories to various places I thought it would be beneficial to read the types of stories they pick. Call it research if you will.
The problem was I had surgery and wasn’t reading anything. I had 15 issues stacked up and while doing some cleaning/organizing I decided to start reading them when I got tired and needed a sitting down break.
I opened the first one, which was the newest issue, found the story and began reading. When I got a paragraph containing this description: “Where her eye part and mouth part met…” I almost threw it away. Instead I kept reading, hoping there was some reasonable explanation for the way this person wrote. I only found myself more disgusted and a little outraged. I hate to criticize another writer but it was awful. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to rant too much.
Even worse, whoever the editor of the magazine is allowed it to be published. It must have been a fluke, I thought. So I picked up the next one. The first paragraph of its fiction piece had eight sentences starting with the word ‘he’ and five instances of the word ‘that.’
I know damn well I’m not a perfect writer but come on people! Do they not have a proofreader? Who the hell is their editor anyway? If I submitted something to this magazine and got a rejection letter I would probably frame it!
Still, I kept trying. It got worse. One of the stories started with (and this is not an exact quote because I’m not going to dig in my trash can): The trees along the street that every spring bloomed purple flowers had bloomed purple flowers.
I threw that issue. For the record, I don’t throw things when I’m angry but for a moment I understood the people who do. It was the final straw. Technically I had paid for nine more issues but I got on the computer, went to their website and cancelled. I laughed out loud when a screen popped up asking if I was sure.
Ugh! I wasn’t going to focus so much on that stupid magazine but clearly I’m still disturbed by the whole thing. My takeaway is always read a few samples or twelve of any magazine you plan to submit a story to. One will not do.
The rest of the day has potential. As mentioned, I’m going to work out after I take my kid to school, then go to a coffee shop or something and try to write. I won’t have much time because my husband gets off at four but I need to try. Maybe having a ‘deadline’ will be advantageous.
My kid is playing a keyboard in another room as I type. Perhaps you can see why this blog post is all the writing occurring this morning? Did I mention she only began learning a few days ago? It is a loud reminded that this is the last month of school…
Eventually I’ll adjust to all these new schedules but there might be a few more posts like this one between now and then.
The picture was taken by me. The banana peel is patiently waiting for me to slip on it, I can tell.