I’m Thrown Off My Game Today

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.

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8 comments

  1. Oh Dear, it’s not easy when plans go awry is it? I hate it. I have an idea that had I read those magazines I’d have been starting a bonfire in the garden.
    Maybe you’ll adjust to the new routine and find it suits you better once you’re over this week.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m curious as to which magazine you have. True, the editor is a first-class dummy but whatever it sent in is bound to be published. For someone like me who is scared out of her skin, this may be the perfect place to get my feet wet. After reading your post here, I’d know I’d need to still be extremely careful doing my self-editing.

    My husband has changed schedules on me too in the past. It’s frustrating at first but I did find ways to make the changes work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t want to name the magazine because I don’t want to do anything to affect their business. I will say they publish literary fiction only, which is not my thing. I’m nervous about submissions as well but I bought the Writer’s Market and I’m researching to figure out who I want to send my stuff to. I figure the worst that can happen is I get rejected and I learn what not to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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