The Thrill of Rejection & A Monster Calls

The Thrill of Rejection

I finally swallowed my pride, held my breath, and submitted a short story to a publication. It was promptly rejected, and rightfully so. I have a lot of growing to do as a writer still, but one step I needed to take was putting the work out there. I’ll continue subbing the story to publications I enjoy, and who knows; maybe one of them will take it.

I tallied all my words since the new year, and in April I’ve surpassed the 60,000 mark. They are spread out between a handful of unfinished stories, and five completed ones. 60,000 words by April may seem like a lot (and yes, it is), but that averages out to only 625 words a day. I tend to write between 1500-3000 words in any given sitting. That means I’ve had far too many days of no writing than I’m happy with. Had I been more disciplined, I could have double that amount. My goal for the rest of April is to aim for 1000 a day, every day. If I go over, fantastic! But if I don’t, then at least I’ve gotten my practice in for the day, and that’s what really counts at this point. Practice, practice, practice.

A Game of Thrones

Season two of A Game of Thrones has started, and I am thrilled. I adore this show. They have done an amazing job of transferring such a massive story to television, and I can’t wait to hit more of my favorite scenes.

For the premiere, Nathalie and Hattie prepared a massive feast for our friends who came to watch.

The menu:

  • Westerosian white bread
  • Dornish cheese flight of fancy
  • Vale of Arryn summer berries
  • The Hound’s cured pork belly
  • Dothraki horse and goat jerky
  • Ghost’s roasted chicken
  • Pentoshi stuffed mushrooms
  • Theon Greyjoy’s white wine mussels
  • Sansa’s cranberry walnut tart
  • Arya’s lemon cakes
  • Night’s Watch breakfast loaves
  • Baratheon boar ribs

Yum!

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

“At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting— he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.”From B&N’s Overview

This book showed up on as recommendation on my Nook Touch a few weeks ago. I had never read anything by the author, Patrick Ness, or Siobhan Dowd, who’s idea the story is based. I was drawn in by the cover and by the large number of positive reviews on B&N’s website so I bought it right away.

I read it in a single sitting, and admit I was crying like a baby by the end. It’s a great story about how children cope with unfortunate life events. If you are looking for a powerful yet fast read, I highly recommend it.

 

Here we go again

RAVENS

At some point over the last four years I’ve developed a love for football. More specifically, a love for the Baltimore Ravens.

My friend Peter Shipley is to blame. His passion for the game and for the team unconsciously seeped into my brain as we got to know each other, culminating this week with a pact between the two of us; a Fu Manchu pact. We will be sporting the facial masterpiece, a la Joe Flacco, for this weekends playoff game against the Patriots. When we win (yes, WHEN) I will continue to wear it proudly until the last play of the Super Bowl. Additionally, Nathalie and I dropped the coin and picked up Ravens jerseys. I went with Terrel “Ball so Hard” Suggs, the nightmare on two legs. It’s going to be a hell of a weekend.

Writing

I set a strenuous goal for myself this year; one new short story every week. Since the new year I have written 20,000 words divided between three stories. Can you read them? Absolutely not. They’re bad, and I mean really bad. But, that’s the point of this entire goal. By the end of the year I’d like to be able to say that the stories are not as bad as they used to be. Practice. Practice. Read. Practice.

Reading

I’ll conclude by recommending the short story Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls by Brian Hodge. It was included in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol. 22. It’s a strong example of how effective it can be to reveal important details slowly over the course of a tale. I read it on Monday and it’s haunted me all week.

And finally, I am simply tittering in anticipation of Game of Thrones season 2. April 1st can’t come fast enough.