|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
1. I am a believer in the never ending process of learning. In that cause I would like to put out an invitation to poets living in the Ventura, California area. Wednesday nights, for the next five weeks, at 7 PM in Ventura at the Vita Art Center, 432 North Ventura Avenue, there will be an ongoing poetry workshop. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your craft and gather with other writers in the pursuit of excellence.
INTO EVERY LIFE AND ALL THAT JAZZ!
NO ONE SAID IT'S EASY
I'm the one over here singing the rah-rah song all the time. So how would it be if I was the one looking at the rejection notice? Let's explore that for a minute.
Never having been one for starting at the bottom, or waiting my turn, I sent off a piece of short fiction to the Iowa Review for their annual competition. Mind you, I am VERY aware that academic competitions are not the same as writing commercial fiction. There is a markedly different tenor and form to this world. Also, when there were over five hundred submissions for one prize, well let's just say, I recognize long odds when I run into them. Throw into the mix that judging in a case like this is bound to be subjective and I wasn't looking at this as a done deal.
But, hey! We all have hopes and dreams. Yours truly is no exception in these matters. All of us would love to see ourselves referred to as, "This Year's Winner of the___________ Award"! If you don't think that way, you're either totally devoid of ego, or you are suffering from the world's record case of third sub-basement esteem syndrome. I hate to break the news to my loyal followers and the casual reader, but I am not, "This Year's Winner." As a matter of fact, I didn't make the final cut. That was worth about sixty seconds of, "Well, shit!"
No, I'm not kidding. The advantage of advanced years and enough times around the block is to realize that it's more of an opportunity for me than a failure. How so? Well, the story's been in the bottom drawer dungeon of my desk since I sent it out and there have been a number of projects between times. Quite a few of these involved submissions of all types, so I wasn't exactly sitting here watching the mail. I'm smack in the middle of a couple of things right now, one of which is yet another short story. So, as soon as that one's done, I'll be able to devote some time to the one that just got rejected.
I'll be able to read it with fresh eyes and a mind sufficiently far removed from the initial heat of creation that it will no longer be a "darling" for me. I'll be able to be far more objective and workmanlike in my assessment and rewriting of the story. My reading of it won't be tainted by my own self-aggrandisement or quite so much self-involvement. I will be able to more finely craft what I have. This is the advantage of distance. The work becomes something written by the me of several months ago, who isn't the same me reading it today. Who knows, maybe this time I'll find someplace to sell this puppy. If not, then maybe next time, because quitting isn't a damned option!
Meanwhile...live, love.write, rewrite, and resubmit!
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Dane F. Baylis