Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 216 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis







A couple of weeks ago I was doing the happy dance all over this page. Why? Because I had been informed that a piece of short fiction I had submitted had surmounted the hurdles of rejection, revamping, and resubmitting and had been accepted for publication. Come on! All of us who write, live for this. It's that magic of metamorphosis when we go from the ground hugging, ugly bug we start out as, and are suddenly transformed to that creature of the air and atmospheric currents we know we really are. Someone else offers up validation and you are suddenly an AUTHOR !
So there I was, chomping at the bit, awaiting the arrival of the instrument of my transformation, the fetish of all power, the AUTHOR'S CONTRACT !  I waited...and waited...and...What the hell, had I been hallucinating? I went back and checked my email. Nope, there it was. I reread the line about the contract, "sending it out this week...Need to turn it around as soon as possible...blah, blah, blah." Okay, so I'm not delusional.
I e-mailed the editor for clarification. Perhaps something had gone amiss? Maybe, I'd simply misunderstood. And I waited...and waited...Finally I resorted to what the Internet is good for and I tracked down an alternate means of contacting my contact, only to find out that said same contact had left the publication for, "Other commitments". Go ahead, tell me you all didn't just collectively think, "Uh-oh".
Well, hey, editors and such move around with mercurial fluidity these days. Just hang tight, because, he assures me, the re-branded vehicle has real promise. Uh-oh, again, huh? A day later the entire site just disappeared. At this end, Editor and Wife has suggested that it might be because of restructuring, and I really want to believe this, but let me tell you - Inside - Where the ego-monsters live - There's a rending of hair and a tearing of clothes going on you wouldn't want to actually see.
So, what do you do? If you're me, you leave the story you submitted where it is, but you hedge your bet by realizing they never said, "No multiple submissions". I tend to be a loyalist, until I have to track people down for simple answers. Which is kind of the gist of this little rant-a-thon. If you're operating an e-zine, or an honest-to-god, hold it in your hands publication - or you have enough ambition to do it both ways, have a little consideration, please.
Some of us have been around a while and have survived by developing cooperative natures and thick skins. A little consideration might be commensurate here. If you're sitting on a pile of submissions and your empire collapses, then send out notification to the people who are waiting and patiently believing you have their interests in mind, not just your own. Especially if you have told people their work has been accepted. This is the electronic age, and some of us are ready, willing, and able to toe the line with you. We put out teasers and do a lot of the lifting with blogs and other social media so that we can all succeed together. A curt, but timely, sorry about that, isn't too much to ask. But that's just my perspective from being in this game longer than some others have been alive.
And so, I sit back down at the typer. There's a poetry submission I've been meaning to put together. There is also a rewrite that the Editor and Wife and I have been kicking back and forth. Like I said, this isn't my first time around the block and the best cure for the screaming dammit's is just more work. If you play the game of numbers, the opportunity will come around again. Time takes the edge off the hand prints on your face.
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
Dane F. Baylis
Standing in the back
Of the Cambridge Street Laundorama
Yesterday's "Boston Globe"
Draped from the waistband
Of my underwear
My modesty
Guarded by the world's tragedy
Reflected in the porcelain and chrome
Of this coin operated confessional
Where a city
Washes away its stain
And everything I own
Tumbles over itself
As wrinkled and damp
As the fat old woman
Who is holding my clothes
Hostage for a back rent ransom
Because I cannot get drunk enough
To do like the fey young men
Who live upstairs
And work off their debts
In her creaking bed
Then rush to the communal bathroom
To wash away the memory of that tariff.
We're really not so different
I guess
Washing our agony
In sacraments of Clorox
 And poetry
And writing
A fat old woman's phone number
On a laundromat wall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
Want to follow or subscribe to this blog? There are gadgets for that on the right side of the page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

No comments:

Post a Comment