Hearts & Hangovers

Happy Monday-after! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend, full of love and romance and sex [I vaguely remember having that once, okay twice that we can prove]. The hearts and pink/red decor have been all over the stores since 12:01 a.m. on Christmas morning and right about now WalMart workers everywhere are putting out Easter candy. Time to move on… sorta.

So what does a newly divorced chick have to say about Valentine’s Day? Not much. But I wouldn’t have had much to say any other year either. It was never a big deal in our house [much to his relief, I’m sure]. And as the calendar would have it, the kids were at their dad’s this year, so it was just me here for the market-it-to-death-and-make-men-everywhere-feel-guilty holiday.

I bought myself some lovely flowers… they brighten the room up and help me remember winter won’t last forever. Had steak and shrimp [nope, no soup]. And worked my fingers to the bone. I finished a new short story, worked on the novel [researched the HELL out of things and had a good time with it. I LOVE when a character just comes to live for you!], and fed several polished pieces to the submission monster [he really needs to brush his teeth, the slime is getting funky]. I had music going and didn’t have to get my mood/taste approved by anyone, drank more coffee than some small towns do in an entire year…

And remembered that love isn’t purchased in a store or offered up once a year in obligatory fashion. It’s something inside. It’s something you own already.

And for those of you who have found someone that you let share that glow, great! But for those of you that haven’t, don’t worry, just remember… it’s not that we don’t have anyone to love, it’s that we don’t have to share our sunshine with anyone else—we can be stingy and keep it to ourselves. Because in the end, if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never ever be truly able to love anyone else. So far I heart me and everything I’m finding under the layers, and I didn’t need an official holiday to find that. Now if I could just get the smell of onion off me… someone pass the lemon juice, that usually works! [Next holiday… green beer! The strangest idea since pickling perfectly good eggs]

Oh, and for anyone that may have missed by random weekend update, I have a new message board courtesy of Brian Keene… come on over and play!!

Where’s Waldo?

More importantly, where are you? Specifically, where are you reading this from? Why? Because it’s Coffee Talk time! This week we’re all about the social networking…

So, one more time, where did you read this? I use a plethora of so-called social networks and crosspost to all of them. I know a few people read it on one thing and then respond on another [because they like to be difficult], but I’m wondering in general not just for me, but for you. Where is everyone? With the number of places to choose from, you could be online the same time as your own children and be in two different areas.  I post this to my website/blog. It then crossposts to myspace, live journal, facebook and twitter. Do you have those? Do you have other ones? Which ones? And which one do you like the best?

Me? Depends on my mood and what kind of trouble I’m up to. Facebook allows me to play scrabble with friends in Canada. MySpace is like a massive connect-the-dots game across friends and friends of friends and friends of friends’ cousin’s third neighbor to the left. Live Journal is like mini message boards when you start posting on each other’s thoughts. And Twitter, well, other than giving me a good giggle just when I need it [because my friends are all insane and Twitter allows me to watch them act that out] it also has a fun new “member”: Thaumatrope—a fun little tweet-zine that currently has three of my “uber shorts” scheduled to run in January and February.

So… where are reading me from? Which ones do you use? And do you like your coffee with cream, sugar, both or black?

Rejections, Growth and Suckage

There are rejections and then there are rejections… There are form rejections, there are constructive rejections, and there are those rejections that say something wonderful like, “As is often the case it was not an issue of quality, but more an issue of limited space. Please do not consider this a ‘rejection’.” Of course, that last one will make you smile while you declare “damn” under your breath, but it is still exactly that—a rejection.

But rejection isn’t a bad word. We get “rejected” all the time and don’t slit our wrists over it. Didn’t get that job interview? Oh well, try again. Didn’t get that loan? Oh well, maybe in another six months. Got dumped by that person? Oh well, lots of fish in the sea. Rejection happens, repeatedly, throughout our lives, and we deal with it just fine in every other avenue, so why not with our writing? That’s my philosophy.  That’s part of the make-up in my stubbornness.  Take from it what you can, but suck it up and keep going.

And while it’s all well and good to be able to deal with rejection, sometimes there’s a little something-something that comes with it. Some key thing the editor didn’t say, but maybe your gut did, or that tiny voice that screams out occasionally from the back of your mind. And that’s what I got early last week.

I have a rule: nothing sits over night.  If it was a ‘positive’ rejection, it goes back out immediately.  Constructive may require some tweaking, and that gets done immediately.  But every once in a while, as I look over what’s coming back and needs to go out again, I realize that what I sent out sucked. But it didn’t suck when I sent it… I can only believe that it did indeed suck, but that as we grow as writers we learn the difference between thinking everything we write sucks, and knowing that we’ve changed enough that something really does suck. This wasn’t the lack of confidence suck. This was the slap in the forehead oh-my-god-I-let-someone-read-this-what-the-hell-was-I-thinking type of suck. And for that, I’d rather have a rejection than have something that truly does suck get published.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to de-suckify this short story, apologize to anyone I made read it, and see if I can’t find it an appropriate home…

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