Saturday, August 19, 2017

Novel Musings and rejections

I'm back to my old blog.

Musings and novel updates...slow going, years (close to three total now) and each page, each of Sylvie's entries, continues on, evolving. It is consuming, and it seems to be a part of me, always there like a close friend.

I'm still convinced it may just be too quirky for mainstream publishers and so I will try smaller ones more apt to consider works that are literary, not so much plot driven. I'm almost halfway there, but the opening pages, I've spent painstaking hours on as these, will be the first ones to catch the agent's eye, and these pages will either seal the deal or get it rejected.

I may submit another excerpt. Speer Morgan, Editor of The Missouri Review (TMR), to whom I grateful and always impressed, referred to it as a "close call" and wanted to see more of my work, even provided a brief critique.

This story is what I call a "close call." It's quite well written, coherent, with two strong personalities and a meaningful friendship that is convincingly described.

The reason that I am going to pass on it is that it brings up too many questions without enough suggestions of final focus or meaning, and because I think that it's conversational form is finally not the strongest way to present it. Potential themes are ageing, unlikely friendship, feminism (in a specific historical context), relationship demise, etc., but none of them is finally circled around or strong enough in thematic focus.

Anyway, you are a fine writer, and I hope I see more from you.

Speer Morgan
It may seem pathetic, but affirmation from Speer Morgan is big for me and this is a high grade rejection. I'm close. If I get a story in a top tier magazine such as TMR then I get more visibility and greater chances of securing an agent for my novel. I will start submitting another round in the upcoming days.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Crabbing on the Jetty and Simone DeBeauvoir

“I’m not kidding Thomas.  Knock it off!” The girl screamed and her face turned a beat red, youthful, heady. Sylvie felt the girl’s angst well up inside herself like desire, as the girl grabbed part of the boy’s shirt, but at the last moment, he’d slip away. Sylvie felt it too, the give of the material, his shirt, the tug, the yanking, the pulling away, the futility of it like crabbing on the jetty, the way the crab slinked out from between the rocks, fast, undaunted, lunged onto the pink mussel. She’d yell got it, and there was Dennis, jeering, the way older brothers do, peering over his thickly splayed blond bangs, admonishing, and the crab was there, on end of her string, and she’d try to heed her brother’s past warnings to wait, not to bring the string up too soon, and she’d feel the tug and she wanted to listen to Dennis, but something inside her made her yank it up too soon, and the crab let loose and retreated back behind the rocks. Dennis was unmoved, as if he expected it, eyes on his own hole, his orange bucket filled with crabs scratching to get out, and there he sat, empowered, indifferent to the crabs, their suffering, and hers, full of himself, what Simone De Beauvoir called male pomposity, waiting for her to slip, knowing no amount of clawing could make him budge, knowing she was a girl, destined to botch the crabbing and it was all a precursor to her later failures at college and marriage and motherhood. She was never good at catching crabs because she was a female, she determined later, she was more sensitive, empathized with the crabs, imagined it was herself being dragged out of her home, tossed into a bucket, baked in the sun. She loathed the crabs for that, for their weakness, their inability to get out of the bucket. She loathed herself for caring and failing.