“Mom, let’s just see what happens...let’s do that plan.”
“I like that plan” I tell him, and I do. I like the freedom I’ve discovered of going with the flow. Granted it is not a naked freedom, lying on my back in dappled sun going with the mellow flow. For me, it is more of a white water rapids ride, where I am strapped with helmet, “absolute adult compliance” life preserver, and grippy gloves to disguise my white knuckles clutching my paddle as I get pulled into the ferocious flow.
So, here is my plan. I am taking a year off teaching to stay at home with my two kids. This in and of itself is scary, on so many levels, I think each of those levels may need a post or two to tease out, so I’ll just skip ahead scary decision number 2: to submit something to a competition of publication every single month. I’ll post the first paragraph of my current work in progress here for feedback, because Lord knows, I will need it.
My first attempt was with Glimmer Train, a publication I very much like and recommend. I felt that the category “New Writer’s Short Stories” sounded about right. Especially because this publication only accepts work from yet unpublished writers. Even better, the editors are two sisters. Just the thought of my two sisters makes me want to be part of this venture. My first plan was to distill my entire life saga into 5,000 words. I only had 2 weeks and soon found this might be biting off more than I could chew. So, I started small. I found an old piece, one that I had written as an undergraduate and gotten a generous A- on. I worked on it, made it presentable.
When I had the opportunity for 250 words of explanation or cover letter I was tempted to write, “I know this isn’t good...but this is something I have to do...bear with me. I believe I’ll get better.” I was panic stricken at the thought of actually submitting it but I did it. I paid $15 and put some work (read: my tender heart and soul) out there to be evaluated by strangers. I will post the first paragraph tomorrow for feedback and thoughts. I just wanted to let you know what I was up to and that I am back.