All posts by jverostka

A Whole New World

Funny that I haven’t been posting. I’ve often thought that having an author blog when you are an unpublished author is a bit like being a stage actor who is expected to keep the audience entertained by standing in front of the curtain doing whatever comes to mind until the play is written. In other words, a bit absurd.

So, I actually have some news, I’ve known about it for a while and I’m only just now here. Yesterday I deposited a small check from Stupefying Stories for a story currently posted on their blog. I have a piece coming out in the Spring edition of New Myths. I’ve laid out a chart to keep awareness of the work I have out right in front of me. I’ve recognized a grammatical flaw to which I am prone and am correcting it. Things are coming right along.

Like a lot of people, I spent more of the past year compulsively reading the news and unable to focus on much of anything else than I would have preferred. I guess the shock is subsiding to manageable proportions.

Let’s hope it stays that way.

Hello Blogsite My Old Friend

The winds of change are certainly blowing. On a macro scale, I’m sitting here wondering if Civil War II is about to break out around me after tomorrow’s election. On a micro scale, things are changing here too.

All of those plans I had to expand and add features to this site – maps, short works, charts and creative patterns – are going to get the support I need in only a few months.

Regardless, things are about to get very exciting.

 

 

Quo Vadis

I came not to add to this blog, but to bury it — or at least, put it on official temporary hiatus.

Wow, it’s kinda dusty here.

Some of the reason for that is that I do answer to a lot of demands over the end of the year holidays.  Some of the reason has to do with adjusting to a very different life – the proverbial “empty nest”.  Some of it is plain old “blank page” syndrome.

Writing has been a bit flat lately.  I have none of the fire I did last year.  Some of that is probably because I am working  through grief. On the other hand, when I do write, I think the work I do is better than before.

There is no way around the fact that, as a shy person, I still have to overcome a lot of hesitation about putting myself out there. Even if “there” is “here”, which, at this point in time, might as well be a room all by myself anyway.  The more I post, the easier it gets; I’ve known this for an age.  So, I have been trying to post every day to Facebook. Silly stuff, whatever is on my mind, pictures, serious stuff – just for the practice.

Which means I don’t need this site as much until – whenever.

But here I am, rambling on anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anniversaries

 

I have a birthday in another day or so. Not one of the big ones, with a zero, but I can’t help but remember the last big one.

It landed me here.

All I did was muse a bit over what I had accomplished with the time I’d used up and what I really wanted to accomplish with the time I had left.  I wanted the writing talent in my family to flourish and I came up with a plan.

We could read to each other, on Sundays, put a log on, make some tea and knowing you’d have an audience could serve as an incentive to make time and finish something.  Eleven-year-olds, for the record, exist to point out flaws in plans like that.

“But Mom, you don’t write.”

“I’ll come up with something.” And I did. And I didn’t stop. But the original motivation? It was to encourage them.

And here I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Stock

So, here we are.

There’s time to take a look at my goals.

Story every week? No. At least one for every month? Yes.

Blog Posting? Not too bad, could be better.

Reorganization of site? No. Too much going on. There’s a lot of learning curve in it for me and I can’t yet justify hiring help.

Queries? That’s an interesting one. The truth is, I’m not ready. Five years ago, when I finished my first book, I was so ready to be published. Now, reading the comments of authors who are, I realize that it is a very demanding commitment, not unlike parenthood, not to be undertaken lightly. I’m not ready.

I do however, intend to keep sending out short works. I’ve had enough near hits at acceptance to want to pursue that even more.

So off I go, to send out another piece.

 

 

 

 

 

On the Nature of Time and Tides and Talent

 

I’m sending work out again. I’ve focused some on a longer wip  which has been nagging at me.

My only child will move out in a couple of weeks and I want to spend this time with her.

There is plenty of time to write like a fiend looming in my future.

Marge Piercy wrote a poem called, For the Young, Who Want To.  It has always been one of my favorites.

“Talent is what they say

you have after the novel

is published and favorably

reviewed.  Beforehand what

you have is a tedious

delusion, a hobby like knitting.

 

Work is what you have done

after the play is produced

and the audience claps.

Before that friends keep asking

when you are planning to go

out and get a job.

 

Genius is what they know you

had after the third volume

of remarkable poems. Earlier

they accuse you of withdrawing,

ask why you don’t have a baby,

call you a bum.

 

The reason people want M.F.A.’s,

take workshops with fancy names

when all you can really

learn is a few techniques,

typing instructions and some-

body else’s mannerisms

 

is that every artist lacks

a license to hang on the wall

like your optician, your vet

proving you may be a clumsy sadist

whose fillings fall into the stew

but you’re certified a dentist.

 

The real writer is one

who really writes. Talent

is an invention like phlogiston

after the fact of fire.

Work is its own cure. You have to

like it better than being loved.”

 

Numbers Do Not Lie, But, I Am Not A Number

I’ve counted the number of weeks in the year so far and the answer is twenty-nine. I’ve counted the number of completed stories this year and the answer is nineteen.

I’ve counted the number of days until I leave the offspring at a college dorm and drive away and the answer is thirty-five.

I’ve spoken to my father and it will be another four weeks of physical therapy before he is sure how far his recovery will progress.

I have to make time for the people in my life.

I know what happened; I lost all momentum to the demands that were put upon me by other people this year.

……..I’m back. Just after I typed that, my mate came in to tell me he needed me to hold something for him while he fastened it.  Only a few seconds later, the offspring came in to ask me to help move a shelf as she is re-organizing her room.

Is there anything I can add that expresses the whole cosmic joke better than that?

 

 

 

 

Update

Spending whole days at a hospital and being there for someone going through the ups and downs of the last few weeks of high school have left me rather more drained than I had hoped.

I have still been turning out stories and sending them out as well, if not quite as often as I would have liked.  I ran out of the energy to do the more ambitious stuff this past month.

If I can get in another post next week, I will.