atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3856: Errand day today.

Yep--a ton of errands to run first, and then I get to climb onto the tractor and cut the grass. It's been ten days since I last cut it, and it's been raining and warm, and if I let it go much longer I'll need a herd of goats or a combine to get it down to a manageable length.

The back yard isn't swampy; the ground is wet but not squishy. I think by the time I'm done with my errands the sun will have dried it enough that I can safely cut it without leaving ruts.

Tomorrow I get to start hoofing it to various locales and filling out applications. The past two weeks have been too fraught with anxiety and peril for me to get anything else done, but now it's time to buckle down. Filling out on-line applications has been frustrating and fruitless; most of the places I'd like to work (eg car parts stores) no longer accept written applications, but tell you to go on-line and apply there--and I haven't heard so much as a peep from any of them. Argh etc.

The last two bolts in my quiver are temp agencies and fast food. If I can't get a job in one of those categories--where the prime qualification is that you have a pulse--I don't know what I'm going to do.

What I do know is that I'm f-ing tired of not having income.

* * *

The "idea bag" for writing has been empty.

Since the short story was rejectered I have been trying to think of something to write a short story about, something that would be tailor-made for a knockout punch of a short, something that might put a few bucks in my pocket while I'm trying to find honest work. My attempts at writing stories like that have been abortive at best; the ideas that have come to mind have been too complex for shorts.

It's been two months since I submitted [Release Candidate One] for publication, and so far I have heard nothing--which is not surprising. I am going to be a good boy about it and not take the Marko Kloos route with it until the five-month submission period is up, but I'm coming to realize that may be my only choice, my politics being what they are, and all. *sigh*

Not that I expect [Release candidate one] to end up rocketing to the top of Amazon's SF best-seller list and to garner me an agent and book deal in relatively short order thereafter, of course. (I don't think Marko was expecting that, either.) The book I've written gets universally good reviews, but it gets them from people who like classic SF and not the stuff written by the scalzied manboobs and feminists that occupy SF/F writing today.

Heck, the short story was rejected in part because it read too much like Heinlein, and sadly Heinlein is my primary influence. Most of the reviews of my novel came from people who were Heinlein fans; the one that is not still has a good deal of respect for Heinlein.

What the rejection letter said about my short story was hard to hear because they almost liked it: "In the end, we found we wanted to like this one a lot more than we actually did like it," they said (emphasis theirs). The rejection letter was nicely written and about as positive as a rejection letter can be--and clearly a lot of personal attention was given to both the story and the letter itself, including some suggestions as to what I could do with the story--but unfortunately it didn't help much in the "okay, let's try another one!" department.

So I've been cudgeling my brain, trying to think of something I could write about; I've even dug into the dim recesses of the 1980s, going 'way back into the archives of crud I banged out in my formative writing years in search of some useful nugget that could be shaped into something worthwhile.

And nothing.

Promethean, epimethean, utopian, dystopian--I got nothin', and I got it so hard that even my time-honored method of generating stories--daydreaming before sleep--is providing nothing useful. (Best idea: a little girl discovers Abraham Lincoln, vampire, chained up in a crypt under the White House, and kills him. *Bleah*. Why don't I just write a story about time-traveling Nazis and get it over with?)

It has always worried me that I don't generally get negative feedback on my stories; but then when I submit one for publication I get rejected, which is kind of the ultimate in negative feedback.

There is one instance of someone reading something of mine and not liking it--and he turned out to be 100% correct in his criticism; that novel was about eight hundred pages of wish fulfillment stinkeroo. It's well-written and a good read, but it's not really all that good a story.

Other than that, no one has ever had anything bad to say about my writing...and I can't believe that I'm such a good writer that there's nothing wrong with my stuff. But from there it either descends into proofreading and editing, or full-on insults that aren't meant to be instructive but merely to hurt and discourage.

The latter are easy to ignore because I know I'm good at writing, and generally I can tell when someone is just trying to hurt my feelings. The former is useful, but it doesn't help me get published.

Ah, the joys of being a struggling artist.

* * *

Anyway, that's neither here nor there; I've got errands to run, and I'd better get cracking.
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