Monday, February 7, 2011

Outside that Comfort Zone


During the past week, I’ve received two rejections on my poems, signed up for a leisure learning course in Houston, won $100 and mentally packed for our move to Mississippi (early next month). Here’s the skinny:

Remember the rejection on my haiku that said 5-7-5 isn’t desired and that I tend to tell? Well, I rewrote some of those poems and created a couple of new ones only to receive the following from the same editor:

“Thank you for giving me an opportunity to look at these. Unfortunately I have not selected any of them for the upcoming issue. Though you don't want to "tell all," you need to tell enough to give the reader an idea of what you felt. I HAD TO SMILE. EVIDENTLY I’VE GONE FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER. I’M PRETTY GOOD AT THAT. These seem rather disjointed . . . and I don't know what to make of them. THIS MADE ME SAD. I REALLY LOVED MY NEW CREATIONS. STILL DO. The best haiku use concrete imagery to convey an insight or emotion. I suggest again that you read the essay on our website (I’VE READ IT TWICE) and study the sample poems from past issues of ________. I’VE STUDIED THE SAMPLE POEMS ON THEIR WEBSITE. I LIKE SOME OF THEM. DON’T UNDERSTAND SOME OF THEM. SOME SEEM DISJOINTED. I would be glad to hear from you again during the July/August reading period for the fall issue.” SO… SHE’S GIVING ME ANOTHER CHANCE. I HAVE TIME TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE MODERN HAIKU. I FEEL CHALLENGED.

In the meantime, I’ve done a thorough search and found 20 haiku markets to investigate. Wish me luck.

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I’ve signed up for Photography--Breaking Into the Magazine & Calendar Market. The class is in Houston – one day-leisure learning. You know I love taking classes of all kinds. I’ll tell you about this one later. Should be fun and informative. The instructor is Kathy Adams Clark.

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Last week I entered a contest offered by Writer’s Relief, a submission service. They invited videos telling their readers and potential clients how much we love their e-publication. I’ve never used Writer’s Relief as a submission service, but I get their great newsletter and I go to their site often to check market info and read their articles. I've relied on their tips and market/contest info to share with Bayou Writers' Group when I was prez. And years ago I even tried to become one of their editors. They sent me a test to take but I didn’t make the grade. Tough test. That hasn’t hindered my love for their free stuff. Check HERE for anthology submissions. Check HERE for contests. And check out the videos too. Hubby shot the video--several times and I just got worse with each one. I was so nervous my voice quivers but It was fun—and scary. Since it was a team effort, and we won a prize, we're going to split the $$ and head to Half-Price Books. As if we need one more book in this house!

I’ve never done anything like this—and probably won’t ever again, but I think it’s good to (every now and then) do things that scare us. Crawl out of our comfort zone.

Do you have a tendency to play it safe? What scares you?

8 comments:

Sylvia Ney said...

Congrats on winning the $100. Good luck with your move - we're going to miss you!

Carole said...

Sorry about the Haiku situation. I look forward to the next installment. This time it should be acceptance instead of rejection.

Congrats on the $100.00 Woo Hoo

I am afraid of spiders. (I don't think you were really going for that, but there you have it.)

Charles Gramlich said...

yes, congrats on your win. I also think the haiku mags are getting a lot of subs so it may be just that the competition in numbers is huge. As for playing it safe, I'm notorious for that. Pretty much everything in the world of humans scares me.

sunnycalgirl said...

I haven't stepped out of the boat in many ways..It kind of gets old, that comfort zone. I am working on changes this year. For one is finishing up a children's writing course. It is a very big deal for me..

Jan Rider Newman said...

What scares me? Getting on the phone with a complete stranger that I need something from. Writing-wise, I'm scared of sounding like an idiot and using last year's hot plot.

Angie said...

Congrats on the video! Great job! You inspire me, Jess, to always try new things.

Jessie Dyan said...

Congratulations from Reader Between The Covers!! I have chosen you for the One Lovely Blog Award: http://readerbetweenthecovers.blogspot.com/2011/02/one-lovely-blog-award.html

Lauren said...

I'm sorry about your rejection experience. I can relate to what you're feeling. Sometimes I feel like I've writen exactly what an agent/editor wants, but I still get rejected. And when they tell you to read thus-and-so to find out what they want, and you've already read and studied it, like you said, it's even more frustrating.
Good luck with the 20 other haiku avenues that you have found. Maybe those will prove less frustrating. And I can't wait to read about your one day leisure class. I love photography, and I bet that class will be very interesting and fun!