Monday, April 22, 2013

Small victories and crushing defeats

I'll just come out and admit that I've more or less abandoned this poor, fledgling blog over the last six months. But it is not forgotten! In an effort to revive Word Drop Soup, I might as well update everyone as to what I've been up to lately. I am currently taking an intermediate fiction class, which has allowed me to churn out a fair amount of creative writing. I've completed two short stories, entitled "Glow in the Dark" and "Yellow Jacket." "Glow in the Dark" is about a girl who is spirited away by her older brother and taken on a short road-trip to Roswell, New Mexico, USA,  providing a momentary escape from their overly protective mother. "Yellow Jacket" is about a young boy's experience with the sting of first love--literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, I will be seeking publication for both pieces, so I will not be posting them to the blog for your reading pleasure (though I can always e-mail you a copy if you request it).

I have also made a pact with a wonderful friend of mine to write the majority of Boot Hill this summer. He is writing his own, incredible post-post-post-apocalyptic novel(la), and I am over the moon excited by what he'll produce. So be on the lookout for tiny snippets from Boot Hill as I write, starting in the first part of May. I hope to get a lot done, no excuses.

This semester at NAU has easily been the most difficult so far. I've barely had time to sleep much less write for anything other than academic pursuits. I've clocked in more than 125 double-spaced pages of analysis and creative writing during the semester, though I'm happy to say that most of the intimidating deadlines have passed.

I am honored to be the recipient of Northern Arizona University's 2013 Charles E. Bull award, recognizing the best short story and the best poem submitted by an English major or English graduate student. I submitted what you guys would recognize as "The Record Keeper," and one of my professors, a member of the Board of Scholarship for the English department, informed me that she had to speak up and vouch for the quality of my writing because her colleagues doubted my work could have been written by an undergraduate. I'm not sure whether that's an insult or a compliment, alas! The award is more or less a scholarship that can be used toward my tuition. Every little bit helps.

In the not so successful department, I sent out "The Record Keeper" to at least eight literary journals as of January 1, 2013, and I have received all eight rejections back. I am going to try again with some lesser known journals; I think I was aiming a little high the first time around. I'm starting to become immune to the stings of rejection, which is giving me a tough skin. I've printed out every rejection letter and I will be posting them around my room as reminders.

That's about all I have to update. I'm so sorry if I have cut off communication with any of you; I'm hoping you will be understanding and that we can resume after the semester is over. How is everyone? Does anyone still read this blog? :P

6 lived to tell about it:

Anonymous said... Reply

I like keeping rejections. They're not reminders of failure — they're challenges that must be answered. I hope this round of submissions goes better and congrats on the award!

shaun el-ters said... Reply

I dooooooo. So in the post-post-post apocalyptic novel(la), is it so post apocalyptic that it's not post apocalyptic anymore? Or is that a better question for the author....

Anonymous said... Reply

That award is crayzay!!!! I'm so proud of you ;-; It is def a compliment that they doubted an undergrad could write it.

And don't sweat the rejections, though I can see you already aren't. And don't limit yourself to just smaller journals: just submit everywhere.

<3 Miss you.

Michelle W. said... Reply

@shaun el-ters You nailed it, Shaun. :)

Michelle W. said... Reply

@jweberle Thank you for the encouragement and congratulations, Jonny! It's always nice to hear from you. I trust all is well? :)

Michelle W. said... Reply

@kyliebyrd KYLIE! I just checked your blog for the first time in months (when there was a lull and I thought you'd quit updating for good) and you've been busy! My god. I have a lot to catch up on. lkjsfd How are you? I miss you too. :(

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