Sabbatical Update

“A writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”

- John Steinbeck

Oh my, an embarrassment of riches, enough to make the most seasoned Reluctant Blogger blush! The Business Guy has threatened to write about it if I don’t, so here goes. Deep breath.

Two weeks ago I had one of those lovely, but rare emails of the we-are-pleased-to-inform-you variety from The Dalhousie Review a Canadian literary journal, concerning my short story “Daffodils.” I whooped for joy and danced a little jig around the little Garret before coming to my senses with the realisation that “Daffodils” is, in fact, Chapter 5 of Harbour View, my novella. Argh. With heavy heart I thanked the kindly editor for her interest in my story, and explained why I needed to withdraw it from her consideration. She was most gracious in her reply, and I look forward to submitting more stories to The Dalhousie Review the journal in question. It bloody near killed me to do it, but an acceptance is an acceptance, and I was thrilled and flattered by this one, even though I had to say no.

One can dine out for months on an acceptance, at least this one can, and does. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when, just the other day, along came another email of the we-are-pleased-to-inform-you variety, this time from The Wascana Review. My short story, “Guy in a Hoodie,” will appear later this summer in Volume 42, #1. This time I was able to see the little jig around the little Garret through.

These two acceptances come on the heels of my good news from Quattro Books… and there were two short stories published last fall, one in Glossolalia and another in All Rights Reserved… well, as I mentioned earlier, it’s enough to make a girl blush.

All of which is to say, if publication alone is a measure of the success of my writing sabbatical, I’d say five yesses about sums it up.

But it isn’t all about publication. I’m steadily making my way through Draft 1 of my novel, taking great joy in every little bit of progress, and gnashing my teeth at the setbacks; learning how to write a novel, at least this novel, as I go. And I’m reading. A lot. And writing two blogs a week, which I love doing.

All of which adds up to a successful writing sabbatical, I’d say.

So I won’t mention the twenty-odd rejections I’ve filed away over the last eight months. I just won’t.

(The Dalhousie Review)

Categories: General.