Adventures in Overreaching

by Shannon

I’ve been busy. Too busy to update this the way I intended. You see, I’m moving back home, and the past few weekends have been spent driving up to my old apartment and cleaning it out. Next Saturday is the same deal, only with a Uhaul and the nearly impossible feat of navigating my box spring and my sofa out the door, off the porch and down the stairs. The plus side to this is that I still have friends up in that area, so I got to make a head start on my April self-improvement resolution to socialize more. Like many writing types, I have a bad habit of living inside my head, befriending characters and phantoms in place of actual human interaction.

For those who are curious, my resolutions are as follows:

  • quit Facebook
  • meet other writers, and possibly find a writing group
  • write more short fiction
  • submit for publication
  • gain desperately needed social interaction
  • get away from pop culture/watch less television
  • be healthier

I have submitted, and I am writing more. The simple act of deleting facebook has made that infinitely easier. That’s the second reason for my absence. I submitted poetry to three different journals (web based). I aimed too high for the first one and received my first ever rejection letter. I was mildly disappointed that it was a form rejection, as I had hoped for a personal one, but I can’t say it was unexpected. I have two other subs out waiting. Hopefully one of them will pan out! Any kind of publication credit will be wonderful.

I won’t be happy until I have fiction published, though. I have one new piece of short fiction in progress. I have about 1500 words written, give or take, though my direction is iffy and so is the characterization. But it’s a first draft, and it’s the first piece of short fiction I’ve written in a while. I also dug up an old piece from a few years ago. I barely remember writing it–and it’s incomplete–but unlike all of the other dreck that I read through, this one has a bright character and decent momentum. All I really have to do is rework what I had originally intended to be my ending, and then I can begin revising it and see if it really has the potential I think it does.

I was so glad to have found that second piece, honestly. Have you ever dug up your old files of writing from years past? Or even months? It is a truly horrifying experience. Especially for me, because I have impulses and inclinations that, when not managed properly, can be truly awful. Florid and melodramatic, just like your favorite heartbroken screamo band. Just as cringe-worthy, too. I can’t decide if this agony is a good thing–meaning that I have improved enough to see it as truly awful–or if it’s a bad thing, because I’m seeing concrete proof that I cannot write at all.

I’m gonna go with good, for now.

(On a somewhat related note, what is with me writing about kids lately? I didn’t even do that when I WAS a kid, and now I have two protagonists under thirteen! One sixth grade girl, and one six year old boy. I do like challenging myself.)

At any rate, a huge congratulations goes out to my good friend Melissa Dominic! She published a truly brilliant piece of flash fiction at Snake Oil Cure, entitled “A Contortionist’s Love Story.” Go support her, and all of the other wonderful writers there!