Scribbling

©2022 Michael Raven

I can’t say for certain what is getting into me, but I have a bit of a manic episode going on with respect to writing (maybe it has to do with all the pen & paper stuff getting the juices flowing), although I know much of it has yet to see the light of day. But, I am going to town on stuff and, furthermore, I have little more self-confidence than I have, well, ever had. I’m not saying that it is well-deserved confidence, but I’m feeling more adventuresome these days.

Could it be the new journal cover I bought for myself? I don’t rightly know. The black leather (not “vegan”, but full-grain dead stuff) journal cover just arrived tonight and it is exactly what I wanted when I viewed it online and was hopeful about. Not only does it fit my new preferred size of notebook perfectly, but it looks both awesome and minimalist at the same time. Protective and, yet, soft. And it comes with two soft-cover layflat notebooks to get started with (the decorated notebook is the one I bought in Portland).

In reality, it hasn’t seen action, so I doubt it is the new cover, but I will admit to being excited about having something nice to store my notebooks in while I use them.

Unless you haven’t paid much attention these past few days, you’ll also notice that I’ve started participating in the Twitter hashtag, #vss365. As I explained after one of those embedded tweets, the idea is to use a daily prompt every day, 365 days a year to write a tweet-length bit of story. For a while, I was doing something along these lines nearly every day, but fell out of the habit and I can see the rust flaking on my first two contributions. We’ll see if it sticks, but as I said I intended to get down and really focus my energy on writing and “the old ways”, I will probably have the tenacity to stick with it for a while. I can be a stubborn SOB when it suits my mood and, in this respect, I feel stubborn.

I’ve also decided that I am tired of sitting this one out and think I am finally in the mood to return to submitting my writing to various entities. This is less of a firm decision than the last, but I have every intention of stopping with the passive non-promotion of what I write. Or, at least, not just let it collect mold and mildew in a garage office box.

You see, back when I was doing all kinds of submissions for my writing, there wasn’t much of a market for the kind of stuff I was writing at the time (and continue, largely, to still write). It may have been absolutely terrible writing back in the 90s (hint: it likely was), but the genre didn’t fit in with the glossies, even those with a more experimental leaning, and so I received a significant number of rejection letters for my submissions. Like… Every Single One was rejected as not suitable for the content the publication was promoting. I tried to trigger my stubborn streak by posting the letters on the back of my apartment door so I could see them whenever I left for work, but eventually the trick was self-defeating and I basically gave up submitting anything to anyone after around about 2003-2004. And that lack of drive to get published has reigned since. But, now I can see venues where my style and subject matter might be received well, so I have decided to get back into the “game”.

As such, I decided one of my first forays into submissions will be something on the shadowy side: I think I may look back at some of my poetry (posted and not) of the darker, modern gothic, or neo-romantic variety and try submitting to some of these more receptive places. With that, I am also going to shop around a few microfiction pieces I have of that same type of atmosphere. One of them was a piece I had recently posted (last autumn), Taking Demons, a ghost story of sorts that takes place in a café during a presumptive tinder-like date. I’m fleshing it out a bit, adding more meat to the bones, making it more short– than micro–fiction to fit the submission guidelines I’m considering.

While I am still overhauling the story at the moment, I was wondering if any of you readers would like to give some constructive criticism on redrafted version of the story prior to sending it out for consideration. I’m thinking I would like input from up to three people who visit regularly and who are sincerely interested in giving me meaningful feedback. If you are one of those people interested, please let me know in the comments below. I’ll decide in a few days whom might be best for such a burden, finish up a couple of iterations until I am nominally happy with what I wrote, and then contact those unlucky souls to read and critique the mess I have created. A “gentleman’s NDA” would apply, but I’m not a hard-ass about such things, and you won’t have to surrender your firstborn. Mostly because… I don’t want your firstborn.

Well, considering my body refused to stay asleep since I was about thirteen, I am getting tired and ready to dose up with some Advil in the hopes that I can at least be relatively pain-free for one night. Doubtful, but hope springs eternal.

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