Tuesday’s Theme Music

Began streaming this 1970 song yesterday afternoon during my après-writing walk-about. “For united we stand, divided we fall, and if our backs should ever be against the wall, we’ll be together, together, you and I.”

Although I often get down (trigger a background streaming of Kool & The Gang performing “Jungle Boogie” (1973)) by world events, especially with the rise of white supremacy and a growing impression that large segments of America’s population are concerned about only themselves, leading to a de facto policy of screw everyone else, and the Earth, too, singing “United We Stand” by Brotherhood of Man (1970) lifted my spirits.

Listen. Sing along. Hope.

 

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The Day

the day sparkles

hidden meanings and forgotten truths

reveal themselves

flashes of light

 

the day hums

energy and hope

turning everything

leaves of brightness that speak

infinite possibilities

 

the day sings

high, crisp notes

vaulting the sky

joining the stars

lifting souls

new arenas of thought

 

***

I’m in the coffee shop. I turned and looked out the window. There’s an indoor pool below. Sunshine rebounds off the pool’s waves, catching my attention. Wind rifles through the spring’s full, majestic trees. Sunshine flashes off the leaves as they twirl and bounces off car windshields, stinging my eyes.

I think and I write. Then I look again. Sunshine still lights the day, but its left the pool and the leaves, rendering me amused about looking out the window at just the right moment and angle to see.

 

April Showers

picture April showers of stars at night, 

of singing people and loving sights.

Hopes of April showers of good luck,

keep me going when I feel stuck.

I remember April showers of another time,

when I was young and thought the world would be mine.

I want for April showers when people are less of a dick,

where we help each other

and stop being angry and sick.

On A Beach

embalmed with denigration

drowning in clichés

paralyzed with expectations

frustrated by delays

 

harpooned with envy

mesmerized by guilt

sucked into disappointment

sunken in the silt

 

riding all the waves

hoping in belief

searching for the way

getting stuck on a beach

 

An Uplifting Dream

Last night’s dream felt so uplifting and positive. I remember taking off my shirt and having my abdomen suddenly beginning muscular, showing off an eight pack. Suddenly, everyone was looking at me in admiration. I’m usually withdrawn and self-effacing, but I was happy for the attention and accepted it with grace.

As marvelous as that was, a woman suddenly sought me . I vaguely knew and recognized her. She said that she was back to get a story from me, fulfilling a promise she’d made a few years before.

Delighted, I was completely taken back by the unexpected request. I wasn’t aware of any promise, but I wasn’t about to question it and scrambled through my files for something.

Nothing was ready. I confessed to her, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything ready.”

She said, “Do you have anything that you think is promising?”

“Yes, yes, I have many things partially begun or sketched out.”

“Pick one.”

I returned to my files and began searching. “Okay, I think I have one in mind.”

As I continued searching, she said, “How soon can you get it ready?”

“I’m not sure. It’s going to take some time and work.”

“Get it ready. Finish it. I’m waiting for you.”

The end.

Well, cool. Amazing how something as unexplained as a nocturnal dream can feel so empowering, infusing me with positive energy while it shunts negative energy away.

 

April Showers 1921

I wrote about a new novel that came to me in a dream the other night (“Spinning Up”). One unmentioned aspect was the newly conceived novel’s cover. I saw it in the dream. The cover felt and looked so real and substantial to me that I was nonplussed. The title, April Showers 1921, was embossed gold letters on a silver cover. It seemed so real that I looked up the title to determine if that book already existed. Without surprise, I found songs, books, and short stories called April Showers, but none had the 1921 addition, and none featured silver and gold covers. I seem safe with it.

I’ve worked on April Showers 1921 some since dreaming about it, fleshing out characters, setting, and writing some scenes, but I didn’t throw myself into it. After two days of that, I wondered, why not? I realized that indecision caused by my greatest weakness, over-analysis, was paralyzing me once again.

It’s a familiar scenario. I overthink something. That drains my resources, and I stop making progress until I resolve what I’m overthinking.

Naturally, this paralysis is all founded on a writing issue, specifically — this time — finding an agent for the Incomplete States series. I think I’ve identified several potential agents. I narrowed my search to one lucky agent. I’ve written a synopsis and query letter. That’s where I stopped.

The Incomplete States series employs several styles. In terms of recent books, it reminds me of Cloud Atlas. My series science-fiction infused, but its mostly literary, except the first novel has a science-fiction military noir feel to it. Fantasy flares strong in another book, while yet another has the sensibility of historic fiction.

Yes, I enjoy genre B&B – bending and blending – whether I’m reading or writing it.

On a side note, the great and all-knowing Internet says, don’t mention any of the rest of the series when seeking representation and publication of the first book.

For grins, I hunted down the rejection records for successful writers. I’ve followed this path before, so it’s very familiar to me.

J.K. Rowling. Her Harry Potter series was rejected twelve times, you know. Dr. Suess was rejected twenty-seven times before he found a publisher willing to take a chance on his Cat in the Hat book. The author of  The Martian, Andy Weir, had given up on being published, but kept writing and self-published. When The Martian found success, publishers came running. Kathryn Stockett, The Help, was rejected over sixty times. Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, had twenty-six rejections. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, twenty-two rejections. Twenty for William Goldberg, The Lord of the Flies. Carrie, by Stephen King, was rejected thirty times. Pretty amazing was that Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, experienced over one hundred rejections. After she self-published and had success, publishers came calling, and her novel was made into a movie starring Julianne Moore, who won an Oscar for her performance.

There was also Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, over five times, and Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, rejected one hundred twenty-one times.

Reading about these rejections is invigorating and inspiring. You gotta have hope, optimism, belief, and determination. You gotta keep writing for the love of writing.

Writing about my paralysis cleared matters up and broke the log jam. (I now have a featured image of logs floating through my mind.) I’m ready to submit. (Ha, ha, I love how that can have multiple meanings.) All they can do is say no, right?

The day is full of promise. I got my coffee. Time to submit, and then write and edit like crazy, at least one more time.

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