May 2011

Here I am: Reject me.

Note: This is about literary rejection. I’ll save the other form for the memoir.

Last fall I applied for 16 Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Writer’s Reserve Grants. They require submissions directly to publishers that act as third party recommenders. I could have applied for 35. I decided to be selective and save on stamps and large envelopes.

“Read through the list carefully and pick the ones that sound like a fit,” my friend Rachel Zolf, an award-winning poet, told me. “Don’t worry about getting rejected. It’s part of the deal. I’ve been rejected tons of times.”

Eat, love, write – then pray

While writing about writing is still writing I thought I’d describe what else I’m writing. It's a memoir made up of short stories that aim to capture the humour, heartache and universality of changing directions, missing clear signs and making and repeating silly choices. It tracks the adventures and misadventures of my heart, on road and off-road. I know it sounds a bit self-helpish but that’s NOT the intention.

Space – the final frontier

Now that I’m no longer at work where I had my own cubicle I’ve struggled to sort out the geography part of my writing. I live in a tall, thin Victorian house, over a hundred years old with my girlfriend and my two kids. While there are a fair number of rooms, all of them are spoken for.

The truth about technology and me.

I proudly call myself a luddite, laughingly label myself a techno-wiener but really I’m embarrassed by my lack of technical savvy. It’s grounded in a set of fears that run long and deep, a complete lack of interest, and a sense of anxiety and exhaustion that comes over me whenever I am pointed to a set of technical instructions.

Pull up a seat

When I first decided to take a year off to write I figured now there’s something people might be interested in. I should propose to the Globe and Mail, the Star, even the Post, to write a weekly column about the trials and tribulations of one bureaucrat (with A.D.D) trying to get started as a writer. It would be like reality TV, The Biggest Loser, that sort of thing and at the end you’d find out if it worked or not and whether any publisher was remotely interested in what I was doing.

Blue blue and more blue

I can’t believe how upset I am. Couldn’t fall asleep last night. Woke up at the crack of dawn, teary. This is just bad. The conservatives got zero comeuppance. For all their arrogance and tactics they were rewarded. The result is a huge nose thumbing solely to the liberals and the BQ. I can’t even feel happy about the massive surge in the NDP. Jack and Olivia at Stornoway. All dressed up with nowhere to go.