Thursday, January 29, 2009


It's been one of those strange weeks in which I feel the rest of humanity has somehow fallen off the globe.

I usually receive between 30 and 40 emails per day (a shockingly small fraction of them spam). But the past few days those numbers have fallen sharply.

I don't know why.

Maybe I never will.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I read a story in my slush pile this week.


It was a clear violation of the magazine's publication guidelines.

Basically, it was erotica.

We don't publish erotica. We don't publish anything explicit--either sexually or violently--because we all have families who read our magazine, teenage sons who read our magazine.

But that's not all.

This particular author sends in quite a lot of stories, very few of which actually (and coincidentally, it seems) jive with our guidelines.

Please, authors, read the submission guidelines before you submit. PLEASE!

Happy Six

I've been MEMED!

Thanks to Creative A over at Headdesk for giving me a moment to reflect on the things that really matter.

And I'll be tagging some of you out there, so watch out!

The meme rules are as follows:

1. In a blog post list six things that make you happy.

2. Tag six bloggers, give ‘em a heads up, and link to them.

3. State the meme rules in your post.

My Six:
1. Me. Really I'm the only one who can find true happiness for myself. No one, nothing can make me happy without me allowing it to.

So, the other five are things that I greatly enjoy allowing myself to feel a deep and abiding inner peace and joy over:

2. Cuddling with my husband after we've made love. It is then that I feel closest to him, that I feel the most at peace being with him, this man whom I love and honor as my best friend, my hero, my true love.

3. Holding a sleeping child. This doesn't work as well with children that are not my own, and sadly my children are fast becoming too large to hold while they sleep. My youngest is almost ten and her long legs far overreach the bounds of my lap, but I still relish the opportunities I do have to hold her in my arms while she falls asleep.

4. Summer. I have never been a winter person. Summer is an abundance of life and living. It is the sun and full moons and stars in the heavens. It is watermelon and corn on the cob. It is a growing garden and hot lazy afternoons. It is freedom from the tyrrany of winter.

5. Wool socks. I can survive the winter if my feet are warm.

6. Music. What would life be like without it?

6A. So I'm cheating, but I've learned these past few years the value of a humor, of laughter, of a really funny joke, of Brainiac videos on Youtube, of joyful abandon in living and loving and laughing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Careful What You Ask For

So, I've been reading slush.

I'll read slush and catalog it, sending some to one file for rejection, sending some to my reading team. It's seemed like the slush has been trickling slowly this month, until I told Jake I needed more.

He sent me more--and MORE!

Not that I'm complaining. I'm the kind of person who is easily bored, and the kind of person who has a very hard time doing nothing. I even have a hard time only doing one thing at a time. I hate driving because you can't accomplish anything while you're doing it.

I'm also the kind of person who hates waiting, so I've decided to nag Jake every time I'm done reading a batch of stories. I expect that'll result in my reading a lot more stories each month, but I don't mind. I like it. I learn a lot from it. I'm accomplishing something very valuable by it.

Today is my day of rest--the Sabbath. So today, I'll eat, nap, and be restful, for tomorrow I read!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year, New Goals

I have three goals for this year:

One--lose weight. Like no one's ever heard THAT goal at New Year's before. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure how incredibly serious I am about this one. I'm not sure I'm passionate enough about it yet to make it a top priority. I'm already keeping up with my goals to be healthier and exercise more. I ran three 5Ks last year, posting my best time yet on the last one. I'm strong, just not slim. It's just that I feel like my improvement on my running is going to top itself off if I don't lose some weight to compensate. After all, I'm not getting any younger.

Two--improve my relationship with God. I've always been a thoughtful person, just not always a prayerful person. I want to teach myself to keep the lines of communication between myself and God more open, less about myself, more personal, like I'm talking to a loved, trusted, loving friend. That's how it ought to be, I think.

Three--write more. I've written very little since my breakdown, but I am experiencing a resurgence in creative energy. It's being used in a variety of ways, but there are times I feel an overabundance of that energy and just don't quite know what to do about. I don't really know HOW to write anymore, and I feel that I'm going to have to re-teach myself. I've decided to start by rereading all the books that got me the most motivated in the first place. I'll start with Kathleen Rountree's The Writer's Mentor. I found that book entirely by lucky chance (providence, perhaps) when I first started writing. It is truly inspirational.

Beyond that, I'm just not into putting undue pressure on myself. Life is good, laid back, casual, the things that need to get done are getting done, and if the rest doesn't, it's really no big deal. As they say, don't sweat the small stuff. I've learned that lesson the hard way. And if we learn that lesson well it helps us sweat the big stuff with greater ease. It's like walking through a forest. If all the forest has is great big trees, it's an easy stroll. But if we ALSO have to navigate around thousands of little shrubs and boulders and snake holes it makes our journey through the forest a great deal more troublesome, and greatly increases our chances of being thrown off course and getting lost.

So, may your forest floors be clear and smooth!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Fed-up Homeschooler's Wish List

As I've said, we homeschool.

I was lucky enough the other day to find this wonderful video on Youtube that sums up the encounters we have with the general 'non-homie' population.

We laughed all the way through! I hope this gives you a laugh, or at the very least, leaves you better informed.