Time is escaping me! I can’t believe we are already halfway through the month of July. The last few months in general have been blurred with transition and change – high highs, low lows, the pendulum of luck swinging dispassionately across the landscape of my life.
The end of June saw the publication of one of my stories and also the publication of the first issue of Siren. Both of these endeavors were the result of planning and hard work, and I am so proud of both. Publication is an interesting process for a writer, so I wanted to share a little of this process.
“Tale of the Hourglass” was a story that I first wrote in draft form many years ago. Since then, I have taken it out every once in a while to revise and redefine the story. I knew it was an unusual story – a weird tale, with elements of magical realism. The story had been rejected in the past but I believed in that story; I was hopeful that I would find a place for it. When I found Rose Red Review, I was really excited because they seemed to celebrate just that type of work. I had finally found a home for my story – a great fit between the concept of the journal and the collection of work within.
I have so many stories and poems like this … things I am working on, things I know are good and I want to see published. The hard task of the writer is to find these compatible places. For writers who are different or experimental or exploring new paths and methods of communication, one is also dealing with the resistance from the accepted norm. This is one of the main reasons I started Siren – to create a place in which to celebrate the work of innovative and exceptional artists who deviate from the mainstream. The response to Siren has been very positive, and I am so honored to be a tangential part of it.
Within this time, I’ve also received some rejections of my work, including two rejections of my poetry manuscript. I know the odds, yet I was only able to afford to send it to five places. I was planning on sending the manuscript out again in the early fall, when more places opened up for submissions – but I honestly don’t think I will have the money. I’m still waiting to hear from the other places … I’m still feeling hopeful.
There is a strong reality that the manuscript will be rejected by all five places. I know it wouldn’t be a reflection of the quality of my work. I know that, if that should happen, I should consider other ways of publishing my manuscript. The route I am trying by submitting to these specific places is an academic route, and would help me to secure at least an adjunct position teaching, and possibly an entry level full time position, considering my other publications, education, and experience. Where I am right now … that means a lot to me.
This idea of high and low has extended to my personal relationships as well. Within this time, my lover and I had a series of conflicts. We also attended a wedding together.
The wedding was a grand yet comfortable affair – probably one of the best weddings I have ever been to. The ceremony and reception were held at the same place, connected by path through a sprawling green lawn which lead to the sea. The vows were exchanged in front of a gazebo right next to the water, and the reception hall had huge windows overlooking the landscape. It was a gorgeous place.
But it was the absolute feeling of happiness and joy and love that made this wedding so special. The bride and groom were so happy, and it was truly a celebration of love and friends and family. Children were running through the grass, people were dancing to the reggae band. We were all dressed up, looking good, feeling good. My lover and I spent the day and night together in this relaxed atmosphere, just celebrating love. We talked and laughed. We danced together. We disappeared for a little while and spent some time alone.
During the series of conflicts with my lover, we spent a lot of time talking about what being in a relationship means. I feel that we are all continuously growing and changing, and our wants and needs change as we do. Conflict is a part of our relationships. A love relationship has built in expectations, which come from both ourselves and others. There are also other things that come into play – past relationship experiences, sexual issues, family issues, friends, financial issues, labels, freedoms, limitations, insecurities, and boundaries.
It can be a lot to negotiate. It’s actually making my head spin just thinking about it. The fact is that conflict happens. It forces us to communicate about things. Another way to think of conflict is as another opportunity to grow and expand, to confront things about oneself, to break patterns, to change.
The funny thing is, I’m not a big advocate of marriage. I mean, I think of it as a legal and binding contract. I’ve never had a desire to get married. But something about the wedding was actually affirming to me – that the things we get from being in a loving and sexual relationship are so important, so necessary. There is so much joy and happiness to be found there. And to share love and passion in a healthy relationship with another person can be an incredible source of strength and growth in our individual pursuits and our individual lives.
Ah, mid-July and here I am … stealing time in which to write. The heat is still clinging to the still-humid, still air. It’s very late. The night is dark, ink black with no stars. I’ve already passed into a new day. In a few short hours, the world will awaken, welcome the dawn chorus, and rise with the brilliant, burning sun.