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Notes from the Great Netscape, Day 1:

Remember those days where most submissions were done via snail mail (okay, if you’re not old enough to remember that, don’t tell me!), when you’d spend all morning just waiting for the mail to arrive so you could stand in front of the box with your fingers crossed, just hoping that today was the day you’d get an acceptance? I used to use that anticipation to get work done: “Just write one more page and then you can go check the mail” or “Finish this poem and then you can go see if you got anything.”

The worse was when you’d wait and wait, and finally go check and there was nothing. No, that wasn’t really the worst. The worst was that skinny little envelope, full of nothing but rejection. And then you’d crumple it up and go back to whatever you were doing, sure that tomorrow would finally, finally bring that acceptance you were waiting for.

Of course, that sense of anticipation all changed with the advent of email submissions, which could bring you acceptances and rejections any time of day or night.

However, I noticed today, with this idea that I could only check my email twice a day, that there was that same sense of anticipation, of “just do one more thing and then you can check your mail.” And then you finally allow yourself to check it and you realize something: It’s just like the snail mail process. The chances are good that it’s nothing but junk mail and bills and daily notices and Things That Must Be Done. Like it was today. Nothing that really, really mattered. And yet, when I’m not on a fast, I check it about a hundred times, just waiting for that Acceptance Letter and allowing myself to get all caught up in the mundane things that are actually there. Instead of doing what I should be doing: Which is writing something that will actually increase my changes of getting an acceptance.

So, today brought:

  • First (*Alert* Don’t read any further if you’re squeamish about girl-body things — just jump right to the next bullet point!), I awoke to the back ache and cramps that make me want to do nothing but curl up on bed and eat chocolate and zone out. Lovely timing, and I had a five-minute conversation with myself before I even got out of bed that went something like this:

Crampy Me: “Well that was unexpected. You should be allowed to push it back a day. Stay in bed, watch Hulu. Tell Facebook how bad you feel. Read all the blogs to see if anyone else feels that bad. No one will know.”

Determined Me: “Yes, but I put it on the blog. Everyone will know. What am I going to say, ‘Sorry, I had my period, I couldn’t resist watching “Californication?”‘”

Crampy Me: “Well, yes.”

Determined Me: “Nope, sorry. I put it on the Internet. That means it’s real and everyone’s watching.”

Crampy Me: “Fucking Internet.”

Determined Me: “Exactly why we’re fasting from it. Now, get your ass out of bed and find the Midol and the cookies.”

  • A few days ago, my mail box (the snail mail one) gifted me with contributor’s goodies: The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Vamps, and Seriously Sexy Stocking Filler. Instead of putting them on my shelf for “reading soon,” I actually picked up all three and teased through them. There’s some damn fine writing in each of them. Special favorites so far (all from Mammoth) include: Re-reading Savannah Lee’s “2:04 A.M., Our Hostess’ Second-Floor Walk-in” (which I originally edited for Clean Sheets, and it was awesome to read it again after all this time) and Kristina Lloyd’s darkly spectacular “Such a Special Couple.”
  • Listening to “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” in the coffee shop and wondering if it’s supposed to be creepy or sexy, or just far more innocent than my brain is allowing. Lyric: My heart belongs to daddy, because my daddy treats it so well.

  • I worked on finished a new poem. (Added: Which I’ve decided to post the draft of here. It’s password protected, only because I’ll likely rework it and submit it somewhere. The password is just: shannagermaincuts. Feel free to offer suggestions/comments/crits. It needs some work, but it was fantastic to spend some time writing poetry again.)
  • I worked on my non-fiction book.
  • I finished a fantasy/erotica story and sent it off to my first readers for critique. (Does is say something about me that I almost always misspell “fantasy” as “fantasty”?)
  • I started another erotica story and worked on a literary story that’s been plaguing me for a while now.
  • The Internet was down this afternoon when I went to check my email for the first time. This fact (combined with the fact that it was down for hours), which usually would have sent me into a frenzy of checking, double-checking and stressing about the connection, merely meant that I went back to what I’d been doing (reading, actually) with a sort of zen calm. This was nice. (And is it me, or does this seem like one of those things that make you feel like you made the right decision, one way or another?)
  • I walked for less time than usual, which isn’t something that I expected. My usual goal is to walk for about an hour a day. Today I barely got in thirty minutes, but the cramps and the whining may have had something to do with that.

As Scarlett says, “Tomorrow is another day!”

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

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“At 20, 25, 30, we begin to realise that the possibilities of escape are getting fewer. We have jobs, children, partners, debts. This is the part of us to which literary fiction speaks.” ~Mark Haddon

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