The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

“All Glory is Fleeting…”

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“For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph – a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: That all glory is fleeting.”

~From the film Patton (1970).

It’s been a while since I checked in, though there is good reason why I haven’t that I may share at a later time.  Been busy.  But the last I checked in, I was promoting my latest story, “Public Education.”  It’s been nice to hear a lot of positive feedback from friends and such, and nicer still to register another publication credit on my writing resume.

As far as publication goes, I found out about three weeks ago that I have two poems coming to publication this winter.  I’ll share more about them when the time comes, though I’ll share at this time that I’m just through the roof with these recent successes–especially the poems.  I’ve been laboring for some time now for some of my poems to come to legitimacy, and to have two taken at the same time is a good benchmark for where I am.  Plus, I’ve been reminded that being published is great motivation to keep writing.

In addition to all this, I’ve been hoping to score with the personal essay I wrote last winter, but no dice there.  I’ve sent it out to about a half dozen publications, but don’t have any takers.  One of the most recent rejections stated that they liked it, but it would take too much editing (a science professor I know would say it has “irredeemable errors”).  This is to say nothing of the publication for which it was originally intended–they didn’t say anything to me.  They merely went ahead with their publication, and when I got a copy of it and saw I wasn’t in it, I found out that I had been rejected.  But this isn’t intended to be a “poor me” sob story.  Not at all.  After the most recent rejection, I got the story out again and took a look at it and…  well, it’s not all that I thought it was.  I sat down few times and easily knocked 500 words out of it, taking its total length down more than 10%.

This has reminded me why I got out of writing personal non-fiction a few years ago.  It’s tougher to take rejection when the story is a true part of me.  I’ve bled twice for each story, once in its happening and once in writing about it, and having it rejected is akin to a third bleeding.  I found out there’s no need to go through all that.  I don’t feel the same when my poems and fiction get rejected–that’s just “plain old” rejection, and I kinda slough it off.  But going through all this personal rejection wasn’t worth it.  Plus my interests grew in a different direction as I tried to expand my skill set to include fiction.  Here’s the difficult part of all this:  I still have to write personal non-fiction, despite the bloodletting.  I have to keep my skills sharp in that area if for no other reason than for my teaching.  But really, I have to keep pushing myself there so I can feel some sense of mastery in the genre.  Guess I’ll have to keep at it and take my lumps.  Is there a better way to learn?


Written by seeker70

December 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Lookin good Burd! I too went the less personal route of trying to publish my joint research with my wife, to give my more personal submissions and my sanity a break for a while. I sure wish I could bleed 500 words out of my latest rejection without feeling gutted too, but then that would be admitting to those “irredeemable flaws.”

    Joel David Hutson

    December 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

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