Maybe, one day…

I spent a substantial part of the morning yesterday revising and polishing the beginning of a short story I began to write a few days ago.  I’ve not written much; so far, I’ve only  reached 950 words and my guess is that it will multiply many-fold before it’s suitable for viewing outside my line of vision.

For a variety of reasons, I am more pleased with what I’ve written thus far than with anything I have written in quite some time.  I don’t know that anyone else will think much of it, but I do.  When I finish it, I may submit it…somewhere…for consideration for publication.  I don’t know where, I don’t even remember how anymore. But I will dust off what little I recall about writing for publication, then update my knowledge, then send it off to have someone pass judgment on it.  Consequently, I won’t post it here as I am wont to do with damn near everything I write (or at least parts of what I write).

What made me think it’s better than my usual drivel?  As I was reading what little I’ve written of this short piece of fiction (it’s a short, short story), I felt myself reacting emotionally to the piece.  So, I figure either I’m getting to a point I haven’t reached before in my writing or I’ve written something that triggers a cheesy, predictable daytime soap response in my brain.

I have to be flip about this; otherwise, things could get ugly.



About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to Maybe, one day…

  1. Juan, I would really love for you to move forward and publish your book: “Part-Time Nation” would be kick-ass jolt to our entire system! If there’s anything I can do to help, my friend, I would not only be honored to do it, but would be delighted to be involved in promoting discussions of what I think is truly an important topic!

    As for me…I’ve considered a book, but my blog posts are so disparate that it would be hard to bring them all together in book form; it will be hard enough to get them melded into an even modestly cohesive whole to post on my site…but I want to try the latter, nonetheless. As for short stories…yes, I know there’s certainly no money there, but I just want this particular piece I’m working on to see the light of day behind the tiny readership of my blog. We’ll see!

  2. juan says:

    I can see what you’re doing, John. Anyone who is into publication should be able to see it.

    Pulling your blog material under a common theme? Your inching towards a book! Do it! Even if you have to self-publish. I think you can self-publish and get your text on Amazon for less than $500 dollars. After that, it depends on the readership.

    I’ve often thought of pulling my unfinished dissertation on “Part-Time Labor” into a book as a “fuck you” to my dissertation committee. I may still do it. Part-time labor is becoming big business, and I’m surprised that newspapers haven’t picked up on this. Yes…we are seeing more labor, but a significant portion of that labor is part-time. I’ve thought that if I continue to work a book in this direction, then I would call the book “Part-Time Nation.”

    I would begin with a history of part-time labor. Then work into a review of part-time labor from the 1950s forward. What do you think?

    You’ll have a tough time at publishing short stories because the market is saturated. I really think that readership is becoming more essay focused these days on realism; hence, the writer does well to focus his writing on essays that address current issues. But, that’s my opinion, and I’m no expert on these matters.


  3. You’re a good friend, Juan, with good advice. I appreciate it and will pay it heed! Thanks, amigo!

  4. juan says:

    Graywolf Press, Hermano! Contests and cash awards with that Press. Also, review the essays in the NYT Lives Column. NYT publishes an essay once a week for the Sunday magazine, most of them from writers looking for a break. No pay, but a publication in that column will get you some variety as well as a mountain of self-encouragement.

    I often use essays from there because they’re fresh, thematic, some even touched with parallels and metaphor.

    Professional Press Publication is the “sanctum sanctorum”; the inner room within rooms of false passages and mirrors.

    My X-wife called me the night after New Years in complete disarray — weeping, sad, lonely and daunted by the fact that no one is reading her material. She self published on one book (vanity press), but the comment of “I read your book” really does become sardonic when the writer has to say “Oh, you’re the ONE” and know it’s true. She’s published in other journals — on feminism and atheism — but few have read the pieces.

    She sobbed to me, “Oh, Juan, I write and write some of the best, thoughtful material (and she really does), but I get faced with rejection and the fact that millions are watching some goofy shit on Youtube or Facebook.”

    What / how does one respond to the face of this? I laughed, and I laughed loudly. 😉

    While that might sound harsh, I knew she would soon laugh too, because the banality of our culture is so overwhelming it reeks of existential rotten fruit.

    So we laughed together. Writers have to laugh, too. They especially need to laugh!

    In the face of the challenge – and whatever comes your way — you have to continue. It’s what I said to her between chortles and what I say to you, my friend!

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