The Jarnal III : Transitions

Clashing Goals after Making Bellows

What do you do when your goals conflict? You’ve asked yourself that before, haven’t you? As an activist, artist, acrobat, airplane designer, or by whatever term you use to describe yourself. (Human being the all-encompassing reality, but a) how generic and b) I shan’t digress…)

My 1st world, white woman problem is that I told myself and others that my goal this year was to have 25 submissions out at all times. As of the most recent, gorgeous, informative Sunday morning, I was down to seventeen. Twenty if I count the In-Progress or Received entries on Submittable, one of which will soon turn 7 years old. It’s getting a cake this year. I’ve already brought unicorn ear and horn birthday candles and a tub of chocolate frosting for the big day.

So, I have failed with that goal before the month is out. Part of me knows I can get right on that; sending out roughly ten submissions is not exactly easy, but it is doable. I scratch my ear and reason that if I averaged submissions like banks averaged daily balances, I’m probably still at 25 a day, but my calculator doesn’t know how to do that kind of math.

Inspired by Rory of Gilmore Girls which I’m binge watching again, I made a list. A mental one. (I wanted to go with “I went mental …on a list” but it isn’t that funny, I mean, it’s so unfunny, I’m explaining the idea of the unfunny joke I didn’t even tell – it’s that bad. It reminds me of the little skit Paris Geller the guy she ended up marrying did when they switched editorships.) (I’m not that far in the series yet, but it’s close.)

It wasn’t a list either, more an assessment of desires and priorities. Thoughtful reflection, long walks in the woods, meaningful deliberation. Psyche! I watched some TV and realized it didn’t matter if I did or did not have (or keep) 25 things out. If all my ready pieces were accepted at once then I’d be in a pickle, wouldn’t I? Yes, I do know that is called rationalization and I mixed it with a little wishful thinking, but you know what? I have had two acceptances this year already and I hope you’re half as excited as I am!

The wonderful, gracious, amazing Laura Black accepted one of my pieces for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February! It will go live on Saturday 4 February 2023 so check it out – as well as the rest of the month’s posts – some of the most interesting things I read all year are in this series. Be sure to especially check out Nina Fosati’s piece which comes out on the 24th!

On top of that, the amazing, gracious, wonderful Tara Campbell and Michael B. Tager of Mason Jar Press have also accepted a piece of mine. The original story was written back in ancient times and was titled “Two Wrens for a Farthing,” then “What Isn’t Silk” – which I kept when I sent it out recently. I reworked that thing laboriously, had the fantastic Nina Fosati look it over for nits, retitled it and sent it the first day of the submission window for The Jarnal. I am seriously thrilled it was accepted – and the suggested edits were minimal. (Such relief and happiness!) Now, secretly, I jump up and down every so often when I remember I’m going to be in this print anthology! I still can’t believe it. Occasionally, I squeal. It scares one cat, concerns the other. The Jarnal III : Transitions, edited by Tara Campbell with managing editor Michael B. Tager will be out in May.

So, I’ve got that going for me, holding up that rationalization, which led to another where I downgraded the goal into an aspiration; I do want to get back to it, and will, but right now, well… I’m working on a novel.

Do you know how loathe I am to speak such a thing – even if it’s only in my head, or now, on a screen? Lucy. Charlie Brown. Football. Here I go again, and I’m not sure I want to, but – knock on wood – so far it seems okay and therefore I’m full of doubt. What ifs cling to every dust mote in my undusted house. Breakfast dishes leer. If I clean the house my anxiety will go away, but perhaps that’s where a lot of stories go, dumped out in mop water, flushed down a tidy bowl.

In 22 days, I’ve written 26,000 words. Three betas test drove the first 20 pages and said, “Keep going.” (I went to that file to count days and it took all my strength to not to open it anew.) So, like Rory to Yale, I’m going somewhere I was not headed, though I was headed there all along.

Cheers and thanks for stopping by for the read.