25 July 2009

Vacation, editing, and a rejection

First, the rejection. I wrote a piece of flash fiction (a story under 1000 words) earlier this year, and I submitted it in March. I got periodic updates, saying that my story had made it past the first and second cut, which was pretty awesome, really. I finally got the note saying it had been rejected the other day. But the feedback in the letter was fairly positive -- most of the 8 reviewers liked it, and one said it was among their favorites. So my spirit isn't crushed, though I'd (obviously) have preferred for them to buy it. Ah well. I'll look at revising it a bit and send it to a couple more places, after I'm done editing this stupid novella.

Nice segue. So, I'd finished the first draft last I mentioned it. Then while I was sitting on it for a couple weeks, I started hating the second half. I asked my beta readers, and they agreed that it was pretty weak. So I floundered a bit, trying to figure out WTF to do with the 13K words at the end, since I don't have much time to rewrite them before the submission closes. One of my betas gave me an idea that I thought would save me a ton of rewriting, but I was wrong. So I've basically rewritten 10K words or so since Tuesday morning. I would like to die now, plz. (Not really.) The story is stronger, I think, and I hope I can get it edited into publishable format before ... the 10th. With 2 planned vacations in the middle and a 2-day orientation (unpaid, boo) for another potential temp placement. And get the synopsis done and write a decent query letter.

Shoot me? I guess I can spend some time synopsizing on Delta next weekend. Though both my flights are at shitty times as far as consciousness goes: 6:30 am out and a red-eye back from Oregon. Bleh.

Look there. It's another segue. So I'm going to Oregon next weekend for a family get-together thing on my MIL's side. Should be interesting, though I had enough of Oregon during my residency, TYVM. At least summer shouldn't involve constant rain. Ugh. Then the weekend after that, I'm heading to the beach with the anime club. Based on past experience, I'll have No Time to work on writing. At all. But I hope to get the stupid thing sent out before we go.

So, I'm trying to decide whether to take two of my favorite movies with me. They're both brilliant, but neither is particularly happy. German movies tend not to be.

One is Gegen die Wand, a movie by Fatih Akin about two Turks living in Germany and how they react to being there. The male lead, Cahit, has excised everything Turkish from his life, while the female lead, Sibel, chafes under her parents' strict traditionality. I saw it while I was living in Oregon, and it was a beautiful sucker punch to the gut.

The other is The Lives of Others, which won an Oscar the other year for best foreign language film. It's about a playwright living in East Berlin in 1985 or so and the Stasi agent assigned to spy on him. It's a fairly authentic portrayal of life in the DDR (with a bit of artistic license, of course), according to people who lived there. Folk singer Wolf Biermann said that the tale matched part of his own life. (He had quite a file in the Stasi's archive.)

I don't know if there'd be an audience for them out there, or even anything to watch DVDs on in the rental house. The second movie has a happier ending, in a way, but there's still a heaping spoonful of tragedy. One thing I remember from living in Germany is the person who said, "You Americans, always with the happy ending." I have to say, she may have had a point.

On a happier note, have a Tarkan video. See why I'm obsessing?

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