Discover more from A Most Unreliable Narrator
lisa writes stuff issue #21 water lapping at my ears
Scivener can be used in a lot of different ways and the way that I use it is for each book idea, I create its own project file for outlines, notes, and writing. (There are EIGHT book ideas. EIGHT!) For short fiction and poetry, I put that in a single project file and organize with folders by type and word length so it’s easy to find when I need something to submit
Sounds simple, right?
It was until I went digging in the folder I keep the project files in and discovered one named “Story Ideas.”
What the fuck, says I.
In it are more book ideas, short story snippets, and half-written poetry. There is a lot of writing that was started and never finished. I felt super overwhelmed between the two project files because I had dupes in both and there was just so much content. I stepped back for a few hours, took a deep breath, and then went to work.
I created a new project file and moved all the content over from Story Ideas and Short Fiction and Poetry project files into the new project file to start off fresh. Then I went through each idea/edited/completed piece and put it in the project file it belongs. I came up with a new organizational structure for each project file to make it easier to find things. (Scrivner comes with search feature within the project file but it does not show the path when you find what you’re looking for.)
After that was all said and done, and it took me a few hours to do this, I deleted the clean up project file. Now I have two working project files that are distinctly different in use.
I discovered quite a few things about myself:
· I write a lot of poetry
· I have a lot of ideas
· My writing voice for characters doesn’t change that much (need to work on)
· I write mostly when I’m angry
· I don’t leave future Lisa notes on wtf I was thinking when I wrote something
Even with the clean-up, I still feel very overwhelmed by all the content I have created. Next step is to figure out how to approach this in a manner that makes sense. I need to ask myself questions like “what do I want to do with this” and “is this worth keeping?”
Parallel to this is the looming end dates of lit mag submissions. Do I write for the submissions or do I find something I’m working on, finish it, and submit that? It could go either way.
Not all is as stressful as I’m making it out to be! A silver lining did appear that I had quite a lot of pieces that were completed that I could start submitting to open calls, so that’s something.
Speaking of submissions, a piece I entered under my nom de plume got printed! I had no idea! It was for a writing challenge and the editor said they weren’t going to notify one way or another. When I didn’t hear anything after a month, I marked it as rejected.
I was checking for August’s writing challenge when I looked at June’s winners. I read down and low and behold, my piece was printed! Shame I am not sharing my nom de plumes work but I will include a snippet below.
A rejection I got the other day:
Thank you for submitting "swallowing consonants" to NAMEOFMAG. It's incredibly experimental in form and content, and the use of a lot of imagery makes it an evocative and engaging read. While the editorial staff enjoyed reading it, we have decided that it is not a good fit for NAMEOFMAG at this time.
(There should be a lit mag called Name of Mag. Alas.)
Getting the rejection obviously stinks but the rejection itself made me smile. I’m not a complete written waste.
It had been nearly seven months since I submitted the piece so I read it.
And it’s not actually half-bad and probably needs very little editing? It def can be submitted to other places.
This got me thinking about my writing style tends to point to first person POV and the topic is about struggle and/or love in some form or fashion. My poetry tends to be angry or depressing. My abstract writing is unhinged (which the above piece falls into) and it reads as if I was high on something when I wrote it.
And that piece that was rejected? That def falls into the unhinged camp.
Lots of writing advice talk about cultivating your voice to make you work uniquely you but they do not talk about what if your voice varied. Do you pin point down to a type, as it were, and work on that or do you continue to build upon what you have?
Another thing I need to figure out.
45 submissions, including 35 rejections, 3 acceptances, and 1 withdrawal.
chapbook: commercial breaks
This is from my piece that was printed under my nom de plume’s name:
I hear lovers laugh as they walk across the Japanese bridge, oohing at the frogs and turtles, and throwing rocks into the river to watch the water ripple. She comments they can see the bottom and laughs when she sees a school of fish dart by. She dares him to jump in. He scoffs and she continues to taunt him. I hear the sound of shoes hitting the bridge and then she calls it off, saying she was only joking. His voice sounds relieved as he puts his shoes back on.
They cannot see me. I continue to listen.
I hear the creak of the wood as they continue on, their voices getting more distant until finally I cannot hear anything but the croak of the frogs, the wailing from the loons, and the sound of water lapping at my ears.
love and tomatoes,