Submitting is winning:
Sometimes you got to make it fit, make it work. Whatever it is.
Say that you’re making a dress and find that you don’t have quite enough fabric. It’s late at night, the stores are closed so you can’t buy more fabric. The event you need the dress for is the next day. You got to make it work, so you turn and twist the pattern and make it fit or you introduce a different piece of fabric into the design and create a whole new look. You wanted a new outfit and you made it work. Necessity is the mother of invention. (I think I’ve heard that before.)
My quandary was that I needed to trim words from four short stories. They needed to be reduced from 1200 to 1500 words to less than a 1000 so that I could submit a manuscript to a short-short story chapbook contest. I could submit 25-40 pages but each story had to be 1000 words or less. Now, my shortest story is 77 words and I had a few around 600 words, but not enough. So, I had to twist and turn words, cutting out the extraneous and unnecessary.
Having written all the words, I didn’t feel there was any excess, but I wrestled my ego to the ground and began the process. No clippers, just a delete button, and cut and paste. Start working on a manuscript and you begin seeing all kinds of things to change. I had to force myself to focus – the deadline was looming. It turns out that you can say the same thing with fewer words. And if you hit a wall, as I did several times, put the story down until the next day when lo and behold, with fresh eyes, you find excess when the night before everything seemed as lean as it could be.
I made the deadline, y’all. I’m so proud. Submitting is as important as being selected in fact the only way to be selected is to submit. Nothing succeeds but a try!
Hypnotized and Energized by Music:
Getting the manuscript in before deadline made me able to start writing the final reports due for a project that’s ending. It also put me in the mood to jam some music. I’ve been playing three songs over and over and over today – all on the Sun Music Site*. I’ve even watched the videos –of the first two songs – thank goodness for You Tube.
Song 1 – Green Light by John Legend featuring Andre 3000 (energetic, great video, John a cutie-pie and Andre dapper as ever)
Song 2 – Just Fine by Mary J. Blige (Mary’s the Queen and she’s “fine”! Check out the version that shows a group of Black people at a wedding dancing to this song. The energy and synchronicity would make a dead man move.)
Song 3 – Crown Royal on Ice by Jill Scott (the empress of poetic lyrics)
I listened to a few other songs today but those three kept calling me back. I’ve been dancing and writing all day. Do yourself a favor listen to these songs or listen to music that speaks to your inner-rhythm. I can guarantee you’ll find yourself soaring.
* Check out the article from Dec. 1 Globe on Sun-Music