The last word on it

Yesterday I wanted to try something different. I mean, in terms of submitting to a publisher who has accepted two but also rejected quite a few other submissions of mine. Trying something different was my Plan B.

This Plan B, which I will not explain in detail, may work—if I don’t base my submissions on harder passages to understand in the Bible. But I recalled today that the publisher wanted submissions based on the harder passages. Only those passages. So Plan B goes out the window.

Don’t mind, because there is more to life, but last rejection would be the last from them. This means I write nothing more for this publisher.

Quite simply, the negative outcome seems likely if submitting more, going by past record. Why go on the merry go round of rejection slips with the same publisher? There is a time to stop what one is doing once it is pointless.

This is the end of submitting to this publisher. Sad, but inevitable. I hate break-ups, but they did give thirty-odd reasons to (read: rejection slips).

The final one

Today I received a form rejection letter by email. It was about the thirtieth rejection from the same publisher, but three years ago they published two devotions of mine. Naturally, one thinks, that they will publish more of yours again, and again. So I kept on submitting. The pieces were short and sweet, but to no avail. The lesson is simple: it’s not easy to get your foot in the door and once your in, it may be hard to keep on repeating that initial success.

The initial success was really luster. It was inspired writing. I tried a bit harder next time to repeat the acceptances of my work. Didn’t work. Lesson: don’t try so hard. But if I didn’t put grist to the mill I wouldn’t have material.

After all these rejections, would the initial acceptances be enough for me? If not, is there a different way of doing it?

There is a different way of doing something. I was going to say that today’s rejection from this publisher would be the final one. Whatever their reasons for rejecting my work, my first two acceptances was all I was supposed to do, thirty rejections later. But plan B is to try it another way.

Clash of the Titans

Of the Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans films—films about the myths of ancient Greece—the 1981 original, Clash of the Titans, is the better one.

In the 1981 original, the writer follows the mythology closely, but it is not overdone.

The story gets going when god Zeus (Laurence Olivier) gives his human son Perseus (Harry Hamlin) gifts worthy of a knight on a journey. Zeus then tells Perseus that the gifts are there to help him on a journey of executing his destiny.

In that vein, Perseus attempts to save Andromeda (Judi Bowker) from various forces such as the sea beast the Kraken, and a vengeful, spurned lover.

The gods are dramatized the more by British stalwarts Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith. Well-known actors that includes Clare Bloom play other gods and goddesses in their midst.

Formidable roles were not the usual for Olivier, but as Zeus there is a formidable streak, and at the end of his career was a departure from his earlier theatrical roles.

The gods’ inflamed passions and schemes, in the god’s home on Mount Olympus, is all a bit of a farce in essence. However, if you strip down the elements of the mythology, there’s a theme of taking up one’s courage. The Greeks didn’t know if there were gods, but they did know how to tell a story that has spiritual or universal application.

It is a telling which is not spectacular or fantastic as the marketing tells us is. The telling is straight forward, but it holds a steady pace, a tone of gravitas, and some excitement especially in Medusa’s lair as Perseus ventures out on his journey.

Clash of the Titans, Director: Desmond Davis, Genre: Fantasy, Year: 1981, Rating: 7/10

Rated PG (Contains fantasy action and brief nudity)

 

Inferno

Inferno (1)

I’ve been reading the first part of Dante’s Comedy, the Inferno, which was written in the medieval time. I’m getting into the part when the comedy kicks in, about half way through. According to the commentary in this translation, a Penguin classic, the half-way point is when the comedy kicks in.

I have noticed it gets funnier as it goes on, as I paid close attention. The comedy is caustic, biting, perhaps what we would call today as sarky. It’s bold humor and today stands ahead of the pack. But like all good comedy it has a point.

I look forward to how Dante progresses on his journey through hell, and into purgatory and heaven, and how the theme ‘adjusts’ in the next stage of his journey.

At the moment, Inferno is one of my favorite things.

The print media

Fine Print (1)

The printing press is struggling so it seems. This affects every freelancer who ever was and every will be. It’s harder to get your work in print now than it used to be. Your work has to be tailored made, specific, and top notch. It is all geared towards what the newspaper requires, for their audience, but even more tailored made then before, because there is more competition. So a freelancer had better be on top of it if they are to get into print.

I was reminded of what seems to be a smaller media now–this being the print media, as they are competing with digital–when a postcard arrived in the post.

The postcard in my letter box, “To the householder”, had a promotional code. I could get a free four week trial of the newspaper if I entered the code on their website. Then they would discuss with me whether I wanted a subscription–which I would have to pay for.

It sounds desperate, but I kind of got it. The printing press is finding ways to hook people into their print products, in a digital age. They must find ways to compete or be obsolete in the foreseeable future. I understand.

It all starts with something free. Then you’ll have to pay at a discount. And later on you’ll pay the full price and they hope you will stay with them through the long haul.

People so often get their news from the internet, but if you are one of the ones who would take up their offer, what would persuade you?

The free trial may. But that’s only for four weeks, then it’s over. Not much of an incentive over the long haul. But if the newspaper is free for twelve months then that would be different, a real deal. Someone may take up that offer. However, what newspaper can afford it? They are trying to compete in the digital marketplace, not drown themselves.

If you seriously considered taking up their offer, then you would take up the free trial to assess the product. Is it good? Is it worthwhile? More importantly, do you need it? This last question is pivotal, because there are so many competitors out there. What are your media needs?

You have to decide if this product fills your media news needs. This is the risk the newspaper takes. They already have an internet presence, but they want you to buy their newspaper which has been around longer. If they lose sales, they will have to think about another model–using the internet and go completely website based.

Then they are competing with other media outlets on the internet while the survivors in the print media battle it out between themselves. It’s a vicious cycle.

In today’s print media world, some will die, and a few will survive. The product that the newspaper is offering had better be bigger and better in order to stay afloat, but there are ways of delivering a media product for cheaper overheads. But that may not be bigger and better. It’s a dog eat dog newspaper world out there.

I’m not going to take up the free trial. Then, I’ll be in their system. They don’t let go easily. But if a writer would research the market by taking up the trial, to submit their work, they’d be competing with writers already there and they are competing with each other. Why die striving?

Onto the next thing…

Monster Trucks

Monster Trucks treads a familiar route. The oil company should reveal when digging in environmentally risky places, but it has been skirting the authorities. The company doesn’t tell the authorities about monsters, as implausible as it sounds to have monsters in the way. Again, it’s about the bad company that doesn’t care about the environment. It’s at least framed as the bad company and framed as the poor monsters in the environment getting undeserved treatment. But the target audience probably wouldn’t care.

There are too many awesome trucks and neat things going on to divert their attention away from the environmental message. Teenager Tripp (Lucas Till) happens to stumble on a monster—which is rather cute, a cross between a dolphin and a squid with Free Willy’s set of teeth. The monster soups up a four wheel drive truck that Tripp drives. The truck somehow moves faster with a monster underneath that ingests oil. The truck now has a real daredevil streak. But Tripp can’t escape his humdrum life in the country and get on the road with it. He is protecting the monster from the company men. If the company can hide their tracks then the authorities won’t get wind of the monsters they are hiding. They are bad, bad boys.

So the story has a moral slant with Tripp the good guy with a good girl by him and some assorted companions along the way, aiming to save the monsters from the greedy. The story is quite engaging more or less. I didn’t have an aversion to the action scenes with four wheel drive trucks which will keep the kids engaged more than the adults. The kids who like this sort of film, may play with bulldozers or four wheel drive trucks, the toys they play with in the lounge room and sandpit. These action set pieces will give them extra incentive in playing imaginatively, if that’s the right word. Perhaps with more energy. As a family, they might have seen truck racing events and so watching this movie is a natural step.

The good guys and good girl are likeable in a family film I didn’t have an aversion to, but which isn’t all on the mark either. It is one and a half hours of pleasantries, action, and an okay story, one which will make you like monsters.

Monster Trucks, Director: Chris Wedge, Genre: Family, Year: 2016, Rating: 6/10

The testimonial project that almost made it

Despite the rejections (aw shucks) of the fiction and poetry, I must love blogging and have a hunger for projects of writing.

A project I have gone headlong into means I am approaching the appropriate personnel–to see if they know of any stories about their people.

These stories are what’s called “testimonies”. In other words, what’s happening with you, and why.

One wanted the minutest detail about me first, probably to see who I really am, and if I am who I say I am.

Unfortunately, none of my “personnel” got back to me with offers of people willing to tell me their story–which I would have submitted to editors who are actually interested in seeing my work.

Considering, there are editors who turn the page of my work with a disdainful eye (I jest; it’s not disdainful, it’s probably indifferent or courteously sorry they couldn’t publish it), the  editors who are interested, don’t get to see it. The irony is painful, but bearable.

Current submissions

To be quite frank, my fiction and poetry submissions have been getting set backs, though sometimes I get a nice, thoughtful, considerate commendation. But the piece wasn’t picked up. Considering the piece wouldn’t be worth much, I thought better of it. One of the ironies of submitting–I wasn’t going to become rich out of this piece.

However, we don’t like being rejected. Rejection is the way it goes they tell us writers–via twitter words of wisdom and the writer’s blogs.

It’s a wonder we get entangled in such a occupation that offers the world, but can then offer very little. You just don’t know when a shot to the heart will come. Nevertheless, I always think submitting pieces is worth a shot.

So with my current two submissions I have the feeling they will come to nothing as well. Or maybe a nice comment.

As they say, wish me luck. But I don’t believe in luck. Authors must face publishing reality.

Most times the publisher rejects your work, they must be right, to the degree that they think the work isn’t the right fit, more or less, or they have better work than your’s.

I’ve accepted this reality and don’t really mind what happens. Even if you think you’ve done your’re research on the publisher, there’s the possibility it still won’t fit. Don’t worry about it. Life is bigger than that. It doesn’t really matter.