“On Breaking” up at Uppagus

Many thanks to Zig and Jude for creating a real thing in the world, and for letting me play, too.


Please note that some of these blog entries are short to encourage you to click through to the original journal to read, if available online. In the event the poem is no longer available for any reason or the poem(s) appeared in print only, I will post the text as published here on my blog, with purchase links to support the journal if applicable. Thank you!

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“Parallax” up at Bird’s Thumb

This poem, appearing in the Feb 2018 issue of Bird’s Thumb, was one of those I really worked for, undergoing numerous revisions before it was abandoned (published). It contains references to a particular scientific effect in relation to two people within a relationship that is, well, circling the drain.

Thank you for giving it your attention, and many thanks to Nina and Sahar at BT for including my work!

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#100rejections — The Final Tally, an…A?

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Final accountability check-in for this challenge! But first, what is #100rejections anyway?

I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. Submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as one acceptance.

December, 2017 — 12 New Rejections, 7 New Acceptances, 20 New Submissions

2017 FINAL TALLY — 95 Rejs / 23 Accs / 105 Subs

  • Clementine Unbound, Rejection (personal)***
  • Leaves of Ink, Acceptance
  • DIALOGIST, Rejection
  • Gone Lawn, Acceptance
  • After the Pause, Rejection
  • Dunes Review, Rejection
  • Inflectionist Review, Acceptance
  • The Mantle, Rejection
  • Allegro, Rejection
  • Riddled With Arrows, Acceptance
  • Ink In Thirds, Acceptance
  • Gyroscope Review, Acceptance
  • Rust + Moth, Rejection
  • Valparaiso Review, Rejection
  • West Branch, Rejection
  • Into the Void, Rejection
  • Liminal Stories, Rejection
  • Poetry Breakfast, Rejection
  • Ekphrastic Review, Acceptance

*** A personal rejection, also known as a tiered rejection is sort of like a half-way point between a rejection and an acceptance. It means the editors passed on the work, but otherwise left a positive commentary of some kind in the rejection notice that was unique to you or your work, or added a personal note of appreciation. This is the first one I’ve thought to make note of, and definitely the first one I’ve received in a while. I’m excited about this one because I’d love to be published in this journal, so it feels like one little step closer! Also, they liked one of the poems that I really like, too, so that was just plain nice.

So. I decided on December 21 that I was done submitting. With the holidays coming, several life-stuff things to prepare for, and the likelihood of editorial attention dwindling sharply with the arrival of Christmas break, I called it “done.” At that time, I had collected about 88 rejections, plus still had 13 outstanding submissions. So in one sense, I did make it to 100 (ish, sorta).

That meant I was prepared and willing to accept whatever results came in (or didn’t) at that point, and I was also going to choose to be pleased with the success of my project (regardless of my final tally’s relationship to the number “100”).

When I hit 90 rejections, in my mind I won. I also realized that, with the summer of transition and the exigencies of life and child-rearing consuming my attention mid-year, I had lost 5 full months of literary activity of any kind (no writing, reading, editing, or submitting). That means with the five bonus rejections that came in over the course of the next week or so, I’d gotten 95% of the way to my goal in less than 60% of the time I had originally allotted for the project. I’m good with that. Monthly average was about 2 acceptances per month, and my volume-submitting to the fastest responding markets (according to Duotrope) in November and December definitely paid off with a huge spike in both acceptances and rejections to finish the year with a bang. So I got a 95 out of a 100. That’s an “A” as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

I think next year I will change it up a bit. Maybe I will focus on submitting to pipe dream top-tier markets only, or getting my full collections out there more. I can already feel 2018 percolating. It’s nice. Thanks to those who followed along, I hope you received something of value in the experience, too.

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Stay tuned to this blog for more news and poetry from Samara-land, a lot of the end-of-the-year acceptances will be coming out in the next 2 months!

Happy New Year, everyone.

2 poems up at Ekphrastic Review

Ekphrastic poetry (poems inspired by and written about works of visual art) has always been interesting to me, how different media interact, imagery and words in close relation. I have a small (as yet unpublished) collection of such pairings, a selection from which Ekphrastic Review recently accepted and published, “nocturna.”

Take a look at it (or the other one, a reprint called “the angry boy“), and stay to read some of the other incredible work shared on the site. I see it as something of a window to the writer’s process. The paintings or photographs (or links to them) that inspired each poem are included for your viewing pleasure! Interesting stuff.

Many thanks to Lorette Luzajic for including my work.