Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the key to happiness

My boss said that the key to happiness is having reasonable expectations. People are often unhappy because they want too much--they want what they can't have. 

I agreed with him. Sincerely. I thought, I have great kids, a loving husband. We're healthy. We live within our means and don't try to own more. I'm happy. 

Though of course, not wanting is not a complete philosophy. If we're all content with only what is reasonable to expect, the society would stagnate. Businesses would fail. We need to want what we maybe can't have in order to write novels or invent things. Creativity requires a certain amount of desperation.

I went back to my desk. And found myself thinking:

I want chocolate.
I want music.
I want to draw pictures.
I want sleep. Now.
I want to go outside.
I want sex way more often.
I want a Coke Zero. I don't want to pay vending machine prices.
I want to play with clay.

Driving home tonight, I kept thinking:  I want a new car, but I know it won't make my commute any less long.

When I got home, my husband had set up the new TV I'd bought last week. He'd finally decided we should keep it, even thought it didn't have the VGA connection that the salesman at Best Buy had told me it did have. It was still a good price. Not too large. Reasonable. It doesn't squeak like the old one. It will make us happy. For a reasonable length of time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I hate the submission process

I totally hate it.

I love writing. I love my stories, writing, in my own little world. My own world.

I'm even OK with people in my writing group reading and not liking or understanding my stuff. I'm used to that. I've had lots of experience with a range of reactions from people I know who've read things I've written.

But this sending the story off to a total stranger to be rejected, it's really hard. It makes me very nervous.
I hate the rejection. I hate being lumped with all the weirdos sending in their stuff, and not knowing how to phrase a cover letter correctly. Being just plain nervous.

Yeah, the trick I suppose is to get so used to the sending them off and being rejected that it's like the regular people reading my stuff experience.

Yeah. Fine.

I hate this.
I hate it.

Best story from the slush pile: When I was reading slush for Aboriginal years ago. I read one of the best sf stories I've ever read. I think of it now and then. The editor rejected it. I always remember. I always relate this anecdote to remind hopeful authors: a rejection means that one person didn't like your story.

And I always think of that writer of that story, wish I remembered his name. And hope so bad that being rejected by Aboriginal, not the top of the science fiction market at the time, hoping so much that rejection didn't discourage him. Because he was really good. At least his story was.

And don't tell me there's a difference. We don't feel it, though we tell ourselves we should. We should say "rejected the story I sent in" not "they rejected me." I try to. I don't feel it.

That's just how it goes.


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I saw violets last weekend

Roses are red.
Violets are purple.
Nothing rhymes with purple,
So poets call them blue.