Sunday Once More

We’ve been out today for lunch in Derbyshire – meeting Number One son for lunch in Castleton, which is roughly half way between us. It was a very pleasant drive and an excellent lunch. Though we were spaced out in the dining room Derbyshire was a bit crowded at times and it’s easy to see how the virus spreads even when we are supposed to be being careful.

Everyone seems more chatty these days, as if the lockdown has made us more open to talking to strangers. It’s probably the only good thing to come from it. Well, maybe not quite – I have also broken my habit of ordering takeaway meals and buying supermarket sandwiches.

I could tell you more but I’m always quite reticent about discussing, or photographing other people for the blog. Part of me doesn’t want to take responsibility for talking about other people, and another part of me thinks that their stories are for them to tell. I would make a very poor autobiographer because of this. However, as I have had a dull, boring and even dreary life, I would make a poor autobiographer for many other reasons too.

View of Castleton, Derbyshire

Tonight I had another rejection. It was for haiku, and I tend to expect this as they are not my strongest suit. I fact, I have only ever had one accepted and this was probably out of charity.

It was a very nice rejection and the editor thanked me for submitting them, told me they had enjoyed all my haiku but had not, in this case selected any for the magazine. There was a suspicion of a double-edged compliment when they told me that they hoped to read some of them in other publications soon. That could be genuine good wishes for success, or just a coded way of telling me to go away and bother someone else.

Being cynical, I checked back a couple of years (I have, as you know, a large store of old emails) and found that this was exactly the same rejection message I had received in 2018.

My suspicion about a coded message is taking a more solid form.

Looking on the bright side, I have had three sets of haiku returned, which allows me to mix and match and send them out to a couple of other editors. As with the previous recipients I am sure they will all be very grateful.

View from Castleton, Derbyshire

19 thoughts on “Sunday Once More

  1. Laurie Graves

    Here are words of wisdom—paraphrased, of course—from the great “New Yorker” writer Calvin Trillin: You can write anything you want about family, if you are Dostoevsky. All lesser writers should use restraint.

    I think this advice should be followed with friends and acquaintances as well. I am very conscious about this when I write about other people. I ask permission before featuring them in my blog, and if they say no, I don’t write about them. As in so many things, no means no. Also, I am selective about what I write, especially when it concerns family. I always write truthfully, but I don’t include the whole truth. And anyway, who can grasp the whole truth?

    Not I!

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I am a lesser writer and I will follow that advice, which made me laugh out loud.

      To be honest, when you said ‘the great “New Yorker”‘ I instantly thought of LA. As in the blogger, not the city.

  2. LA

    My daughter and I recently discussed whether or not you should tell the stories of others. I am pro, she is con. While not everything is newsworthy, sometimes we have to talk about what we experience….or so I think. I don’t know what the balance is

  3. Clare Pooley

    Castleton does look very busy from your photo but the weather was lovely. I like it there very much and often meet our daughters there when we are staying in Leek and our youngest daughter is staying with our eldest in Sheffield. It is about half way between us! With all her years living in Sheffield our eldest is as spry as a mountain goat and gallops up the hill to the castle while we are still puffing and blowing near the bottom and looking for a bench to sit on.
    I am sorry you have had a haiku rejection. I am sure the message isn’t coded; the editors are merely lazy and have a set response for all eventualities.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      πŸ™‚ No hills to practice in Suffolk. I sat in the car and let Julia go up the hill with No1 Son and partner.It was a lovely day. I’m currently practising rejections to toughen myself up. Some of the editors must get 1,000s of submissions, so you can see where they need to economise on time.


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