Boasting, Bragging and Blowing My Own Trumpet

You’ve read the title, so brace yourself for a lack of modesty and some tasteless self-promotion.

Normally I wouldn’t warn people, but having recently seen that the University of Greenwich is issuing warnings to students about the disturbing content of jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, I felt I’d better follow the trend. I’ve never actually read Northanger Abbey, though I was traumatised by previous attempts to read Austen. Her books are just so dull when compared to the films and TV series. However, if I had read it, I doubt I would be distressed by the “gender stereotyping” I encountered. If they find that distressing how are they going to cope with Orwell, Hemingway and H P Lovecraft? Or even Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh and the Mr Men, who all cover some hardcore issues compared to jane Austen and gender stereotyping? If they need a warning about the horror of reading jane Austen, what about Shakespeare? Yes, Titus Andronicus, I’m thinking about you . . .

Love Locks at Bakewell

You see more gender stereotyping on reality TV than you do in a classic novel, and so far, unfortunately, nobody has thought to issue a warning about Love Island. I was going to add a link here, but have decided against advertising it.

Anyway, back to my warning.

I had another acceptance. That’s three from the seven I sent out. Allowing for the fact that three are competition entries (where I expect to wait months to find I wasn’t shortlisted) it’s really three from four. I’m happy with that.

That’s the warm-up bragging.

Peak Shopping Village

The other comes in the form of Contemporary Haibun 18, which is an annual anthology. Entries are sent in by the editors of magazines and poems are selected for inclusion. The goal, according to the Forward, is to present “some of the finest haibun, tanka prose and haiga created over the past year”.

Right at the back of the book, lurking in the “W” section, is one of mine. I know it’s not a mistake, because they wrote and asked. Waiting for the book to be published I was quietly smug, and when it actually arrived today I was, for a moment, very pleased with myself. However, it’s important to note that there are 91 other writers in there, and 24 of them have multiple entries, so I am going to show off now by telling everyone, and then I’m going to start making notes for new poetry.

That’s the problem with things like this – you have to keep working harder and harder to make sure the feeling of happiness continues.

An attempt at artistry

13 thoughts on “Boasting, Bragging and Blowing My Own Trumpet

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It’s a case of hard work and planning. I am working on it. However, as someone pointed out on the subject – you write a bad poem and a month later people have forgotten, but write a bad book of them and it hangs around for years.
      On the other hand, if you wait until everything is perfect, you never actually publish.

      1. Laurie Graves

        No, I didn’t get that at all. You mentioned that your wife sent you upstairs to change your shirt. Unlikely that you would be going to her funeral. Anyway, I really like both poems, especially the first one about the petals.

  1. tootlepedal

    Well justified bragging. The point about the content warnings is surely to encourage people to read the books just like the old X certificate was prized by makers of substandard movies as it encouraged curious boys to go to the cinema.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I hadn’t thought of it like that, but it now starts to make sense . . .

      It was like the trailer for “Pride & Prejudice and Zombies” – it showed lacy petticoats and ankles, but the actual film failed to follow through on the Regency sauciness front and was a dull story with flat dialogue and a predictable plot. It turns out that it wasn’t by Jane Austen at all . . .


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