Tag Archives: acceptance

A Seasonal Jay and a Lost Coin

We saw a Jay on the way to work yesterday. It swooped from trees by the side of the road, flew in front of us and dropped into a park on the other side of the road. They are both colourful and unobtrusive, being quite a shy bird. This is the time of year to see them as they collect acorns and stash them away for future use. It’s not the first time we have seen a Jay at that part of the journey as they live in the park, but they rarely show themselves..

This morning I had an acceptance for the revised haibun, which was good. I’m always slightly wary of edits, as I may have said in  previous posts, but this one seemed to work out alright. I try to do what editors ask, as a second pair of eyes can often see what I don’t, and they are helping me for free. There are several possible pitfalls, but we seem to have avoided them.

The owner has been away for the last two days. It’s always relaxing, but it is also frustrating because we end up having to stop what we are doing to deal with customers. At that point you appreciate what he does in the course of the week. I am trying to get things loaded up on eBay but people keep ringing and visiting and generally stopping us working. I’m used to the phone calls because they are a normal part of my day, but I normally rely on him dealing with customers.  It just goes to show what a finely balanced machine the shop really is.

It hasn’t helped that we’ve found it hard to locate a number of the things we have sold. Once you lose one coin in a coin shop it can be quite a performance finding it again and it can take several hours out of the day. It always annoys me when that happens because time is money, as they say, and if you spend an hour looking for a £6 coin there is no way you are going to make a profit. It’s one of those cases where spending five minutes on filing and labelling would pay for itself. Fortunately we are all as bad as each other when it comes to losing things so it doesn’t seem so bad.

British West Africa 1/10th of a Penny

The Devil drives ’til the hearse arrives . . .

First post of Sunday. I’m planning several more today – let’s see if the result lives up to the planning. (I’ll give you a clue – it’s not working well at the moment).

So, poetry news. I had an email from Butcher’s Dog this morning  They have decided not to select my work for publication this time (as they put it), and have sent a very pleasant and upbeat email to tell me that. As you know, I have become slightly blase about rejection over the years, but even if you have become immune to it, it’s still nice to be rejected in a cheery manner, rather than the way some people do it.

It also makes commercial sense, as everyone needs to sell magazines, and one of your best markets is the people who want to write for you. I have twice stopped subscriptions to magazines on the basis of the quality of their rejections. There are always plenty of poetry magazines out there who need the money.There are no such worries for Butcher’s Dog,  they are doing a good job and I will be there in the queue next time they have a submission window open.

The other one wasn’t actually a rejection. It was worse than that, it tells me that they like the prose but they think I should rewrite or drop the first haiku and that the title needs work. Some magazines accept or reject without alteration, some ask for, or suggest, small changes. Others always seem to ask for more work. In this case, they ask for the work to be done and the only commitment they make is to look at it again. Most editors either accept and suggest edits or tell you that they would be happy to accept if you make the changes.

I’ve actually been thinking about this for a day or two. In these circumstances it’s sometimes easier just to thank the editor and withdraw the poem. With this one I’m going to give it a go. The opening haiku will be cut. I can’t guarantee writing a better one in the next few weeks so I may as well take the easy way out. The title had been developed after extensive thinking. It wasn’t great, but it was better than the original, and it had several features which were obviously too subtle. The new one is much more in your face and I’ve added a couple of lines to the prose to connect it to the title.

And now it’s time to throw it back and see what happens. If it is accepted it’s just a number, if it’s rejected, it’s no big deal. Regardless of the decision, next time it goes out, it will have the first haiku restored.

Now I just need to decide on whether I add a footnote about the title or not. I hate them, but sometimes you just need to drive the point home.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Monday Monsoon

Another acceptance today, so the power of positive thinking marches on . . .

It’s just one from a batch of ten but they all count, and nine of the ten are now available to use again. It makes life easier when you can do that. I’m hopeful that another two or three will find approval elsewhere.

The potato wedges are sizzling in the oven and it will soon be time to add the veggie burgers and prepare the buns. (Note: I may have deviated from the low carb regime of previous posts). We will be having watercress, and beefsteak tomatoes provided by a neighbour.

After that the quizzes will start and I will be away from the keyboard for a while.

Later . . .

Another design, but still no trousers.

very with the general knowledge sections of Mastermind. This has been a feature of this series. Even from my own relaxing armchair I cannot always outscore the contestants. I can still beat one or two, but I feel my edge is going.

Then on to Only Connect, where Victoria Coren-Mitchell wore a ridiculous mask through the programme. She sometimes does this sort of thing. It’s distracting and annoying.

Then on to University Challenge, where it turns out I know more about apples than one of the teams. We got a few right tonight, though I admit I can still go for several minutes without even understanding the questions.

Last night we had torrential rain and sheet lightning lit up the sky. I like it. Julia doesn’t.  It was majestic We had more rain today and will have more during the week. After that it will start to get colder too. It’s beginning to look a lot like winter.

A Crown, no trousers nd plenty of enamel.

The Spirit of T S Eliot

It is, for a poet, a truth universally acknowledged, that every acceptance is accompanied by a shower of rejection. True to the spirit of T S Eliot, as quoted in a  previous post, I stole that from Jane Austen. She doesn’t need it.

The system with poems in general, and the Japanese forms in particular, is that you send a handful of poems. You may, if you are lucky, get one accepted, sometimes even two or three. Also, if you are lucky, you may be told that some of the others are good too, or (rarely) you may be asked if the editor can keep one for the next issue. Otherwise, you end up with a clutch of rejected poems and no idea why they were rejected. The may be bad, they may be good, but not as good as the one that was selected. Or they may fail for a number of other reasons.

Whatever happens, as happened a few days ago, when one is selected from eight it is an acceptance and a success. The seven rejections count for nothing. Anyway, under my new system they aren’t “rejected” they are merely “not required”.

I’ve just been through the seven returned poems and three of them are already part of a new submission. One of the remaining four, one is not very good when I look again, one of them is a poor match for the new target and two of them are possibly too English (which we have discussed recently).

The next submission will be 10-15 poems and the window closes at the end of the month. I have tried this magazine three times and never had an acceptance. Or, in other words, all 15 are likely to come back. This is good for me – good discipline to try harder targets and to write more, and good for my resilience, as you need to keep being rejected in order to practise your mental toughness and resolve.

As a bonus, most magazines specify ten haiku so, when these come back, I will already have a whole new submission ready to go. There is always a silver lining.

Wilford Suspension Bridge

I searched “pen” to find pictures. I found a couple, but had several results which included the letters “pen” in the middle of words – impressive bit not helpful.

(This was written a few days ago nd left, as events overtook me. I thik I have corrected it to show teh correct chronology, but if I have nissed anything – sorry).

Smells and Drugs and Water Voles

So many small pieces of news that it’s difficult to know where to start. My drug delivery arrived last night as planned. After 18 months it seems that I may have got through to them that I’m not at home during the day and that as they need refrigeration I need an evening delivery. Seems simple but it’s been hard work getting the idea across. They offer evening delivery slots so I don’t know what the problem is. It’s a small victory, but one that feels worth celebrating.

There was no smell of sewerage in the shop this morning. I’m cautiously optimistic that yesterday’s gurgling was a sign that things have been fixed. However, based on previous experience, it could be too soon to say it’s solved.

Following on from the last good news on acceptance I have had two more, one yesterday and one today. The momentum is building again. The tanka that was accepted today was one that was not selected last week. You just can’t tell what an editor is going to like.

I watched a news report on the reintroduction of water voles last night. They released several hundred in the lake District. The main thing with helping the water vole population increase is that you have to control the population of American Mink. I’ll let you read up on the subject. I’ve already made my mind up. American Mink don’t appear in Wind in the Willows, and thus, in my opinion, have no place in our waterways. The link has, in case you didn’t read it, the fascinating fact that mink droppings smell pungent and fishy whereas otter droppings smell of jasmine tea. It’s difficult, reading that, to imagine what some of these researchers get up to when left to work unsupervised.

Yellow Flag Irises

On Grammar and Worry

As usual, I am running very close to some end of month deadlines. I had four sets of submissions to send and have only managed to finalise one set. That went off a couple of days ago and I have jut been informed that one has been accepted. It is only a senryu, so it’s almost embarrassing, as it’s still hard to see three lines as a poem.

Try as I might, they still seem like fragments rather than poems. I know it takes more work to get it right in three lines, but it doesn’t look like much of a result for month’s effort. To make it even harder, the subject was Ekphrastic poems. I only discovered the term three or fours years ago, so will explain it – it’s a poem about a work of art. If you already knew that, I apologise for being condescending. If you didn’t, these examples are interesting, as you will know some of them, even if you weren’t aware of the term.

At times like this, I think of all the poets who include English degrees in their writer biographies. They spent years learning all this stuff and then they find themselves in a journal rubbing shoulders with people like me who just pile words up  without a clue what I’m doing. There’s an editor who sometimes writes back to me with suggestions based on points of grammar. I would hate him to know this, but there are times I have to go to the internet to find out what he is talking about.

Last time this happened I was amazed by the number of people discussing a point which I had never needed to know about in over 60 years. And having learnt about it, I forgot it again.

I wonder if there’s room in the world of poetry for an Ekphrastic poem on the subject of Fowler? My only worry is that if I start to think about my language too much I may become too fearful to write. I already worry about it being good enough, but what if I add the additional worry about being correct?



Adventures with a Keyboard

It is done. It is not done well, but by the end I was just concentrating on the clock. My 7th submission departed my email box at 11.45pm, a full fifteen minutes before the deadline. The eighth, I had already mentally abandoned.

I have learnt some useful lessons about writing in the last few weeks, so it hasn’t been the chaotic waste it may look like from the outside. I’ve also learnt about time management. Or possibly I have relearnt that, as I tend to make the same mistake over and over – not allowing enough time, and always over-estimating my ability to work at high speed as the deadline approaches.

Turning on my email this morning I found I had already had one acceptance – an editor with superpowers. How can anyone work that fast? Also, of course, an editor with exquisite taste.

In my haste, Iet a typo slip through in the accepted tanka prose. This is embarrassing and amateurish. Unfortunately, in missing off the “t” from “the” I still made the word “he” and my lazy reliance on spellcheckers let me down.

Even worse, I woke this morning and remembered that one of the other submissions went off with a single word descriptive title title. You are supposed to be more complicated when submitting tanka prose and haibun. Unfortunately, I tend to start with a title that helps me find it when it’s mixed up with forty or fifty other poems. It’s something I’ve done before when I’ve been rushing. If the poem is good I will probably be asked to do a new title. If it isn’t, I will be able to come up with a new one as part of the edit. I’ve just thought of a good one whilst writing this.

Blood test now. See you later.

My Orange Parker Pen

A New Record

I sent a group of poems out yesterday evening, and had an acceptance later that night. It’s a new speed record for an acceptance, and probably a sign that I’m not the only one champing at the bit after a few days off.

There is one more set of submissions to send off before the end of the year (or within the next two days, to put it another way, though that sounds a bit more desperate). I am just about on top of that, but as soon as that ends I am straight into a month with five more submissions needed. That’s quite daunting as this hasn’t been a productive month and I have little left to send.

I thought I had plenty down on paper but when i looked again a few weeks ago I realised I had quite a bit written, but nothing finished. A good number of the pieces had bits missing as i struggled to find the right words and I’m still no closer finishing them. This isn’t unusual and most of them will eventually be completed. It’s just that if I get myself in the position of being unable to finish I often find it can take months to get it right.

I’ve been going through things tonight and have tinkered with several I’ve also cut a couple substantially because both language and thoughts were sloppy. None of them are actually finished yet, but I have four weeks until they really need to be sent. Fortunately I have another selection in draft form – either as notes or in on paper, so I have not yet run dry.

Pre-Covid I had myself organised so I was able to send things out on the first day of a submission window opening. I always feel that puts you at an advantage. Submit early and you only have to be good. Submit late and you have to be good, and be better than the people who submitted earlier.

Since Covid, and my several months of inability to write, I have not yet caught up. I will, but it won’t be this year.

My Orange Parker Pen

Note to self – Parker Pens seem impervious to my attempts to earn money, or free pens, from product placement.

Resolution and 8 Years on WP

Well, we managed to work out how the little toerag in London pulled off his scam. Or nearly pulled off his scam. It was the buyer, not the local postman who was at the bottom of it. I won’t say more as it might become a police matter. Let’s just say that despite the work we did in the shop, and the Post Office did, eBay came close to undoing it all. At mid-day it all seemed to be over, with the evidence we needed, and eBay promising to put a stop to the fraudulent claim and ban the buyer. An hour later they emailed to say that after more requests from the buyer they had found in his favour and refunded the £500, leaving us out of pocket to the tune of £500 and a £500 coin. After another hour on the phone they agreed we were in the right and it looks like we will be OK. However, the disorganised way they have carried on gives me little confidence.

The other big news of the day is that I have had a haibun accepted by CHO, or Contemporary Haibun Online. It’s the first one they have taken in about three years and represents a lot of persistence. I don’t just talk about persistence, I do actually practice it. I’ve not been producing a lot and I nearly didn’t send anything this time, but I did, and less than 24 hours later I had an acceptance. This is editing at a high level of excellence. It might be three years before I get another one in, so I’ll enjoy the moment.

Finally, I had a message from WP a few days ago – seems I’ve been here 8 years now. It seems like a long time but, to put it in context, I’m currently wearing boxer shorts which are older than that. It tool me several weeks after registering to find the nerve to write something. Now look at me, it’s hard to stop me wittering on about something every day. Even if that something is about another dull day in the shop. At least today was a bit more exciting.

The header picture is guinea fowl sheltering under a picnic table during a rainstorm, the first picture I posted on WP.

Title? Can’t really think . . .

I’ve been trying to get into the comments for the last two hours. All I get is a small circle going round and round . . .

Is anyone else having this problem?

Anyway – Julia’s swollen eye is now definitely on the mend, which is good as progress has been slow over the last few days and I have been struggling for supportive things to say. There’s only so much you can say after the first day.

Over the last few days I’ve had a couple of emails from editors. One was an acceptance. However, to cut my ego down to size, they did offer a couple of suggestions which improved the piece considerably. It was a masterclass in editing and an example of how things can always be improved.

The second was a hybrid – neither an acceptance or a rejection, but an invitation to make alterations and resubmit. Generally I’m all in favour of chances to be published but over the years I’ve had bad experiences with this sort of thing and have never had an altered piece accepted on this basis. You know where you are with acceptances and rejections, even with conditional acceptances, but this sort of hybrid never seems to work for me. I can’t see this being the one to break the sequence, particularly as I’ve only been given a few days to do it. Fortunately, I no longer have my old drive to be published so I’m not going to stress about it. Some you win, some you lose. This piece will eventually be recycled, but not just yet.

Meanwhile, I have answered a few comments by going through past posts but still cannot call up the comments as a whole. I hope this might be fixed by the time I post tomorrow.