Yet More re: Joyce Carol Oates

So I’ve been delving into the world of actually, for real, publishing my stuff. I’m going to write it anyway, so I might as well get paid for it, right? After all, part of the excitement of writing is getting feedback on it. 😉 Even if the feedback is evil.

So far, I have received no evil-spirited feedback–or feedback from evil spirits, which is optimal–but you never can tell when this kind of thing will happen. I always hope for good things, but you never can tell when someone grumpy is going to try to rain all over the parade.

Today, Yahoo published an essay I had written about why I love Joyce Carol Oates so much. What about her makes her so inspiring? What keeps her words in my mind?

Joyce Carol Oates: Finding Terror in the Everyday

Fifty Years (via Crossing the Border)

Joyce Carol Oates, one of the most prolific writers in the United States started her career with ambition: winning “Mademoiselle” magazine’s College Fiction Competition.

Why don’t more magazines offer these kinds of contests anymore? So few print magazines offer short stories. It isn’t for lack of writers. Where have all the readers gone?

Fifty Years Joyce Carol Oates published her first "professional" work fifty years ago this year. When she was a junior at Syracuse University, JCO entered her short story "In the Old World" in the Mademoiselle College Fiction Competition. The story was selected as co-winner of the competition (two winners each year) and was published in the August 1959 issue. JCO was in good company, as Mademoiselle had also published the early work of Truman Capote, Flanner … Read More

via Crossing the Border

Unsung Heroes

This is for my friend, who lost one of his while serving.

So many people do not truly comprehend why we service members and veterans do what we do. They also don’t understand what it feels like to be Right There when someone you love dies. This is for all of my brothers and sisters who have served, and those who are serving.

I love you all. We remember.

Ode to My Ranger

Today, I finished the rough draft (no actual links, need to spell particulars properly, need to tighten to word count specifications, etc.) of an essay on my truck. Hooray, me.

Originally, I thought that 400 words would be plenty to describe the love for my little white truck. Turns out, that isn’t actually the case. I could spend pages and pages explaining ad infinitum why and how much I love my truck. (Looking back at it, I may need some psychological help. Oh well. There are many reasons for why I am so crazy; one more probably won’t hurt.)

When I accepted the assignment to write about my truck, my first thought was along the lines of: “This won’t be too hard. Four hundred words are EASY!” After I spent twenty minutes trying to think up a title (I’m not good with titles; I don’t know why), I thought: “Holy carp! There’s no way I can write 400 words about a truck, of all things! What was I thinking?”

Three days later, I came to the insane realization that 400 words was nowhere near enough to properly explain how much I love my truck, and why my little Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is so awesome.  She has little spots of rust popping up all along the sides of her bed–I blame the now-broken Tonneau cover for that–like acne on a teenager, even though she’s closer to geriatric time for a vehicle. I’ve had to have her transmission rebuilt. She needed her alternator replaced. I had to replace the gasket on her oil pan.

And yet.

CCBB helped me through a disastrous marriage. (Too young, too broke, you know: the usual.) She took me, my books, and five days worth of clothes from Georgia to Maryland after that marriage died. She moved me and my boys halfway across the state when I bought my house–the first piece of property I have ever owned. She helped get my cancer-riddled cat to and from his appointments and helped E. and me pick up his ashes once he had died.

We’ve done a lot of living in this little truck. I hope to do a lot more.

Poor Blog…

Oh, my poor, poor neglected blog. I feel like I have forsaken you. 😦

No, darling. It’s nothing you’ve done. It’s me. Really, it is. No, I’m not just saying that to make you feel better. Why would you think that?

I know; I promised that I would write at least once each week, so you wouldn’t feel lonely, but I’ve been crazy busy. You just don’t understand–

You’re right. I never gave you the chance to understand. I should have shared it all with you. I would have been able to air out my grievances and stress while I was writing two novels and a screenplay…

Workaholic? No, I don’t think so. I’m more of a procrastaholic. I have to have 30,000 things going on at once in order to accomplish anything at all. That way, When I’m procrastinating at one thing, I’ll just move on to the next thing. I think that makes sense, but perhaps it does not.

Darling blog of mine, please don’t leave me. I promise I will try to do better, sharing more of my life with you. Maybe I will start writing alternating blogs about writing and reading. Will that make you feel better? Then, you can keep me on track with my re-writes, and keep me honest about reading what I’ve promised myself I will. (I still need to read all the way through “booksmart”. (That is an awesome book.)

Are we made up, blog of mine? Do you forgive me? I promise I will do better. We’ll start with little steps: One blog every two weeks or so?

I love you, blog. Thanks for listening.