Rejected Again


ome rejections are appreciated. I would appreciate a rejection even more if it included feedback other than “… does not meet our requirements.” The appreciate part is knowing it was received, at least looked at and the rejection means my E-mail address is in the publisher’s files. I also appreciate the publisher’s having an automatic response for submissions with or without a statement like, “If we do not respond in xx days, feel free to submit elsewhere.” I don’t think I need permission to submit elsewhere unless the publisher says my work is being moved to the next level of consideration.

My most recent rejection is from a journal to which I’ve submitted at least six times. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of competing with probably a multitude of others for space in The First Line Literary Journal. Having read many of the submissions, I take the position of luck of the draw of the day, but I wish I’d had the idea for many of the presentations. I’m taking at least three more attempts to be in the quarterly this year.
I sent a query following submission guidelines and got a request for the first chapter and a second random chapter of my choice. About a week later, I got a request for the full manuscript. I asked its status after 60 days. I was told that it was still in the reading process. I asked again after 90 days and getting no answer, I formally withdrew my request for consideration.
Trying a different tack, I sent a query and guideline requested page to two pair of agencies with similar requirements. One gave the …after 60 days statement and the other said it would respond in 30 days. The thirty-day one replied with the does not meet statement within days.  The 60-day said, “… not right for our audience.”  


eeping in mind that many well sold writers had multiple rejections before profit was heaped upon them, I just submitted the work to another two agents. I’ve never been in this endeavor for riches, but as I work on other projects, I wonder what the next 60 days will bring, if anything.




ood Morning! I was about to have an opinion, but more about that later.


efore retirement I had a routine. Didn’t nearly everyone? Now I have a routine that can be purposely varied, but nearly every morning is the same. Take today for instance.

I wake up — if not I’d not be writing this. The coffee maker button gets punched, I get the newspaper from the steps outside, then stumble (for lack of a better morning word for walk) to the little room – you know the one.
No! I do not read the paper there. I used to, but… The whistle on the coffee maker alerts me to a sub-routine. I take my cholesterol med with water from the cup I’ll use for the caffeinated liquid. Ahhh – that first sip while it’s hot enough to burn any part of the body except the mouth.
My thumb touches the red button on the TV remote, and my index finger moves almost automatically to the channel where the morning newscast is usually the least like a talk show. Our local newspaper has four standard sections and for some reason I read (most times just scan) the sections in the same order. Content on the front page can nearly always be predicted from what was on the late newscast the night before, so that page is second to the last for me. I read skim the section that has the comics, TV schedule, etc. Next, it’s the sports section. The last section I read (not every article, but most) is the local news – the primary reason I subscribe to the paper.

Ho-hum routine.


ith TV news turning to talk shows, paper scanned, e-mail read and filed, texts read and/or answered, social media checked, body dressed, computer on, Shirley doing Sudoku … the routine continues. There are exceptions. Why not? Mondays start earlier with less newspaper reading, quick breakfasting, checking media on the phone, walking the mall, and coffeeing with friends.
Most days, I write something, but spring is springing and having been rained in for a season, there will be some purposeful changes in routine.

Opinion: In my opinion, opinions sometimes cause more trouble than they are worth at the time blurted. Someone else said, “Everyone has a right to my opinion.” I find it sad that opinion is too often taken as an attack. And, I find it troubling that a loud opinion cannot be countered with an opposite or even slightly different without fear of angering the first opinion giver.

Remember when debate was a great device for engaging others and bringing life to the conversation. But in those days, there were rules against personal attack and …


herefore, the opinion I was thinking about at the onset of this block of words, symbols and spaces will be confined to the grey matter with which I’ve been blessed. Whoops! Would saying I’m blessed be taken as an opinion? So be it!

Opinion – Rules: They


pinion: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter. So, all who read the following should, please, believe what I have written is just that – opinion.


act: the quality of being actual. What I write below is in fact just my opinion.
Convinced of my prediction? Read on to make up your mind.


ules are for those who follow them. Following the rules in most ventures will bring the follower success. Or will it? This is a personal case in point. Bill Bryson talks about grammar and spelling rules in his The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way . Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers: A Concise Handbook Second Edition has nearly 500 pages of rules for writing and examples for following them. The Chicago Manual of Style says…


revious readers will probably know or at perhaps have the opinion that I get off track in my blogs. Some might believe I do so on purpose. Opinion or Fact?

Now back to where I was going with this. I’ve been meaning to say something about news presentations for some time. This morning, I decided now is the time. A TV reporter said, “Police identified one victim. They are expected to recover.” Who is expected to recover: the police or…? Perhaps there was more than one victim and the police expect multiples to recover. But the report (or was it the reporter) said one victim. In the olden days didn’t the pronoun they represent more than one? Were the police misrepresenting the fact(s) by not using a pronoun for a single person? Or was the reporter trying to make their statement more politically correct.
OK! I’m not that naïve. It’s my opinion that the police and/or reporter do not want a carrier risk by not being gender neutral without having the facts as might be defined by different opinions.

I suggest reporting, “Police identified one victim who is expected to recover.” But, one or more could question my correction with, ‘were there other victims who were not expected to recover; or other victims were not identified; or…’
Then there was the newspaper statement, “The pilot was the only one on board and ‘they’ are still missing.”


pinion x 2: Our grammar rules are going to hades in a handbasket and we had to buy the basket from a third world country to reduce the cost.
Another of my pets is, “The driver was killed after the crash.” Did ‘they’ survive the crash and ‘was’ killed after? If so, by whom?

Thor’s Day


hursday means Thor’s day in Old English. The Norse among us probably know Thor the god of thunder is represented riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer. For most/many others day is named after the god and planet Jupiter. I’ve met several Norse (Norwegians) and very few could conger up that image in my mind. Both sides of my family emigrated from Norway, so I am also a Norse or Scandinavian of the N-kind.

This Thor’s Day like so many and regular days too, I got off track faster than good lefse removed from a snack tray.

Regular readers of this blog will certainly remember I said something about making posts on this day every week. I know and have evidence or hearsay that many of you are Scandinavian of the N-kind, so you are quite likely to be forgiving of procrastinators of the same kind.



orgive me if I offer this for my not posting excuse:
IN RESPECT TO specific blogging goals and based on non-professional clinical observations in parallel with a constant flow of effective information modified by a social media flow of ineffective information which is further complicated by a primary interrelation between system and subsystem technologies, requires considerable opinion analysis and trade-off studies, thus adding overriding performance constraints to arrive at the evolution of concept specifications over a given time period, and in this regard, must be integrated with the format design, based on language-engineering vocabulary imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all serfs to any self-appointed authority on blogging.

That didn’t learn me nothing! How about you?


eriously, I had nothing to say this Thor’s Day. – perhaps next week.

PS: I have true respect for real authorities on blogging.

Will It Be What We Hope


very year is a little different and looking forward to 2020 most have hope that it will be as good as or better than the prior(s). To read or write – that is the question.

Oh how what we’ve read creeps into our minds as we write / try to write.
But what if both. In the immediate prior time, reading took a back seat. Thus far in the current time, reading is still there – perhaps balance is in the hope.

Well getting on with …:
Remember I wrote, “I was well along on my sequel to Nescient Decoy and had put Jason and Erin into the Ukraine – whoops, I had not planned a political situation for them.” As I’d tried to not have it political, I’d rather not have the continuing story that either. Since my last post I’ve had at least a half-dozen scenarios in my head. Then I’m self-distracted – not unusual for me.
But-firsters are just part of my life (well not public life); I did a paragraph on a flash fiction not due for submission until … While doing that, I looked at some old files for ideas I’d used to continue the story of Jason and Erin and discovered something I’d intended to finish several years ago. That unrelated work got several edits, and new entries, then …

I intended to do something with this forum every Thursday. Well you can see how that has been going.
I heard about James Clear’s book Atomic Habits in the context of a church sermon and took a look at a summary by Sam T. Davies. Now I won’t have to read the book and I’d sure not be happy imposing the considerations for self-improvement on myself.

Have you noticed that I’m wandering again. And I ask myself, Self, do you wonder as you wander? Well that thought wasn’t for sure from remembering only one line fromHamlet.

But about the subject of the song I’ve paraphrased, I have no wonder.


wenty-twenty is here and “what will be will be.” Woah! Some phrases just stick in one’s mind … er … my mind.

So how was that for an example of being all over the place? Whoa – I just thought of this Nothing to Do