April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
– T. S. Eliot

 

I sympathize with good old T. S. in his opening lines to The Wasteland. Last year, it snowed several times in April, even on the first official day of spring. And while this year we’ve had great weather, there’s been plenty of other cruelty to think about. Taxes really hit us hard, despite my taking fewer deductions per paycheck (so I had less per pay period). We ended paying almost 2 grand more than last year (between fed and state).

Then I spiraled into depression at the end of the month. I was already on a downward slope with lots of the usual thoughts about my writing being crap, and why do I bother, it’s not panning out. But seeing End Game seems to have really thrown me deep into a pit. It took me a couple of days to understand what had happened, and then I realized . . .

(spoiler ahead, skip down if you haven’t seen it!)

. . . when Pepper tells Tony “you’ve done enough; you can rest now,” it reminded me of talking to my brother as he died, 9 years ago in April. He was already fading when I reached the hospital after an all night drive to get to Maine. I told him “it’s okay if you need to go, I love you, you stayed long enough, you can go.” And a few minutes later he was gone.

(spoiler over!)

I’m improving now. Working my way out of the funk. Pulling together the emotional fragments and reframing the broken window of my heart so I can do what I do, get up at 3:30 and write, put on my iron mask of “I eat rejections for breakfast.” But the rejection folder is getting fuller by the day and it’s weighing on me tremendously. Another year? Maybe two? Three? I told myself ten years, and that’s not that far off. Then again, I’ll probably go on this way forever. Because in reality, I’ve never not been a writer. Even when I pretended not to be.

Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes/Professional Activities:

Attended the April meeting of the MWA Frederick Chapter. We had a great discussion about members own work (we called it “Show and Tell”, which I should have realized would have been confusing; some members thought we were doing a discussion of “show, don’t tell”). Finished booking rooms for our Ireland trip to Worldcon this year. Last thing I need to do is renew my passport, which I’ll do in the next week. Decided to attend Balticon, so we bought tickets for that.

Finished:

Nothing finished.

WIP:

Made solid progress on the WWI fantasy novel. 27k words written in the month of April. But there were many “no writing” days, including this past weekend. The fewer of those I have, the sooner I get draft one finished.

Outstanding:

12 stories outstanding. Longest lead time is 238 days. But the novella submission did finally get resolved.

Submissions:

10 submissions made. Some of those were quick turn arounds after rejections.

Rejections:

10 rejections in April, including the novella I submitted last August. I did get a very nice personal rejection on that one, and maybe I can build off their comments and rework it.

Acceptances:

No acceptances

Goals for May:

Continue work on the WWI novel. Target goal of 25k words minimum. Stretch goal of 35k.

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