Sunday, November 23, 2014

Three questions for you

Dear World,

Who are you, and where are you reading my blog from? I'm not sure what's inspired me to write this post. But none the less, I have three questions for you (aside from the two I've already asked rhetorically!)

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Do you find it difficult to get up in the morning? And if so, what is it that keeps you awake so late at night?

To get us started, I'll answer them too.

If I knew I couldn't fail, I would write as many books as possible. Yes, I usually find it fairly difficult to get up in the morning, but more so from a lack of sleep than dreading facing the day. The reason I tend to be up so late is that I'm either writing something, or reading somebody else's work.

Sara

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My writing journey

I'm feeling a little retrospective at the moment. About my writing and how much I've changed over the last few years. When I started university, way back in 2010, I remember coming home one afternoon and feeling more frustrated than I possibly ever had before. It had something to do with feeling like my entire future was planned out for me, with as much room to move as if I was wearing a straight jacket. 

When I think of writing, I think of September 15, 2011 (It was a Thursday afternoon). Once again, there was a sense of frustration, but of a different sort strong enough to justify writing a poem about. That poem was my "Rain" poem, the one which set me off on a path that I can now look back on and remember as a fork in the road. I really liked that little poem. I thought it was well written, and maybe even good enough to be published somewhere. So I put it up on my blog, and kept writing poetry during times when I had no.other.outlet. Come May 2012, I was browsing the internet (no surprise there) and stumbled upon a local magazine calling for submissions for fiction, poetry, and plays. With high hopes I sent them "Rain" and a few other poems. They'd given us a date by which we would know if our work was accepted, and I jotted it down on my calendar. But it was delayed, and the fingers stayed crossed for longer than was first expected. I would be a published writer if I was accepted! An actual, published, writer! You've probably guessed by now that, no, it wasn't accepted. And my hopes came crashing down and for 6 months I didn't send anything to anyone because why on Earth would they want it? 

Further down the track, in November 2012, I was browsing the website "Duotrope", a kind of database for literary magazines which gives you information about their submission guidelines, what kind of writing they publish etc. So I thought, well, why not? I'll send some poetry to a few magazines and if nobody accepts it, that's it, I'll give up on it. Rejection after rejection arrived in my inbox and, like all writers who try and try again, I was pretty downtrodden. So I just about gave up, with a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that one of the magazines, Westward Quarterly, hadn't got back to me yet. I remember the Friday morning in January, 2013 that I checked my email and saw the editor was going to include "Rain" in the Spring edition of the magazine. Needless to say the emotions running through my system were a mix of excitement and bewilderment.

I didn't write too much poetry in the following months. I did a little bit, but not as much as I had before. My attention turned to fiction, and up until I read "Great House" by Nicole Krauss, I had little idea it didn't exclude poetry. But Nicole introduced me to prose, and so I started experimenting with it. In June 2013, I stumbled across an issue of Yen Magazine, advertising a short story competition for which entries were due a few weeks later. I gave it a try and put together a story from different bits of writing I'd done that year. I edited and edited and edited. And sent in the story. And, needless to say, didn't win! I wasn't as crestfallen as I was after my poetry was first rejected. I knew by then, if you try hard enough and send your stuff to enough magazines, eventually, you might just be published. I had my "Rain" poem to attest to that. So in the following months came, you guessed it, a flood of emails along the lines of: "Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, the story doesn't fit the needs of the magazine. We wish you luck placing your work elsewhere." Each rejection email chips away at the writers confidence. Bit by bit, each email falls a little harder. But there was one which pulled me up even more than an acceptance could. It was a little note from The New Yorker that said my writing indicated promise and advised me to keep writing and reading. But still, rejection after rejection followed, and you get to point where you think: "Nobody's ever going to publish this." But you keep going, because, quite frankly, you have nothing to lose by a few more people reading your story. They don't even know you! So there's less judgement that way. 

In March 2014, I woke up early one morning dreading work. I hadn't had much sleep the night before, and my eyelids weighed around a thousand kilograms. I reached over to my phone to turn off my alarm and glanced at the "new email" icon at the top of the screen. Weary eyed I checked my inbox and, there was The Deltona Howl Magazine saying "Neither Happy Nor Sad" would find a good home within their pages. Reading that email felt like the part of me that had  been walking through the desert finally made it out, and to use their words: "found a good home." Since then, I've been writing. and writing. and writing. I'm now at the point where I don't go a day without writing, and each time I sit down at my desk, I can't help but think about that day in 2010 when I felt like I had no say in my future. Because now, I just about have no plans. But I have a goal to aim for, which has loosened the straps of that straight jacket. 

Kudos to you if you made it this far. I honestly feel like the only person I wrote this for was me.

Sara xx 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My city

You're an inextinguishable memory,
The description of twilight
You're a cloudy day,
Fog refusing to ease
You're a lonely walk among many
Green-tea long deserved
You're the discovery of self-respect
And the first few inklings of friendship
You're mistaken sexuality
And clothing pegs abandoned in alleyways

You're kindness,
You're cruel,
You're mine.

                       - Sara xo

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Life/selfie

Point one: Life has been busy lately, I'm working four days a week and juggling my writing around that. When I'm at home I'm mostly reading or writing, there are TV shows I'd like to see but when you're trying to balance everything, TV time tends to be the one that suffers. Add a social life and family time to that and you have less hours in the day than you originally counted. But it's probably for the best. I'm finding that getting up early, before the day really starts can be the key to squeezing in writing time. You'd be surprised how much it makes you want to get up in the morning!

Point two: Selfie time! I normally don't post photos of myself on the blog, but does anyone even know what I look like?! This one's from my graduation a few months back.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Published fiction

Dear my dear followers,

If you're reading this blog, you may just be somebody who first stumbled upon it around the time I used to publish lots of poetry up here, or maybe even when I first introduced my bucket list. Anyway, I thought that you might just like to know that my short story, "Neither Happy nor Sad" is going to be published by the online literary magazine DeltonaHowl. How exciting! I'm very grateful to the editors for believing in my work enough to share it with the world.

Anyway, I guess that's about it for now.

Hope you're all doing well :)

Sara xo

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Braille

A blind man
Defines comfort
Not by letters written in Braille

But by the softness of his companions fur
Every single hair
Informing him that he's there
And that he'll be there
Until comfort from his memory
Never becomes rare

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wonder

The crunch of an apple,
A hint of a sigh
They wonder longingly
About days gone by