Promoted! (But still working for free)

Well, Saturday hit my house in a flurry of laziness--I slept in, took an obscenely long shower and spent something like forty-five minutes at the breakfast table, reading. The laziness was so complete that I didn't even brew coffee. I just thought about how much I'd like some coffee.

To top off my morning of blissful inactivity, I spent something like two hours editing the new site layout, getting the colors and font size and borders and tables and photos just so, and if you don't like it, hmph. That's all I'm sayin'. Hmph. See, you may or may not have noticed, but for the last week I've been taunting you with little entries, mostly devoid of content, so that I can get this damn layout working (to see the template I started with, click here)--but now we're back in business, so get ready for more long, long rants about, well, nothing.

Eh. I never promised content in the first place.

When I finally left the house, it was only to step outside and realize that I was tragically overdressed, because--what the crap?--it was sunny out, and 60-degrees. Surely, I did not authorize this. So I sweated my way through the walk downtown, peeling off scarf and ski sweater, and pushing up my sleeves. Though threatened with heat exhaustion, I did not miss the opportunity to ooh and aah over nature: heaps of copper-colored oak leaves! Bare branches, just showing through fiery yellow and gold and red leaves! That autumn sky, an intense blue; the mountains looming, violet and gray, over church steeples, office buildings, the lone parking garage!

To spare you lots of sentences that would inevitably begin "And then I...", I'll summarize: the afternoon involved bookstores and several hours spent curled up on a couch at the Black Drop, refilling my bottomless cup o' joe and reading, alternately, Report to Greco, Roald Dahl's Lamb to the Slaughter, and a stack of loosly paperclipped stories from the Bellingham Review.

And this is where I plunge fearlessly into an aside. See, for the last couple years, since I graduated from college, I've been putting in a few hours a week doing grunt work for this literary journal on campus. Keeps me in the writerly scene, or something.

Nobody really knows who I am, except the editor--I drift in and out of the office at will, opening envelopes, logging in submissions, entering subscriptions into the database, usually rocking out to Frank Sinatra or Audioslave on my headphones while I work, so I don't really have to talk to anybody. I have no status. It's awesome.

But this week, the editor looked woefully at the mounting stack of fiction submissions (200 in 3 weeks! Egad!), sighed, looked at me, and asked if I'd be interested in being a reader.

Um. Yes?

Some kids do this for college credit; I do it for the love of reading. And I get paid in KitKats.

So I checked out a stack of stories, took 'em down to the Black Drop and got crackin'. What I honestly expected--I say this without shame--was for the stories to be horrible. Really, really bad. And I was excited, because I love terrible writing (I get this fascination from my dad--for an entry on our love of crappy literature, click here)--but in this respect, I was disappointed. The editor warned me that the magazine accepted something like 2% of all submissions, so I certainly did not expect the stories to be, well, good. I definately didn't expect them to be--ahem--better than my writing.

I know, I know. Ouch. Ego, deflated. Moving on.

In the end, I quite enjoyed the stories, but by the time I'd finished the last one I noticed that my hands were trembling rather badly (how many times had I refilled my cup?), so I packed up and went home--

--where I noticed the light on my answering machine blinking.

Dun, dun, DUN.

But the rest of this is probably a story for tomorrow, since I'm all tuckered out and ready to hit the hay. 'Night!

1 comment:

bugorama said...

hoorah! i'm glad you're reading! don't worry; there will be some wonderfully bad writing coming your way eventually. i read a lot of it last year at least (and some amazing stuff too).