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Great Gleaming Plot Hole of Doom


I didn’t intend to blog today. Yet, here I am – four cups of coffee consumed, a self-made mcmuffin eaten, and my patience severely frayed.

The short story about the mostly dead girl? I’ve stalled. The ending isn’t quite right, and it needs something more. But what? I can’t quite see how to fix it, only that something is wrong.

In the middle of trying to fix it, I received a rejection from a literary magazine. It is the 6th one this month. That, of course, means I’m trying – and I’m a little bruised. No one likes to hear/read, “Thanks, but no.”

The rejection smarts, as they do. It’s par for the course. Sometimes, that course is full of alligators. The smart people get out of the ponds. The stubborn people stay.

I’m stubborn.

Yes, rejections are no fun. They always bring with them a small offering of doubt, which smells of fear and middle school gym class. (Really.) But caving into fear, or doubt, or whatever – it keeps you in quicksand.

And by you, I mean me. Doubts are made to be shoved aside, so I’m shoving – and I’m going to fix this damn story. Maybe not today. Maybe tomorrow. For now, I’m going to put it aside, make a cup of tea (yes, coffee, I’m cheating on you with English Breakfast tea), and work another short story I wrote last week.

I’ve found that Great Gleaming Plot Holes are evasive things. If you stare at them too hard, almost willing them to be righted, they scoff. Like watching a pot on the stove, nothing happens. You can’t look words into submission. People? Sure. Words? They are made of stronger stuff, I’m afraid.

When something won’t work, don’t force it. This is advice for life, as well as writing. A relationship can’t be willed into functionality – no matter how much you wish. There are great gleaming holes abound. Make peace with them. Or eat chocolate. Either way. They simply ARE. Only time and patience will change them.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, holy frakkin’ hell – it is SNOWING. Again.

  1. January 29, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Ali, ping my friend Diane Nelson on Facebook – she is always on a lookout for fresh talent and short form is strongly encouraged.

    • Ali
      January 31, 2011 at 8:02 am

      Thanks, Maria! Just so I have some background, who is she and what does she do? I’d like to better know who she is, so that I know best who to approach her (and what for). Thanks for your help! 🙂

  2. February 3, 2011 at 7:30 am

    A former Xanga friend of mine (from years ago) was continually submitting pieces and continually getting rejected. Just this week she signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press for a trilogy! All that to say–don’t give up. You’re a great writer with great passion and great heart. Someday I’ll be asking for your autograph–I’m sure of it.

    • Ali
      February 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Congrats to your friend!!! That is wonderful news. 🙂 And thank you, Luann, for the vote of confidence. I appreciate that. As for the autograph, I suspect that will occur over cheesecake and a nice cup of coffee. *grin*

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