Friday, December 19, 2003

DWS has left the building

Ah, for those keeping vigil with me or for themselves, it all came to an ego-crushing blow late last night when the SNW 7 winners were announced. As a friend said, it was unnecessarily cruel of Marco Palmieri to have posted that note so early and to deprive those of us with delusions of grandeur of the joy and anticipation and hope of getting in. Fie on you, Marco, fie, I say!

But I got validation from Siu-Ling, whom I've finally caught on Y!M last night, and even though she doesn't like Trek at all (is downright resentful of Trek, btw, from our college days) and has never read my writing, she says I was robbed and my greatness unappreciated. Another friend suggested that when the rejection letters do finally arrive (and I'll have 3 -- 5, if you count the 2 from last year), that they ought to be used as wallpaper of some kind. After all, if that woman on "Trading Spaces" can wallpaper with moss and newspaper, rejection letter wallpaper can only be the next big thing.

Though, in all seriousness, congratulations to the winners. I see some familiar names on the list, including Jeff Jacques whose fic I've enjoyed for many years now when he still actively posted to ASC. I see an ASC name or two, but since I'm not sure if the authors wish to remain anonymous or not, I'll just congratulate them from afar. If they read this blog, then yes, I'm talkin' to you -- good on you for making it in (g).

As I told a friend last night, I was more disappointed in not making it than I thought I would be. Last year, I didn't expect anything and I got my hopes up a little with the reaction to "Blink" this year. But in general, I never put a whole lot of stock into my chances. Which could be a confidence problem, I suppose, but I also was realistic about the quality of my submissions this year. I've said it before that my stories for last year were of much higher quality than the ones I submitted this year. I wrote this year's story in about 10 days, coming on the heels of a move and a new job, and also late at night. It had its moments, and then it had many more non-moments.

But I'll be honest. I was looking for validation. I wanted something to say, "Hey, this fanfiction thing isn't stupid and you aren't crazy for writing about characters created by other people." I wanted something to say that seven years of doing this thing was meaningful and not a waste of time. I judge my time in fandom by the way my writing has improved and by the friendships I've made. Those are intangible assets, ones that non-fannish people can never -- and won't -- understand. Getting in SNW was my form of validation, a way I could say, "Look, I worked at this and this is what I got for my efforts."

So I didn't get in this year. There's always next year. I don't anticipate writing any more Trek in 2004 (no, I'm not making any promises, I'm just sayin' (g)). Once I get my plate cleared of WiPs, I really have no plot bunnies or motivation to continue on in this particular fandom; if you've lost the enthusiasm for the source material and the characters, it shows in the writing and I think that was the basic and fundamental problem with Riley -- I forced the whole story out and it never did quite have heart or oomph in it. But if the muse does strike, there is always next year. After all, you miss 100 percent of the opportunities you never take and this is an awesome opportunity.

As it is, my goal for this coming year is try to enter at least one contest every quarter. I've got some good material coming out of my writing class and with motivation of the writing group, I think I can buckle down and have the discipline to keep submitting. I've got a list of literary fiction contests for original fic and I'm just going to go down the list and try to send something in, using my friend Jodi in DC as inspiration; she got a poem in a literary magazine a year ago after relentlessly submitting. She had dedication and perserverance and I'm definitely motivated by her example.

Yeah, rejection letters suck. It reminds me of when I was looking for a job in '97 and '98 and the pile of rejection letters kept building. I had a shoe box full. My favorite rejection letter though was from Very Big Insurance Company -- sent two weeks before they made an offer.

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