Sunday, September 5, 2010


I accidentally spilled a few beans earlier this week. I got some exciting news from a certain wonderful lit mag and I shared it far and wide (read: on facebook and even here, though I promptly deleted the post). Not a big deal, but I won't say any more about it until October.

As a writer I find myself waiting around a lot -- trying to forget I have submissions out there, being judged or, more likely, sitting in stacks of papers on some editor's desk. I check my e-mail a gazillion times a day and open my mailbox with age-8-Christmas-morning anticipation. There's almost never anything there except pizza flyers and coupons from my good friend Diane.

And then, some days there's a letter in the mailbox addressed to me, in my own hand-writing. Which means trouble. Maybe it's just me, but I've never received an acceptance letter in my own SASE. Only bad news comes at my own hand. At least it's mail.

Lately any good news has been coming by e-mail, which makes it all the more surreal. (And fills me with self-doubt: maybe the editor sent the note to the wrong address. Maybe he/she cut and pasted the wrong message, maybe any second now I'll get a second e-mail with the subject line: Disregard Previous Message.)

So when good news comes, I get ridiculously excited. I can't stop grinning. I phone my husband, breathlessly, at work. I whistle for an hour or so. I post it on facebook. (And then re-read the e-mail 6 or 7 times just to make sure it says what I think it does.)

But what surprises me most is how quickly I can absorb that full-on glee and then go back to checking the mailbox or inbox as if it never happened. You'd think the glow would last a while, say 24 hours. But it doesn't. What's up with that? Has my attention span been stunted by too much internet use? Are my expectations for myself ridiculously high? I'm not blase about publishing -- I consider myself very green in this regard and I love seeing my name in print.

Or is it just that good news, a "yes", doesn't feel real until I'm holding it in my hand?

Also does anyone else get hiccups when eating carrots? What's up with that?

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