Undeniably, Autumn

autumnls

AUTUMN

Undeniably, Autumn
looks a bit blowsy
at first glance, with wind-blown
hair of reds and golds and gaze of brazen blue.
You might well mistake her
for a fallen woman,
voluptuous and tipsy
with the fruit of her labors.
Her raucous laughter
takes you by surprise,
takes you into,
takes you under
her wings soar
on high, now you see
this is no slut, no slouch, no lazy woman
this is strength and honor,
her ease well-earned,
her vibrant abandon deserved,
her motherhood fulfilled,
the harvest plenty.
She’s come back to herself, discovered
her wealth of beauty
and let it fly free and frantic and furious,
one last, brief, all-out fiesta
before twilight bares all
in frosted moonlight,
and she rests.

©Linda Cassidy Lewis, 2010

Linda

In honor of the season.

blossom2SPRING

Spring arrives in the breeze
An impetuous, bright-eyed ingénue.
Flinging riotous color on garden and trees,
Spring arrives in the breeze,
And if you listen, mid singing birds and buzzing bees,
You will hear her giddy lilt bid winter adieu.
Spring arrives in the breeze,
An impetuous, bright-eyed ingénue.

©Linda Cassidy Lewis, 2010
elle

To October … the glorious beginning!

Listen … do you hear that? The birds, rejoicing at the cooler air, have started singing again. Yesterday, my breakfast consisted of hot chocolate and buttered toast. The leaves are only just beginning to turn colors where I live, but it won’t be long before they flash some autumnal glam.

Listen … do you hear that? The birds, rejoicing at the cooler air, have started singing again. Yesterday, my breakfast consisted of hot chocolate and buttered toast. The leaves are only just beginning to turn colors where I live, but it won’t be long before they flash some autumnal glam.

For most of the Northern Hemisphere, October signals the true end of summer, but October is my birthday month, so it’s always heralded a beginning for me. At my age, I don’t look forward to tallying up one more birthday, except to give thanks that I made it through another year, so I’ll focus on a beginning.

Let this be the beginning of the year I finally get it all together. Let this be the year I gather my harvest. Let this be the year I cease my struggling to be, and just BECOME.

I leave you with one version of my poem in honor of the season epitomized by October.

AUTUMN

Undeniably, Autumn
looks a bit blowsy
at first glance, with wind-blown hair
of reds and golds and gaze of brazen blue.
You might well mistake her
for a fallen woman,
voluptuous and tipsy
with the fruit of her labors.
Her raucous laughter
takes you by surprise,
takes you in,
takes you under
her wings, soar
on high now you see
this is no slut, no slouch, no lazy woman,
this is strength and honor,
her ease well-earned,
her vibrant abandon deserved,
her motherhood fulfilled,
the harvest plenty.
She’s come back to herself, discovered
her wealth of beauty
and let it fly free and frantic and furious,
one last, brief, all-out fiesta
before twilight bares all
in frosted moonlight,
and she rests.

©Linda Cassidy Lewis, 2010

Out with the old, in with …

As you can see, this old pig blog is wearing a new dress. The font is smaller than on my old theme, but it’s hard to find a newer WordPress theme that isn’t hard on my eyes. Never fear. I use the Firefox add-on called NoSquint, which lets me enlarge the font on any webpage. I think I got all the kinks out, but let me know if you see any problems.

Don’t forget! November is a special month for us writers—no not that—it’s National House Cleaning Month! That zany 30 days designated for us obsessed writers to step away from the keyboard and rediscover the vacuum cleaner, the bottom of the laundry basket, and exactly what lies beneath that pile on the dining room table. If you’re joining me, let me know and get your counter set up, so I can keep an eye on the competition. I’ll also add your name and a link to your blog on the NaHoCleMo page I’ll add on Monday. Watch my counter in my sidebar —>

Things I afflict you with. I haven’t talked about any dreams, nor have I inflicted one of my dreadful poems on you lately. Guess what? Your luck has run out.

MIRAGE

I wrote something fabulous
in a dream.

I read,
heart racing.

Exhilaration.
Elation.
Anticipation.

I woke,
deep sighing.

I wrote something fabulous,
in a dream.

So there you have my Weekend Whoop-de-doo. I wish you a Happy Halloween, Samhain, or whatever your weekend holds.

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What is your writing worth?

Today, I’m thinking I should add another post category called Reality Check. But that might be too discouraging—to me as well as you. Even though I’ve been querying my novel for a while, it took Duotrope to make me say, “What was I thinking?”

I made my decision to seek publication in ignorance. I had no idea how hard reaching my goal would be because I had no idea how many other writers would be in competition with me. Now I know—there are at least a gazillion. And half of them are better writers than I am.

My goal this year was to see a story I’d written published, so I‘ve been using Duotrope to search for magazines I think might accept my work. No easy task that. I can eliminate those who only publish sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, thriller, erotica, western, etc. It’s just as easy to weed out some others by their rejection rates. If their acceptance rate is in the single digits—or less—I don’t even bother. Many of those magazines publish well-established authors; what chance do I have against the Joyce Carol Oates of the world?

Duotrope shows a description for each magazine, usually taken from their own website, and often I read this description and think the magazine sounds perfect for my work. Then, I go to the site and read samples of what they publish and my hopes are dashed. It’s either completely different in style or tone from what I write, or “too literary,” or “too amateur.” So those are more mags I can ignore.

So now, I’ve established what magazines I need not apply to, but how do I choose among the rest? One big question is whether I want to receive payment for my story or poem. Of course, searching for magazines that pay even a token amount turns up many I’ve already crossed off. And if my search term is “semi-pro and up” I’m going to see a lot of those names I’ve put on my too-elite-for-me list.

Do I need to receive payment to feel good about having a story or poem published? What if a magazine’s acceptance rate is over fifty percent? Some show over ninety percent! How would I feel about being published in one of those magazines?

I think to answer those questions, I have to ask another. Why do I write? It’s clearly no longer for my own entertainment or I wouldn’t be querying agents with a novel. I want my work to be read. But do I only want to be read? By how many people? If I don’t care about payment, and I don’t care how many people—or who—reads it, why not just publish on my blog? What is my writing worth to me? Questions, questions, questions.

Do you have an opinion to share?

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