Elephant Seals

My new header picture is from our trip down to southern California. This was taken along Highway 1 between Big Sur and San Luis Obispo at Piedras Blancas. When we first saw the seals we actually thought they were white rocks — which is the meaning of  “Piedras Blancas.”  

As we drove closer we realized that the beach was covered with elephant seals. It was an amazing sight and my children were speechless–well, as close as they’ll ever get to speechlessness.  One of the seals had climbed far up on shore and was only a foot away from us–flinging sand all over himself–you know like most people do at the beach.

I thought it made a great header because it makes me smile. I also chose the picture because it reminds me of my source of creativity –the One who created creativity.

A top (4+1) ways to face rejection

I have finally read On Writing by Stephen King. The book was recommended to me by many readers. Over my vacation, I studied, highlighted and pondered the book. Well, actually, I just read it. First, I must admit that On Writing will probably be the only Stephen King book I’ll read. Not because it wasn’t good — no, because, I would never be able to go to sleep again if I read his typical book. I jump at my shadow–frequently. I’ve even jumped at the sight of my hair in my peripheral vision–don’t sneak up on me, you will regret it. My husband asked me the other night if I’ve ever seen a horror movie. I said I had seen Signs with Mel Gibson. He laughed. I was puzzled.

I enjoyed the book, found it helpful, and will re-read it in the future; however, it gave me no guarantees of writing success. Of course, I really didn’t expect it to, but I wanted it to. It did keep me reading and writing so I’m glad I read it. I realized if Stephen King could go on to success after many rejection letters– I guess I still have a shot. So, on the topic of rejection, and how to face it, I give you 5 top responses:

1. You can curse the day that you were born, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s finest Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream and cry, and cry, and….cry.

2. You can sing “Stayin’ Alive” with Lakisha (American Idol) and the Bee Gee’s.

3. Pick a book from an author you think you write better than, and try to find mistakes in their books. Make sure you take the book with you wherever you go and point out the mistakes to your grocer, mail carrier, mechanic, etc. (please don’t ever do that with my writing I make it too easy).

4. Stalk the editor that rejected your last submission.

5. Keep writing. Keep stretching yourself. Don’t give up, and your time (mine) will come, and then you can eat the ice cream.

This post was inspired by a Problogger group writing project for a chance to win $1001. If I win the prize, that check will be copied, framed, and all loved ones and strangers will be notified. It would be the first monetary by-product from my writing.

I could write 5 ways I would spend the $1001, but I won’t. I have great ideas especially for that dollar at the end.

misery of rejection

Well, my last post was #100 and it’s a bit hard to believe. I would have loved to celebrate with the news of one of my articles being published in a magazine; however, a couple days ago I received another rejection. My first response was — well, I won’t tell you about my first response. My second response was reaching for my ultimate childhood comfort food–tapioca pudding. Yeah, even Ben & Jerry’s couldn’t comfort me.

I read over my submission again. Yes, I’m sure I could have made it better. Maybe I should have spelled words correctly and used proper grammar? Maybe it was so funny the editor was filled with jealousy and had to reject it out of spite! Yeah, that’s it. I’ve made progress though. I used to send in submissions and after 10 years or so I figured I was rejected. This time I got a rejection letter! Now, if I could just get a rejection letter that included ways to improve my writing such as:

Dear RJ Light,

Please take another writing class or two (or more) or consider another profession. You are not funny.

Sincerely,

Ms. Editor

I did check my Standard-Freelancer account and I’ve made 22 cents. I know when I can buy a postage stamp from my earnings I’ve made it as a writer. So, I’ll try harder, and sooner or later an editor will read my latest submission and say, “Wow, this is funny. I can’t wait to publish this –our readers will be laughing for hours! How much money can we afford to pay her for this?”

Well, I’ll keep plugging along and writing because that’s what I do. So the moral of this post #101 is: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or in my case, when life eggs you, make tapioca pudding.

Melody Gardot, a talented voice to check out

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of months–when I first started my blog. I was taking my daughter to school one day when I caught the end of an interview on a talk radio station. The announcer was interviewing Melody Gardot, a young jazz/blues singer from Philadelphia. Her voice and story touched me.

Melody Gardot was disabled at 19, after she was hit by a jeep when she was riding her bicycle in Philadelphia. One of the attending physicians, concerned about the damage to her brain after the accident, recommended music as a way to improve her cognitive development. Melody, unable to walk, started recording her first album, fittingly titled Some Lessons–the Bedroom Sessions as she recorded it confined to her bed. As I said in my post regarding Jennifer Hudson, I love a good comeback story. Melody Gardot’s life threatening accident brought her to triumph rather than hopelessness. 

Melody Gardot released her second CD in which she demonstrates her wonderful songwriting/singing ability. The CD is titled Worrisome Heart and is worth checking out. After I heard her interview, I had to go online and buy this CD. It has a soft blues flavor and is soothing and romantic–you will just have hear it for yourself. I think it will be hard for you to believe that she is only 22 after listening to a few of her tracks–her emotion and talent go beyond her years. Check out my links and see how adversity can be transformed into beauty.  

Like Writing for Chocolate or Answering to Charlie

What is it with this writing stuff? Sometimes it’s just flowing out of me like promises from a politician, and other times I can’t seem to get out anything that doesn’t make me cringe. Okay, most of the time it’s the latter. And why is it after you write and re-write and proof and re-write again and finally get to a point where you can say, “this isn’t complete crap” it gets rejected? Other times you write rambling junk and your words seem to connect with someone–why? Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

What gets me motivated to get those words out there for someone to spit at or ignore?  More

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