Bunnies with Bombs: A Year (and Then Some) of Writing Dangerously

Bunnies with bombs_rotated

“Bunnies with bombs,” she says; I say: like a good book!

I write rough. And judging by the spate of rejections in the last 8 months, quite rough.

But this post is not about that. It’s my 100th post—pop the literary corks, y’all—and I’m reflecting on the past year and five months that I’ve been blogging on WordPress.

First and foremost, I thank you all again for being here.

Suffice it to say, I never expected to get to this destination. This writing-and-sharing-my-angst depot is a surprise, but a welcome one.

I never expected you wonderful 200-odd folks to trip the lines, occasionally fantastic, along with me, from my first few tenuous, nonfiction baby-blogging steps into full-blown fiction and what turned out to be a serial novella, called “Undelivered Valentines.”

My nebulous goal, I can safely say—to write more regularly and, moreover, to take gut-twisting chances with my fiction (and the occasional poem or nonfiction piece), including submitting it to applicable publications and contests—has been achieved, gang-busters.

Spooling through my Submittable account (one of the leaders in content-submission systems for fiction and poetry writers—hint, hint—along with others like the up-and-coming publishing platform Medium), which nevertheless doesn’t embrace all the legwork that I’ve done, I see I’ve submitted to at least 10 publications and/or contests since late November 2014, which exceeds what I’ve been able to do in the past, working within only a wedge of part-time. Several times, I’ve tried the same market; I haven’t pitched the same piece each time, but I have re-submitted. You know what they say about not succeeding the first time . . .

Speaking of submissions and rejections: if you are a writer, are you making time to resubmit your work? See Damyanti’s provocatively titled “Do You Submit Like a Man?” for inspiration.

That said, I have even had the good graces to not submit a piece but be approached to have a poem appear (titled “Bivalve’s Love Song”) in a literary magazine. This time, it was in Grammar Ghoul Press’ spring 2015 issue of The Ghouls’ Review.

Along the way, I have received numerous and invaluable feedback moments from editors, guest readers, beta readers, and many among you. I have also done a good deal of reading, although a person can never do enough of that! How does a writerly gal get so lucky?

toasting-image-blogiversary

Yep, I’ve left it all on the page and now am hollow. Time for a story re-fill!

In short, my year-and-almost-a-half blogging has been “bunnies with bombs,” a phrase suggested by my thoughtful and funny daughter (who has not, by the way, seen “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” or its rabbit of Caerbannog). I suppose it’s fitting, as my Chinese astrological sign is that of the {presumed creative} rabbit. (All in good fun, my fellow STEAM-loving friends!) So, something agile and prolific linked to something painful, life-changing, and even lethal, making for quite a novel combination. Yep, that pretty much sums up what writing fiction and nonfiction (and drama and poetry, for that matter) require. Blood on the keyboard, tornadoes in the brain, tears on the cheeks, and vim, vinegar, and perseverance in the veins.

And so, a final toast: here’s to many more years, friends.

Let’s do what you fear most,/That from which you recoil/but which still makes your eyes moist.–attributed to Lou Reed

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16 thoughts on “Bunnies with Bombs: A Year (and Then Some) of Writing Dangerously

    • I’ll see what I can do, Norma. Thank you so much for the tip of the hat, in any case. I loved reading your responses to all those Liebster and other questions! (And I must admit I wish you could send your mom’s cooking to me via the Internet! I love the spices in pulao and curries, among many others. Sanpapdi, not sure on the spelling, is awesome as a dessert, too–and don’t even get me going about the many delicious dal recipes!)

      • Don’t worry about the post. It’s totally up to you. I can understand if you’ll not do it as it is time consuming. 🙂
        I’d be happy to share the recipes here. I wish I could invite you for dinner. 😦 Indian desserts are yummy. They are not bright and vibrant but sure are tasty. My favourite is gulab jamun, rasmalai and kheer. The spelling is soan papdi, that is also good.

  1. Congratulations and so glad we found each other. Your daughter looks a delightful girl, full of spark and individuality 🙂 It’s very important to keep the writing muscle exercised, as it can soon become flaccid. It was through you that I discovered Friday Fictioneers and this sort of got me going again, amidst the inevitable rejections that come before success success (we have to believe in this, of course). For you and I, it might be harder to come by than those who stick strictly to genre. We both write in an unusual way about unusual things, so publishers have to take a greater risk on us and there isn’t much money around (just now) for them to do this. Personally, I think your writing is brilliant. Perhaps the answer is to “found” a genre. Somebody must have done this with each genre in the first place. Presently, I’m revising a novel I first wrote 20 years ago, when urban fantasy didn’t exist (as far as I know). Now it does, this novel might have a home. So maybe rejection is often a case of a writer being ahead of her time with a certain work.
    Happy days 🙂

    • Thank you–for everything, Sarah. I had a “d’Oh!” moment after posting this story/article, because I was like, “dang, I should have mentioned that I’ve been a guest writer not once, but twice, on your blog.” That’s an accomplishment that makes me proud; that one’s on the resume for sure! I read an interesting discussion about genre between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro on the New Statesman recently. Did you see that one (if not, you might really be interested: http://www.newstatesman.com/2015/05/neil-gaiman-kazuo-ishiguro-interview-literature-genre-machines-can-toil-they-can-t-imagine)? And I do have faith that genres, or the unpeggable story or novel, are cyclical. Can’t wait to hear of a rehoming for your novel soon! Hope your weekend is going fabulously on all fronts.

      • What a fascinating and inspiring discussion between those two greats. Thanks so much for that link, Leigh. It has made my day. By the way, have you read The Buried Giant? I was waiting for it to come out in paperback. Must check when this will be.
        My weekend is going fine. Gardening and stuff. I pick a whole punnet of strawberries at the allotment this morning, and some fresh mint, which I made into mint sauce to go with my lunch, plus throwing some mint in with some homegrown new potatoes.
        I’m meeting up with a fellow blogger this week, so am very excited about this. Doubtless a blog post will follow the meeting!

  2. Awesome work on the 100 posts! I’m seriously behind in reading blogs, but hey, better late than never, right? I’m not good about submitting stuff because it’s not ‘fun’ and it’s discouraging. That being said, I plan to jump back into it next year. This year has been pretty bad all the way around, so I’m giving myself a break. I’m lucky to write a few blog posts a month, but I do know that will change. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work – write on, Leigh!

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