I was never good at delayed gratification. They say good news will keep, but it’s been all I can do to keep it for three days. Monday. That’s when she called me. Leanne Kleinmann, editor of the new Memphis imprint of skirt! magazine, called to give me the good news that my essay, “myPod,” will appear in the premiere issue in October! The kick-off party is next Thursday, so I had high hopes of saving the news ‘til then… when I’ll have pix to share and all that jazz. (Yes, you’ll get another dose next week.) (Cover of September issue below, left.)
A little history. skirt! Was started in 1994 as a monthly magazine for women in the Charleston and Columbia areas of South Carolina. Since then, they have tripled in size. Print editions of skirt! are now available in Charleston, SC; Atlanta, GA; Augusta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Augusta, GA; Savannah, GA; Jacksonville, FL.; Columbia, SC; Knoxville, TN; Memphis, TN; Richmond, VA; Houston, TX; and Boston, MA.
Each issue has a theme. October is the “Spark” issue… as in creative spark. Each local edition of skirt! publishes about 12-14 essays which circle the theme each month. Local editors select from essays chosen by the national editors. So… while my essay has been chosen to appear in the Memphis skirt!... I don’t yet know which other editions will carry it. You can also read a good bit of the magazine’s content online.
So… yes I told a few friends and one showed up at my house with flowers (cheerful white daisies) and a Congrats! helium balloon which made me feel so special.
The only “bad news” is that I’ve got to buy drinks at the end of the day when the Yoknapatawpha Writers Group meets in Oxford in October. We agreed that whoever got published next would buy drinks at the following meeting. Patti emailed me to remind me when I shared my news with her on Monday... she didn't waste any time about it, did she? It will be my pleasure! (It’s the only way I’ll ever get Doug to let me buy him a drink… he’s such the Southern Gentleman.) You know what, drinks will be on skirt! (out of my check for the essay, that is)
Balance. If you read my down-in-the-mouth post from Wednesday, and now this one, you’re thinking, uh huh, she could use some meds about now. Yes, the writer’s life can be a roller-coaster ride. We have to remember how much we love the art. For itself.
Poetry helps. I often read poetry when I’m struggling with emotional imbalance. Diane Ackerman (at right) explains why this works beautifully in her essay, “Language at Play,” in In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction. (see yesterday’s post for info):
When we create with words, in the literary arts, we raise the stakes. Then we stare straight at our inherently poetic version of life, make it even more vigorous and resourceful. Poetry, for example, speaks to everyone, but it cries out to people in the throes of vertiginous passions, or people grappling with knotty emotions, or people trying to construe the mysteries of existence.
Sunsets help. Here’s a parting shot of the sun as it sank behind the Mississippi River down at Harbor Town last night. I’ll bet it will be just as beautiful tonight…. but I'll be home cooking flounder and Greek salad for my sweet hubby, whose plane is landing as I type these parting words.
By the way, I took that photo with our new camera - it's a Panasonic 7.2 megapixels with 12x optical zoom and all sorts of magical capacities that I'll never even begin to tap into. We even went to the class at Wolf Photo a few weeks ago, where my husband (the scientist) asked questions about things like aperture and bracketing. I asked one question at the end of the two-hour class. It was this: "After my husband makes all those fancy adjustments on the camera, will I still be able to turn it to the "beginner" mode so I can just point and click?" Big smile on the instructor's face. That's exactly what that setting is for, darling. How 'bout that beginner sunset? I think Jimmy Buffet would like it.