If you're looking for something to do in San Francisco this Saturday night, why not come to the Lit Crawl? It's part of LitQuake, an annual San Francisco literary festival, and it's FREE. We like free.
Plus, if you go to the 5:00 - 6:15 reading at Valencia Street Books, Finding Neverland: Writers of Young Adult Fiction, you will get to see Yours Truly emceeing for a handful of exciting local authors. I will be far less exciting than they will be, which is as it should be. And yes, that reading is named after our WritingYA weblog--we're kind of co-hosts or co-promoters or whatever you want to call it, and this is great publicity for us. I'm very excited.
This is also cool because it's the second (or third, if you count last year's Lit Crawl) time in my life I've gotten to be peripherally involved in a Lawrence Ferlinghetti-related project. The first time, Rob was the printer for a series of etchings by artist Stephanie Peek, published as a limited-edition artist's book with poetry from Ferlinghetti's Endless Life. This meant that we got to meet and have dinner with him at the artist's house, during which he told some very interesting stories about his life. So I definitely admire him and am glad to be involved in LitQuake, even if it's in a small way.
Maybe one day I'll actually get to be involved as a reader. Man, would that be cool. Of course, I have to publish something first, and if the pile of rejections I'm accumulating is any indication, I'm on the fast track to obscurity on that score. I can hardly manage to talk about the latest developments, but I might as well get it off my chest. That story I talked about submitting a while ago? The one that got the non-rejection? (I'm going to tactfully not mention names at the moment in case there are prying eyes, though it's not as though it would make much difference at this point, as you will see, as I have nothing to lose.)
Well, that story was sent hopefully back to the literary magazine in question, after no less than FOUR separate rounds of revisions done with a hasty intensity I henceforth hope to reserve only for ACTUAL publication possibilities, or defeating some kind of video-game super-boss. Anyway, I was contacted a few weeks later by the magazine's editorial board, who "liked my revisions" but had even MORE suggestions for revision. These suggestions, in addition to kind of missing the point of the story, would furthermore result in a completely different piece than the one I wrote. Now, I'm not opposed to the occasional blanket revision, but I was actually already pleased with this story after the last round of revisions. I do believe in being flexible if a) suggestions are reasonable and b) it has a good chance of resulting in respect and publication.
But I don't want to change the entire nature of my writing just to get published. I might as well just put "by Editor X" as the byline. Also, I should point out that some of the comments by the editorial staff were obviously forwarded to me in totally unadulterated form, and I found myself put off, hurt, even outraged by some of them--not exactly the right strategy for getting me enthused about more revisions. Not to mention that there's no reason for me to assume that even if I did alter my story into unrecognizability, they would then publish it. It's beyond the realm of nuts-and-bolts suggestions, so I've decided to sit on it for a while. I'll think about it. I may even see if someplace else is interested in it. Or I may just decide to totally scrap it and shove it in a drawer because I'm sick as hell of it.