The last little while has been rough. I don’t just mean the last few days; I rang in 2018 while under involuntary lockdown in the local behaviour health hospital. Today in particular was challenging. But I’m still here. So.
I’m compiling a couple of different reading challenges for the upcoming months and whole year. My friends Laria and Holly are both joining me in The 52 Titles Challenge, so if you want in, just say the word. Just take a picture of the cover of each book with the caption “finished!” for every title you clock in. I’m going to keep a separate tab up in the menu bar for score-keeping. It’s not a race, just an accountability buddy-system.
I’ve been playing with mémoire (also, I just learnt there’s a difference between memoir and mémoire that I was taking for granted). Memoir, in English, is “a historical account or biography*,” whereas mémoire, in French, is any genre of writing that liberates the author. It’s a little tricky. I’d been taking advantage of the English assuming it encompassed the generic freedom of the French. *Thank you, OED.
I’m also going to open up a donation page, because I’ve come to realise that certain aspects of being an emerging writer are inherently disadvantageous to those coming from skinny economic means. High-stakes literary contests and big-name magazines tend (not always, of course, but the trending standard) to have submission fees ranging from $15.00–$25.00–$35.00USD, if not higher in the cases of non-citizen or non-resident entry fees. Smaller journals and magazines frequently run fees of $3.00–$10.00USD. It’s fifty-fifty if one’s submission will be taken by a paying market, and then the recompense runs $10.00–$20.00 per poem or page, and good luck seeing that return any time sooner than six months after submission. Even the most successful writers I follow on Twitter have shared their acceptance ratios: the crowd runs around fifteen percent, with some outliers (a Spiders Georg for the road, if you please). If one were to submit, say, to three submission calls every month, it’s likely to run upward of $50.00USD. All of this, of course, comes before network membership fees (hi, North Carolina Writers’ Network and The League of Canadian Poets), conference fees and all the associated expenses (here’s lookin’ at you, AWP), subscriptions to and one-off purchases of lit mags, and personally speaking the fistful of money I had to hand over for my PhD application. All of this to say: should this blog ever gain any traction, those who feel inclined to help can do so, and I can’t begin to say how appreciative I’ll be.