Snow and Settling

Holy cow, it’s snowing a lot here. The snowbanks are taller than my toddler. This is the front of our little townhouse—you can see that the snow is as tall as our trash can.

snow covered trash bin
Trash bin in snow

So I got some great news this past week. One of my nonfiction essays got accepted for publication in a literary magazine called Bayou. I’m really happy about it, because Bayou has had a number of essays get notable mentions in The Best American Essays in the past several years (I have a giant anal-retentive spreadsheet where I keep track of such things, so I know which literary magazines to submit to). The essay is slated to appear in their May 2010 issue, so I’ll post about it when it comes out. This will be my first literary publication in a print journal, too. It’s all making me feel almost legit as a writer.

When I got the acceptance e-mail from Bayou, I immediately sent off e-mails to the other literary journals that were still considering the essay to tell them the piece was no longer available. It turned out one of these other journals had actually flagged the piece for acceptance, too, which made me embarrassed and regretful (to have to tell them they couldn’t have the piece) but also pleased, because it meant the other acceptance wasn’t just a fluke instance of some editor being high on crack.

As for revisions on the novel, they are coming along sloooooowly. I’ve heard writers say they like revising better than writing the first draft, but I’m finding it not as fun—a lot more of a slog than the initial drafting was. I am giving myself this whole month just to focus on revising without starting any new projects. I think I need the time anyway to recover and reintegrate myself into society as a normal non-novel-writing person. Writing the book took a major toll on my social life and housekeeping and I’ve kind of got to dig myself out of the rubble for a while now.

By the way, I came across some entertaining articles this week about a new book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. The author argues that single chicks should stop being so dang picky and just settle down with some reasonably nice guy before they get too old and ugly.

Give Up On Mr. Perfect

You Don’t Have to Settle

To some extent, I kind of sort of agree with the author, though. Settling can be a good thing. If my husband hadn’t settled for me, where would I be now? Goodness knows. But I think she could have picked a less sexist-sounding way of stating the argument. If it were me, I would have talked about it in terms of risk-taking, rather than settling. Romantic relationships are risky, no bones about it. When your partner is less than perfect, that increases your risks. But you don’t want to be too risk-averse, or you end up impoverishing yourself emotionally and spiritually.

Maybe that’s a mere semantic quibble on my part, but doesn’t it sound a whole lot more empowering and enlightened than “Hey you, stop being so picky and just settle down already”?

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