Welcome Back Totter

Today’s tumbling scrum to the hospital was mostly uneventful, bad traffic a normalcy, the highlight being my catching up to my own car as Mary drove the orange Suzuki we’ve dubbed the C.A.R.D.I.S. toward work while I veered to the right to reach the med center.

Less blood, more strings of chemicals wound around my lungs and heard, and now I’m free again, if a little thinner consistency than before.

No gym.  No walk.  Albuterol stampedes my heart.  My hands still shake, my muscle tremors turned up to match a vibratory tumbler’s teeter-tottering, that off balanced motor’s swing that seems like a drunken, angry bee on an elastic leash two feet too short.

I spent most of last week working in the studio, finishing with two salvaged wood displays and a number of wooden pots.  Between the new stuff and the old, I think I had close to a thousand dollars worth of stock with me when I walked into HMAC on saturday morning.  Unfortunately, I left with about the same.  I’m not sure what’s wrong, but I’m beginning (continuing) to think that the HBGFlea isn’t the best market for plants.

My fantasy is to set up at a market and sell everything.  More than the money, beyond the validation come of selling a product someone wants, I’d love to not have to pack up at the end, I’d be thrilled if I could just throw the tables and booth gear into the car and trundle away.

Perhaps I’ll have better luck come summer months and outdoor markets.  Plants, apparently, command more investment than many are willing to entertain.  Improved mood, health, and comfort are too little rewards for the heavy burden of occasionally pouring water into a dish, it seems.

On the writing front, I got a few rejection letters, but only one of note, and it’s the same notoriety that made me make mention of Shattered Prism in posts past: unprofessionalism and poor communication.

As with Shattered Prism, Page and Spine made absolutely no acknowledgement of their receipt of my piece.  As I’ve written before, setting up an automatic response in nearly every modern email engine is nearly effortless.  If one is going to accept a great number of submissions and refuse to use one of the pre-made submissions services, it is his duty to set up some sort of email delivery notification.  Anything less is unfair tot he submitters.

Some places are fledgling, some places just don’t think of it.  It’s not the end of the world, as shortsighted as it is.

Page and Spine’s turn around time was projected to be two months, give or take.  I messaged them after three.  Again, delays happen, it’s understandable that a response might be delayed, but at the same time one must consider that the writer doesn’t yet know if his piece has even been received.

Their response?  A dismissively short rejection.  No acknowledgement of my query or initial receipt.

"How dare you ask if your work has been received, can't you see how important and busy we are?"
"Well, no, actually, I can't, your submission process is just slightly less transparent than dog shit."*

*This conversation is made up. Such must be stated directly for litigious reasons, one supposes.

Page and Spine is also one of the few journals that precludes simultaneous submission to which I bothered submitting . I don’t believe in journals that bar it, it puts the financial and psychological burden on the artist, waiting to know if he’s going to receive payment for a piece, if he should be excited or desperate, whether he should be shopping a piece, editing it, perfecting it, or whether he should retire it and spend all his energies elsewhere.

But a lot of places don’t allow simultaneous submissions.  I’m sure some of them are pretty good.  But if you combine refused simultaneous submission with an inert or missing notification system, you’ve got a rather unpleasant trap for writers.  Top the trap off with a short tempered editor and you have Page and Spine, a journal that doesn’t want you submitting elsewhere but refuses to tell you a damned thing about your submission and you can go straight to hell for asking about it.

Believe it or not, this is the most I’ve thought about it since getting the rejection.  I already inadvertently violated their demand for exclusivity.  I’d never heard of the journal before I submitted and won’t remember them in a month.  My hope, in writing this post, is that you’ll all join me in turning your backs, so that poorly run journals can fade back into the ether from whence they came. Perhaps then, we as a collective lot can have a marginally, but measurably, improved submissions pool.