This week, I thought I’d give you all a wee bit of insight into a part of our process. It is regarding acceptance and rejection letters.
Now just like being on the hunt for an interested person of the opposite sex, it is easier to be accepted than rejected. Not many of my rejections had ever been written, normally a ‘Fuck off’ would suffice. In the same way none of my acceptances ever produced a letter, just a very grateful me and a lady that I would later judge. (OK, I may have written some poetry, but it was the eighties and I had hair.)
It’s easy to say yes to a submission but we wouldn’t be doing anyone any justice if we did this as a given. So we try to keep the site’s integrity.
Some days bring sunshine. Some bring rain. And somewhere along the line life settles in hard as a February sky. Locks down your dreams tight against the iron earth and dares you to object. For such a short month it exacts a long toll.
A bunch of scientists did an experiment once with fleas. They took half a dozen of the brightest and bounciest, dropped them in a jar and screwed on the lid. For a couple of days those fleas launched themselves into almost continually. Eventually, through pain or weariness or both, they stopped jumping so high. They settled on a spot two thirds of the way up the sides of the jar and that was their limit. Even after the lid came off and they could have bounded their way to freedom those fleas kept right on jumping to a place well below the potential of possibility.
Maybe I’m being melodramatic but if that leaden February sky ever clears I wonder how high I can still jump.
I’ve began far too many of these posts with this type of comment:
All of us at Literally Stories send our thoughts to those affected by the atrocity in Manchester.
Our football season is coming to an end and that is normally a sign of summer finally turning up. Only in our country does it make sense to play sport in the rain and snow.
Anyhow back to the summer, we don’t handle those three days in June very well. As soon as it’s bright we put on our Speedos and head to the beach. The men don’t dress much better.
Unfortunately a bright day doesn’t necessarily constitute heat here in Scotland but our NHS services are wonderful and on that bright day they are well geared up with survival blankets and hot soup.
Other than dying, there aren’t too many things I recall about my sixth birthday. I know I had a new bike because I was riding it when I was killed. It was green with black trim and it had one of those little single chime bells you could twang with your finger to warn off pedestrians who had stumbled into your path. I can’t remember if I chimed it at the car that was heading to the crossing too fast or if it got hit by some part of the car at the same time I was struck but I know it was the last sound I heard. Still, it was a proper big boy’s bike that I could grow into; except, of course, I didn’t.
Sorry, I should probably clear a few things up. You see, I’m not dead. I’ve had plenty of other birthdays and plenty of other presents. Never a bike though. I just couldn’t face it. Besides, dad was always a runner.
When I lived in London I heard that you were never more than three feet away from a rat. It’s a bit like that with cyclists around here Danny. Continue reading
It has been a strange week for me this week folks. I met a guy I went through secondary school with. I reckon I hadn’t seen him for around thirty years. I was very surprised when he asked about my writing. He had seen an article regarding the anthology over a year ago and had remembered. It was nice to be asked. Not many people ask, but to be truthful, not many people know or realise what this all means to me.
I mentioned last week about me writing poetry and I’ll admit, I am the most un-poetic person ever! I’m even surprised that I do it! I have always kept all my writing a bit hidden. I am not as guarded now as I once was and if anyone asks what I do in my spare time, I champion this site and all our stories.
I was fishing off the bridge over the Ipswich River, a few hundred yards from the Topsfield Fairgrounds. This was a day nothing was supposed to happen, but you know what they say about that stuff… it usually does, like Mike Murphy’s Law or Charlie Poulin’s Law or whatever they call it. Yet enough had occurred already in the last twenty-four hours and the odds were in my favor, or so they said.
My eyes open and my head is thick. Not as thick as my hair must feel now that the twin sisters of sand and salt have done their work, but thick all the same. Tiny grains shift against my scalp in the breeze but I’m too full of slumber to worry overmuch. I lie back against the sand. Close my eyes.
The beach is quiet now. The laughter and shouting, the frenetic madness of noon has dissipated like the heat of the day. I can see the sun dipping over the water if I raise my head a little. Golden puddles melting into the horizon. For a moment the world is aflame and then twilight succumbs to night.