Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

Today’s writing session is brought to you by the song Tubthumping. (Sorry about the earworm.) Also the letters S and H. (Because I grew up with Sesame Street. And also my mother’s obsession with figure skating.)

You get the official music video, because I couldn’t find Scott Hamilton’s victory lap to this song when he returned to figure skating after beating cancer.

Adding to the collection

I heard back tonight from one of the magazines to which I submitted a story back in September. The answer was no, so I’m adding to my collection of rejections.

The email that I got was a form letter:

Thank you for your submission to [magazine]. I have given your work careful consideration and am unable to offer you publication. Best wishes with your writing.

That said, what I’m choosing to take away from this is that it came from an editor, so I seem to have made it past the first-reader stage. That’s a first for me, so I’m calling it a win. I may even celebrate.

This weekend, I’ll dust off the story, see if there’s anything I can improve, and then find somewhere new to send it.

My own little NaNo

I did participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month) once. I was between contracts that particular November, so I had the time. And I did write my 50,000 words, so in a way I feel I’ve ticked that particular accomplishment off my list and I don’t have a lot of need to do it again.

That said, there are some wonderful things about NaNo. It sets a deadline, for one, and I am a writer desperately in need of deadlines. It also makes you declare your goals in public, and creates a community that will hold you accountable for those goals, as well as encouraging you along the way.

So I think I’m going to have my own mini-Nano. The big, bad fiction story I’m wrestling with is going to be my goal. I’m not going to make this about word counts like NaNo does. I’m guessing the final story will be somewhere in the 15,000-20,000 word region – too short for an official NaNo – but length isn’t really an issue. So I’m just going to make it about finishing.

I’m going to finish a draft of my fiction story by the end of November. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be ‘right.’ (Yet.) It just has to be a completed draft.

There. I’ve declared myself out loud. Anyone else want to play?


I’m daydreaming about a different life today.

In my daydream, I pack it all in and move to France. Maybe Paris, maybe a village in the mountains, maybe a town in the south. Maybe all of the above in sequence.

I’ll live in a little flat and teach English as a foreign language. In my spare time, I’ll sit in little French cafes with views over cobbled streets and write.

In the evenings, I’ll stop at little local grocers and boulangeries to pick up my dinner on the way home.

And I’ll visit Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, and become a part of the little ex-pat community. I’ll sit in dusty corners of the shop on rainy days and read, with the shop cat keeping me company.

And when I’m lonely, I’ll take the train across to England to visit my aunts, or up to Belgium or the Netherlands to see old friends.

Yes, I think that’s what I’ll do. Sounds nice, no?