Writing

REBLOG: “‘Tropic of Cancer’: A Few Excerpts”

An edited reblog-post from early 2015, off the aforementioned “throw-away” blog.

— ES (VVS)

Stuff and Things

NOTE: Updated on February 25, 2016.

Henry Miller (1891-1980) was one of the more unorthodox writers of his time. He’s also something of a personal inspiration to me.

Any half-decent reader is aware of the man… but, then again, who could forget him? He’s known for leading a rather odd, and yet edifying, life, and is also ubiquitous for the development of the modern autobiographical novel.

Arguably his most famous book, Tropic of Cancer (first published in 1934) is one such work. The novel, considered obscene for its candid and humorous expressions of sexuality, was banned in the United States until the 1960s.

The highlights of this book (like many of Miller’s, including Black Spring and Tropic of Capricorn—both recommended) are, however, not Miller’s comedic sexual escapades, but rather his unique brand of non-confessional mysticism—a sort of artistic metaphysics.

Miller was something of a secular prophet, a clownish spiritual guru who taught that the pleasures of life…

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REBLOG: “An Inspiring Passage by W. Somerset Maugham”

This is a little thought on a literary quote by Maugham, published last year. (Early 2015.) While I initially wrote it for/on what was a school project, and otherwise a “throw-away” blog, I think that it’s still noteworthy, so I’m reblogging it here.

— ES (VVS)

Stuff and Things

Somerset Maugham’s novel The Moon and Sixpence contains an interesting passage. The following is a reflection on writing by one of the world’s most famous writers:

“It is a salutary discipline to consider the vast number of books that are written, the fair hopes with which their authors see them published, and the fate which awaits them. What chance is there that any book will make its way among that multitude? And the successful books are but the successes of a season. Heaven knows what pains the author has been at, what bitter experiences he has endured and what heartache suffered, to give some chance reader a few hours` relaxation or to while away the tedium of a journey. And if I may judge from the reviews, many of these books are well and carefully written; much thought has gone to their composition; to some even has been given the…

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Writing Woes

Me on better days.

(Source unknown.)

(NOTE: I update the publication list below on a rolling basis. Regards from 8/23/2017!)

Today I am drinking rum. I left the wine. I gave myself to the bite, poured over a few bits of ice.

Today I am rambling on a bit about the ins and outs of the submission process, a bit of a nerve-wracking thing with unrelenting, resouding NOs. Successive failures in this regard, coupled with the general ambiance of my mom’s basement, and nearing my mid-twenties therein, makes for a nauseating and poignant experience. It’s also really fucking funny, if you ask me.

Of course, anyone engaged in writing—particularly creative writing and freelance work—in this day and age knows the struggle of getting publication credits.

About 2012 I started off on Submittable, an online platform for visual and written submissions. They display a list on your profile, with “Declined” in red for every, well, decline, and “Accepted” in green as its opposite. It can be demoralizing, I admit, scrolling through a column of submissions—complete with cover letters and/or little biographies and attachments, etc.—seeing those bloody red phrases, “Declined,” pouring down the page, with a single interruption of “Accepted” for a poem sent in a year ago, to someone’s WordPress startup.

Between Submittable and my other pitches (via e-mail or upload form), I have been thus far booted from the ranks of:

(I also submitted a stage play several years back. I can’t remember the name of the receiving group.)

I suppose that doesn’t seem like much. I’ll admit I had a professor that once said something along the lines of, “even having one in forty submissions accepted is good.” Granted, he was speaking about poetry alone—and that’s its own dimension entirely—but his point remains.

Personally, my list is inundated with poetry, but also includes short stories and flash fiction, as well as academic and creative essays.

There are also those publications that simply don’t get back to you, or take such a long and inordinate amount of time to review anything that you completely forget about them, the only reminder sitting in the bottom of your inbox somewhere.

I’ve more recently been submitting essays, and even put in a chapbook manuscript, with no feedback as of yet.

Of course, you’ve got to keep your fingers crossed. But a few years of plugging away with little success can be disheartening. This especially so if I include in my “body of work” my old Tumblr and Blogger/Blogspot blogs.

What constitutes “success,” anyway? Fame is certainly not the point of being a writer, but I’d be lying if I said that a little recognition wouldn’t be appreciated. I suppose that’s my ego popping up. It’s the delusion that in the vast tracts of time—from alpha to omega—some of my words somewhere on a page will somehow create a resounding echo throughout the universe.

I’ll just keep writing, I guess. What else can I do?