Encouragement

I mentioned I have this plan laid out to hopefully get my name and work out to the public this summer. I’ve tweaked it a bit, but I’m still hoping to self-publish a short story collection and get some stories published in magazines. I’ve got my FB site up and I’m working on revamping my website. So things are good…

Mostly.

I’m trying really hard at this. Yet, I keep seeing all the other people who are doing it, too, and it’s really disheartening that “Yeah, you’re special alright, just like all the other people who are JUST. LIKE. YOU.” I’m trying very hard to make myself stand apart from all the other wannabe authors out there. I’m trying to get magazines and journals to publish my work, but I keep getting rejection letters…

It just gets very discouraging.

Today I came across this advice blog. It’s quite old (from 2010), but the content remains relevant.

The first bullet got me: “Don’t let yourself be intimidated by big dreams.” I really like that. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with how big my goals are that I think I’ll never “get there.” I have to remember that I can only get there by taking one step at a time. I have to set attainable goals first. I just think that phrase helps to refocus things.

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I also came across this column about what to do when faced with so much rejection.

I send SO MUCH stuff to magazines and journals and, well, as you can see by my published work page, I rarely receive any acceptances! It really drags me down once in a while. I felt the above author, Holly McDowell, presented some good points, particularly the one about giving yourself permission to write.

A lot of times I feel like giving up after I receive a rejection letter. I think “What’s the point? I’m terrible.” I have to remember that that was one rejection letter. It’s okay that someone said “no” and that it doesn’t mean everything I write is terrible. It’s not a reflection on the rest of my writing, and it doesn’t mean I should stop.

Well, I figured I’d pass these along just in case anyone else needed some motivation as well. 🙂

Remember, you might feel down sometimes, and that’s okay, but don’t ever give up! Believe in yourself!

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Rainbeats

There was jazz. And vodka. And the beginnings of a short story. Then this happened.

Rainbeats
JCD Kerwin

Take my heartbeats.
Take them with the raindrops
when they fall.

Keep them as they roll
off your black umbrella;
catch them in your palm,
and lay them on your lips
so that my soul may kiss
you once more.

Listen to the thunder;
imagine it’s my heart
exploding as it says,
“I love you,”
in ways words never can.

Imagine it is me
in the rain,
when you toss all night
in summer.
I will cool you with mist,
like it’s my fingertips,
and we are beneath the stars
again.

Take my heartbeats.
Take them with the raindrops
and forget about the sun.

June 2015

George

George
JCD Kerwin

George doesn’t eat anything except Cheerios. He says the rings remind him of Infinity and how the world continues to move even when you don’t want it to. He finds the circles fascinating—they move, twirling in his milk, getting older and soggier just like the earth. The twirling of the earth will continue long after George is gone. Does anyone care that it will not stop—even briefly—when they cease to be?

George’s mother said, once, that if you believe in God you will go to Heaven. George went to his uncle’s funeral. His uncle was in a box. In the dirt. He hadn’t gone anywhere, George thought. Did she mean that Heaven was in the ground? He did not know.

George likes going to the park to feed the birds and watch the children on the swings. One day, someone called police officers. Now he is not allowed to watch the children. He only thought it was amazing they could swing so high. He could never swing so high. George thought maybe he could pick up some pointers. But now he isn’t allowed to watch them. So now he has no idea how to swing high enough to reach the stars. That’s all George wants to do.

There are plastic replicas of the solar system sticky-tacked to his ceiling. They glow a long time when George keeps the lights on before he goes to sleep. George does not sleep well. He dreams of giant bugs chasing him. Sometimes they catch him and eat his limbs. He does not like the dream. He does not know what it means.

George’s mother takes him to see a man every Tuesday. He is a nice man, but asks too many questions. He is as old as his mother. George wonders if they are dating.

One day George’s mother does not wake to give him his Cheerios. He called his doctor. An ambulance came. George’s house was full of many people for the next few days. Some of them were unfamiliar faces. They buried George’s mother on a Friday in the rain. George wondered if she was in Heaven with his uncle.

They sent George to a special apartment building, full of people like him, his doctor said. He likes to sit by the window and watch the ducks in the pond. He likes that he can see the stars from his bedroom window. He doesn’t need the sticky-tacked plastic replicas anymore. He wonders if his mother was wrong; maybe that is Heaven instead.

He dreams about flying on insects now. They carry him away to Mars.

June 2015

RockybumCoast

Moment in Time Sand Castle Wave, from http://www.kinhthanhmoingay.com

RockybumCoast
JCD Kerwin

Building all these sand castles
only scares
the horseshoe crabs
who have to take
the long way ‘round.

The glittery walls
are something fun
for ocean waves to swallow.
(They might’ve looked
like stone to us;
they fall
like rock to sea.)

I’m not much of a builder;
I like to play the day
based on what pancakes
to chow.
Blueberry or plain?
(What goes best with almond milk?)

I’m enemies best buddies
with the monster inside of me,
so I don’t need
to fight anything more
on solid ground.
Got enough choices to make
while looking in the goddamn mirror.
Don’t know how
to make the me I see
much better
for the people
who seem to think
I should be better.

(All I wanted was a pen and paper,
and to maybe make
the words last longer
than markings in beach mud.)
This whole damn thing
seems so much faster;
the hourglass really tipped over.
My pages turn by
like I’m not who’s writing
my own story.

I should throw the book into the waves
and let it fade in a soggy grave
with castles made of sand.

(April, 2014)