Time consuming exercises with no measurable guarantee of success [10/30/08]

Right now, I am doing what all freelance magazine writers do when they are not actually writing, or doing their day-job. I am waiting for sources to call me back. I could probably get this same information over the internet (or perhaps even from the library- I’m old school like that) but it is better to get it from a real person whom you perhaps could quote.

Research, like fishing, has no guarantee of success.

I went out to Lake Roosevelt Monday, looking for Bald Eagles catching fish.

I didn’t see any Bald eagles on Vineyard Trail last Monday. It’s a known nesting area, but it was hot, and eagles hate that as much as the rest of us. I did however, duscover that my Garmin Etrex GPS unit is completely caput. New batteries – no screen. This means it lasted about 45 good hikes. Happily I didn’t need it. Vineyard is a straight forward hike that I covered in my guidebook.

Did I mention I have a book coming out? I do.

I have tentatively replaced Bongo with Lizards.

But I have just learned that you can change a load of laundry and play – nay win! – a round of spider solitare before WordPress can be bothered to upload a photo, so I’ll update this to a Flickr site when I get to that point.

Time consuming exercises with no measurable guarantee of success brings us naturally to trying to publish fiction.

Consider this Epistle from the Slush-pile. The important numbers lie at the bottom. 65-70% of submissions are unreadable;95% are unpublishable. If you’ve written professionally competent fiction, you’re only competing with the top 5% in the pile – though that’s still a large number.

One last note:

There has never been a rain-shortened game in the World Series until this year. If you believe, as I do, that God reveals His will to mankind through baseball, then surely this is a call to repentance.

How then, will we change our lives in response to this vague but clearly ominous portent?

And still, my phone does not ring.

Now you know.