I'm pushing harder than I have since I finished with my thesis. I just figure that the only way to get more stuff published is to submit more stuff more often.
Well, it's paid off in better and more awesome ways than I imagined.
And by paid, I'm still not meaning money-paid. That'll happen with time, I'm confident, not right now.
Anyway, the first part is my poem "Only the first notes" will come out in the second issue of Half Mystic journal. I'm very happy that poem made it. It was inspired by FFX's 'To Zanarkand'
The story is that this is easily, if not my favorite, but one of my favorite instrumental songs. Those notes, ughhhh, it makes my heart swell with this type of nostalgic paralysis. When I first heard the song, it was the winter of 2003-2004, the first year I was fully living in the United States. I had received a PS2 for Christmas with FFX as one of the games. My parents had also bought a sound system to go along with it because I'm a spoiled brat. So I hook up the system, and the lights are all of, and hit the PS2 on for the first time (my first non-Nintendo console)
And those fucking seven NOTES, man.
And then the intro, "Listen to my story. This may be our last chance."
I hadn't played a Final Fantasy since FFI in the NES. So, it rocked my world. I know that there are people who grew up with the franchise who hate or dislike FFX but you know what? I don't care. To me, this defined the PS2 and defined what you could really do with music.
Anyway, I didn't beat the game until years later (I got up to Yunalesca and realized I had mis-leveled my entire party) but those notes stuck with me. When you start, the intro shows the group together, and you're like, okay. Then you start the game and you're actually soloing it up. You play as Tidus, the ostensible hero of the story even though I really believe it's Yuna's quest, but whatever. And then you go through most of the game and then suddenly, you're now where the intro starts. And you're, realizing, along with Tidus (spoilers ahead for a 13-year old game) that you're in the far future of your home city, destroyed by Sin. Tidus realizes he's not going back and you know, as an immigrant you tend to latch on to narratives like this. But he keeps on going, Yuna keeps on going. Tidus knows he doesn't have a home to return to, everyone else knows it's a suicide mission. AND THEY KEEP ON GOING.
But those notes.
And I always wanted to write a poem about them but nothing felt right. I had so many feelings about those notes that I could have written pages. Instead, I one day, only a year or so ago, I wrote a quick scribbles about those songs, and left it at that. I didn't really send it or shopped it around anywhere because I felt that I had stronger poems about other things. So then Half Mystic journal posts a call to submissions and the theme is music. I say, well, fuck it, I only really have three poems about music, so I send it in.
AND IT GOT ACCEPTED.
That's part one.
Part two is that I ALSO AM GOING TO HAVE A SHORT STORY PUBLISHED!
Yes, it's brattish to say I am no longer "just" a poet but you know what? I got into this thing to be a writer. Poetry was an acquired taste. So was literary fiction. So there was a call for submissions about an anthology called 'The Dark Ones' which was going to feature stories about Dark Gods and their interactions. So I said, fuck it, I'll write something quick but something different. I figured that everyone and their mom was going to be sending in submissions about Hades or Set, so I did mine on Xipe Totec.
And it was accepted.
This is my foot in the door, and I'm going to bust this wide open.
And that's what leads me to the original name of this post: Dig deeper. I wrote another short story because I am going to submit it to the Dark Ones collection as well, and I picked another deity. At one point in the story, close to the ending, I said, man, I'm tired. It's late. I gotta write other stuff. It's not going to work. I hate the ending.
But then I thought of Shaun T (of Insanity fame) and pulled the whole "dig deeper" line and I just spat an ending out...and I liked it.
I know I'm not the best person about the whole "do as I say, not as I do" thing, but when you're writing, don't say it's shit and then destroy it. Finish the story if it's a short story. I was so tempted to shut this one down, but I said, you know what, just find it in you.
And now we wait.
But so far this year:
22 submissions, 4 accepted, 4 rejections, the rest pending.