Can’t See What’s Ahead

Three nights ago, unusually foggy.

Three nights ago, unusually foggy.

I grew up in Brooklyn, not far from the water.  I had a little terrace off my bedroom, where I spent as much time as possible.  Some things don’t change, heh.  I could and did stand out there and watch the fog roll inland.  Once it reached my area, you couldn’t see through it, but oh you could feel it, a curiously damp blanket you breathed in along with the smell of low tide and the sewage treatment plant, 7 blocks away. For a while, as a young adult, I lived in Washington, where fog was redefined for me.  Never in any other state have I seen fog as thick as they get in the Pacific Northwest. When I drove home from work at midnight, the highway would be at a slow crawl because you literally couldn’t see the tail lights of the car ahead of you if you were more than a foot away.

With the flash on, nothing to see but the individual droplets.

With the flash on, nothing to see but the blur of individual droplets.

Is it too melodramatic to draw a life analogy here? Probably, but I’m doing it anyway. There are certainly twists in the road that no one sees coming.  Illness, accidents, job loss, house fires, even winning the lottery.  Then there are the expected markers, the things you work to achieve–jobs, promotions, education, children, children growing up, literary contracts.  Oops, that last one doesn’t fit, does it?  Not this time, anyway.

I was careful.  Careful to always acknowledge the many factors outside of my control, the certain percentage of luck and timing in this type of endeavor.  But I believed.  Enough blind faith to face the dreaded blank page and fill it, over and over again. To submit, accept rejection is part of the process, and keep submitting.  To dissect personalized rejections and believe they meant more than a bland “no thanks” form letter.  In writing (fiction or otherwise), there’s a lot of talk of “voice”–the importance of.  I do have a clear and definite voice, as do my characters, and I’ve gotten  a lot of feedback on it.  Some love it, some hate it.  I always considered it a “win” either way. In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino wrote. “It is not the voice that commands the story, it is the ear.”  I believe that’s true; as I’ve said many times, writing is about communication, the two way street between reader and writer.  For me it isn’t about telling a story just to tell it.  What’s written has to resonate, to where the reader feels they’ve not only learned the character’s story, but felt their own. The onus is on the writer, so maybe my it’s my ear that’s off.

For months now, I’ve been trying to work towards acceptance.  Acknowledgement and acceptance that it isn’t going to happen.  Can I just say this is fucking hard? No, I don’t have to.  But there’s a point where it feels unhealthy to stay on the same road, at the same speed, and expect the visibility to improve just because I want it to.  I don’t want it to be 40° outside at the end of April, either, but here I am wearing a turtleneck and winter coat, because otherwise I’d be freezing.

I’m hoping to come out of this fog and reach acceptance.  Then what?  I’m told I could have had quite the career as a stand-up philosopher–yanno, a bullshit artist (thank you, Mel Brooks).  I wonder where I should send those queries.

A new dimension to Friday Night Madness.

A new dimension to Friday Night Madness.


  1. A great big bear hug for you mrs. f! If you stay on the road, if you pull over to the curb to regroup, if you get off the road all together – that’s for you to decide. Whatever you do, I wish you joy and moments of pure bliss. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand your feelings, Mrs Fringe, and share your doubt and your thoughts about acceptance. But don’t forget that is has been a long winter for you with a serious injury that has important consequences on the way you see the world and your life. It’s probably not the best time to take drastic decisions. When the weather warms above 40 and you are on your terrace you’ll probably want to submit again. I must look like you’ve sent to every agent in the field, but the chance is you’ve probably missed a few. Who knows? One is enough. In any case I’m sending sunny vibes your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, Evelyn, it has been an impossibly long winter, with an even longer recovery for me. We’ll see. In any case, I thank you for the good thoughts–and especially those sunny vibes. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This winter seems as though it’s never going to end, doesn’t it? It snowed here all day yesterday (and frequently the day before); nothing accumulating, but occasional white outs. It made me think of the “Year Without Summer” that happened in the 1500’s or whenever…which made me think “hmm, can I use that in ____?”

    I’m thinking sunny acceptance thoughts for you. And looking forward to your beach pictures!


    1. Thank you, Jen. I think a Year Without Summer sounds like a story you need to write, and I need to read. 😀 Wishing you sun with some warmth behind it–and no. more. snow!! ❤


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