Wednesday, December 31, 2014

At the end of the year

Thanks for sending along "Hendricksons" for our review. It has its moments, and it carries strong feelings of familiarity for all us aging anglers. Therein lies its charm, but also its drawback: it's simply too familiar an approach, into far too familiar a topic, to elbow its way into [Insert name of famous journal]. - Editor

As the year waned I was consumed by urgent professional matters that seem to have evaporated opportunities for angling, heck, for much of anything other than email and PowerPoint. I see that my last post was in early October which was roughly the last time I wrote for Hatch Magazine and fell into a black hole of work. Being in the middle of the holiday season, work has moved to the background and I've been able to refocus on the important things: family, rest, sport.

I sat in a blind last week waiting for geese to fly. We saw some geese but the only shot we took was at the bull. It was good to be among sportsman again talking about nothing more consequential than whether we needed more dekes and if that was a crow or a hawk on the far treeline; consensus was a hawk.

My boots, muddy from the cornfield, got a proper cleaning when Ann and I took Ripley for a walk in the woods. Sam and I got them dirty all over again yesterday as we spent a few hours wandering on the trail. There's something to be said for having opportunities to get wet and muddy. It feels a whole lot more like living than what we do most days. Tomorrow I'll be on a stream hoping for a winter trout. It's good to be out again.

I've been in a bit of a writing funk. I'm not sure if that's due to the urgent, stressful matters at work or if there's something else at play. Regardless the words have been slow in coming though I do have several half-written pieces that I should probably be polishing up. I've set some time aside today to write and clean my office. I'll probably get more of one done than the other but at least I set off with the right intentions.

In this stack of writing there's a piece of fiction I wrote two or more years ago. It sat with an editor for almost a year as he promised to put it "in the next issue". It turns out his publisher didn't like it as much as he did. We eventually agreed to set it free. Since that time it's been with several other editors. Some sent quick declines, others sat on it and one, the author of the quote above, made it clear this piece wasn't publishable.

In May I sent it off to yet another home and since I haven't heard back I'm now confident I've exhausted opportunities for financial renumeration. I'll have to be satisfied with the renumeration of knowing that someone other than a few editors have read the piece.

So, to end the year, I present Hendricksons for your reading pleasure and critical review.

I hope you enjoy the piece. Have a happy and safe evening tonight, and I wish you all a prosperous New Year!

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