How young is ‘young’? …and other inane questions

I spent much of today in an unproductive rut.

Sure, I compiled my application and supporting documents for the Peter Cowan Writers Centre Young Writer-in-Residence position. Sure, I replied to Fighting Chance magazine by old-fashioned letter. Sure, I re-submitted The Rustle of Autumnal Leaves and Bump in the Night to more likely markets. But as far as actual, bona-fide writing goes… Nada.

Firstly, the stories. Rustle came in first thing. Flesh and Blood mag said the ending had “quite a poetic turn” which I thought was pretty cool. Unfortunately the short-short story wasn’t right for them. That’s okay. I bundled it off to Abyss & Apex, who pay better (5c US/word) and are actively looking for flash stories.

Bump came back to me early this afternoon. While it passed the first round of reading at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, it didn’t pass muster through the second round. I was encouraged by the slush-readers comments though – stuff like “This piece successfully conveys a nightmarish situation”, “Ooh, nasty. I didn’t see the end coming with this one… Although it’s too nightmarish for me”. The general concensus was it wasn’t enough of a story for their needs, and would make a great one if fleshed out. I can’t help but agree there, but at this stage won’t put the extra work into it. I designed it as a mood piece, a role it seems to fulfil nicely. I have resubbed it to Antipodean SF.

The afternoon was spent running errands with Ange and taking Hayley to the doctors. I won’t go into the details of that (however minor), to preserve her dignity.

In the evening, I received my long awaited Peter Cowan Writers Centre newsletter, and boy am I confused after reading it. Not only was there no mention of the April Fools comp results, they also stated the Young Writer-in-Residence was for those under 25! I checked the guidelines and the web. Yep, still says 16-30 there, so I didn’t despair too much. I did however, email the Centre with my list of questions about both of these topics. I sure as Hell am not keen to send a 25 page expression of interest just to be disqualified before I even enter the race. I’m sure my next post or two will unveil the mystery of this dilemma.

I’ve no doubt I could go into a long philosophical treatise on the upper bar of ‘youngness’, but I can’t be stuffed. I have stories to write and only a couple of days before a two week exile into paradise. *sigh*