I found myself dealing with more numpties than I would normally expect to during my day job, yesterday. I mean, one has to wonder where we get the staff from at times. On one hand it boosts my profile, but on the other it is so infuriating to have to lead people by the hand who, quite frankly, shouldn’t be in the job if they don’t even know the basics.
I worked on the Ranfurly Review in the evening, dedicating my time to catching up with a backlog of submissions from as far back as July. I hate it when I fall so far behind because one thing I don’t suffer from is a lack of potential contributors. I now have issue 9 for December almost full and issue 10 for next March half way done.
I’m really suffering from a lack of flash fiction (fiction under 700 words). I have far too much poetry to deal with and far too much long fiction, that I had to resort to rejecting the numpties that sent me work that wasn’t in the correct format. I don’t mean single line instead of double kind of thing, I’m talking about when I have to download a compatibility update for MS Word just to read the type of sexy font someone has used. Don’t they understand pretty fonts don’t make the prose any better?
Another disturbing trend I’m noticing is the glut of stories from writers obsessed with sexual abuse. What’s going on? The amount of fiction containing adults facing up to childhood sexual trauma, prostitutes with hearts of gold (and no drug problem), or males that feel bad about themselves after raping or assaulting a woman, is just getting ridiculous.
Pay attention people. The guidelines are quite specific—no gratuitous sex or violence—It’s not readable, enjoyable, and it won’t make me sit up and think, “oh my, I have just discovered the next literary sensation in my lowly little magazine.” I do not want work that has been written just so you can get a load off.
I’ll be sending something out to this effect to the mailing list tonight, with a caveat that anything that breaks these guidelines will be binned immediately and the author added to my black list, which so far contains the names of two numpties.
One rather delightful thing was the letter I received from a man, who along with his submission included a letter. He was telling me the reason he was submitting to the Ranfurly Review was because he had seen my interview in The Leither magazine while lunching in Portugal during the summer. Not only that, but the guy lives about 300 yards from my house! Coincidences galore!
There will be some more work to do on the photographer’s website after a sudden flash of inspiration pointed my attention to a potential security problem. I tested it out before bed and sure enough, there’s a hole in the coding that needs plugged. I’ll need to have a think later today on how to go about it, but it won’t interrupt the service being provided unless they went looking for it.
I also heard back from another potential web client—a driving instructor—who needs a website up and running sometime soon. I’ve to call him back on Friday after work and hopefully we can batter out the requirements.
While all this was going on I was listening to Sportsound on the radio. St Mirren were playing at Kilmarnock in the 4th Round of the Leage Cup and after losing their lead with four minutes to go, ended up winning the match with a goal in the dying seconds. A superb result that sends us soaring into the quarter finals next month.
To today, and along with my usual tasks I want to get some good writing done and maybe get another tick onto my GDR list. I’ve found that dedicating an evening to a full task instead of progressing several is helping me to focus and push things along. Maybe I’ll get to that YouTube idea that’s been sitting on the list for too long now?
By the way, have you listened to Turning the Page yet? It’s my first audio recording attempt of a poem I wrote for Madness in 2007.
Far too many writers feel the guidelines don’t apply to them because they’re above it all. Just cross them off and move on.