Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lovely Dishwashing

I worked two shifts dish-washing, busing tables, and taking to go orders at a restaurant this weekend. I haven't worked in a restaurant since 2004, and then it was only for two nights. Before that, I'd last done it when I was nineteen, way back in the nineties, a surly goth girl coming onto shifts in stained Beatles T-shirts and a leather jacket, smelling of clove cigarettes and complaining about my community college English teacher.

I noticed last night -- it sort of came as an "Oh, yeah, I remember how that works" -- that there is a special "kitchen time" in restaurants. At other jobs, you may get bored, you look at the clock, and time crawls by. The afternoon in a cubicle with nothing to do can seem endless to the unimaginative mind. Or you get a lot of work done, and bam! The day's over. Out for cosmos with the friends.

Kitchen time, though, is wholly different. In kitchen time, you bust your ass washing dishes, clearing tables, answering calls, refilling drinks, and then you look at the clock. You fell absolutely certain that an hour must have gone by since you last checked. How else had you managed to do all those things? But sadly, according the the clock which measures the pace of the world outside the kitchen, only fifteen minutes have gone by. Then you ask yourself how in the world can you survive this for the hours of your shift that still remain.

In those circumstances, you can kind of feel like the Flash, moving so fast that those around you seem to slow down. The world slows down. It's like being a super hero.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Forward Progress

My last blog was my 100th post. No one gave me free tickets to anything, or a glass of champagne, or key chain. A key chain would have been nice. In fact, I didn't even notice it until just now when I logged in to my make my weekly contribution. To celebrate, as soon as I am done with this, I'm going to have a rum punch. I was going to drink one anyway, but now I will put a slice of orange and a little umbrella in it to make it special.

Yesterday's landmark was this -- I sold out of my first box of All Along the Pacific copies. All the money I made on those is going to buy more copies. I suppose it's a little optimistic to think there are more than twenty-five people who want my book, but I will find them. I will, dammit.

Another landmark today -- Sugar Park has reopened. There are some places you miss when they are gone, and lament each passing day that they remain gone. Sugar Park was one of those places. Maybe I look back on those years the bar was at 800 France Street as particularly special because they sandwich either side of Katrina, and Sugar Park was a place we all gathered to trade news, offer help, and generally feel normal. The place has changed -- not a bar anymore, more of a cafe -- but the faces and the food remain the same. The location link on this blog is their new address. Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. It will be worth it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cyber Launch Today

In case you missed the earlier annoucement, I'm over at http://www.cyberlaunchparty.blogspot.com/ today, officially lauching All Along the Pacific. If you'd like to win a copy of an anthology I'm in, leave a comment or a question. Thanks!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Yorker

There's been a lot of controversy this week about the balance of male to female writers. Women appear to be tragically underrepresented by the literary magazine, and some subscribers are returning their editions and requesting refunds or extensions until a more equitable mix is found.

I've never considered myself a New Yorker caliber writer, but last night, over a bowl of mussels and after a vodka and cranberry, I decided I would give it a shot. I thought maybe they'd be in the market for female writers once they see the error of their ways.

I started on the story today. I'm not sure exactly where it will end up, but I think I have a fairly good concept that will fit in with the fiction of the magazine I've read in the past.

My chances are not good. At Duotrope, out of 201 submissions, 0.5 percent have been accepted, so roughly one. I don't see that as awful. Maybe I'll write two hundred stories. They've have to take one of the eventually, or at least the odds would have me believe.