Writing’s other face: Submitting

So I finally got around to doing what I probably should have been doing all along–tonight I sent in three chapters from my memoir as submissions to literary mags. I can expect resounding rejections, but at least I’m doing what I think I’m supposed to do–which is opening myself to criticism and rejection by letting total strangers read my work. It’s kind of the walking-in-the-park part of being a flasher, if you’ll forgive this tawdry (perhaps unfortunate, but amusing to me) analogy. After spending all the time carefully hand sewing the exact model of my London Fog raincoat (i.e. my body of stories), I am venturing out into the world, displaying my wares, waiting for the horrified screams of bystanders (or their silent equivalent, the form rejection letter). Luckily, I’m happy to say that law enforcement, common morality, and decency rules don’t have to come into the mix of my literary submissions. Has this metaphor gone too far? I’ll let it rest for now.

So there. I’m not doing any major writing, but at least I’m doing the better part of the lazy lady’s alternative: forcing other people to read my writing. Maybe this is the best aspect of Reasonable Girl. I’ve got limited time and patience, but I’m making do with what I’ve got.

The most painful sentence I have had to parse

Okay, my new rule is that I can blog when I finish a bit o homework. So right now, I’m trying to patiently work my way through sentences likes these, sentences out of my worst academic posturing nightmares: “From this perspective on language and discourse, destabilizing basic constructs–interrogating, contesting, and rein-scribing entrenched, sedimented, and naturalized assumptions–becomes a political imperative.” Not so bad a sentence when wrestled on its own, but a bit leaden when imbedded in a 22 page article. When I can get my mind to focus on the meaning despite the fact that my eyes just want to pass right over the words “discursive demarcations,” I feel I have won a small victory. I’m not against a neo-marxist turn to the study of discourse, per say, I just wish this article had plainer words, and reduced the droning verbiage in half. Here’s a gem: “Discursive demarcations–the acts of naming, classifying, and categorizing–necessary to all language usage are in themselves considered acts of power which demarcate the center from the periphery, the normal from the deviant, the same from the different, self from the Other.” 18 more pages to go. Wish me luck.
In fact, I’m pretty sure, I have yet to come to the most painful sentence I will have to parse.