My Julii Horribilis (My Horrible July)

0608160838_resizedJuly brought computer problems, a coup d’etat for my old printer, and more writer rejections. Three of them in one day. Stop!

This, on top of the other rejections I’ve gotten for my writing since January 2016.

I’ve been depressed for days. I even yelled at teenagers for throwing a soccer ball against a neighbor’s shed. I blamed the heat, but there are certain signs that I am getting old. One is realizing my doctor is younger than me. Another is having to check the final age range on a survey (60 – Death). A third is yelling at neighborhood kids.

Goo Roo of Pine Level straightened out my computer problems, but it took time. Three weeks to be exact. I kept showing up at their offices, hoping that my sad looks (“this is my main writing tool!”) and couch-slouching (“I’ll just sit here and read all 577 pages of Look Homeward: The Life of Thomas Wolfe”) would make the process go faster. Working around me, and ignoring my prolonged and meaningful sighs, Josh, Greg and Denise of Goo Roo got the job done.


Now that the new laptop is humming along, I’m back to working on my current project, a new short story called “Shelf Life.” The story is part of a Camp NaNoWriMo challenge to myself to write 50,000 words this month. With five days to go, I’m only at 14,000. That makes me one of the slower participants among the 11 virtual cabin mates I’m with on the NaNoWriMo website. But I’m not giving up.

Now I find out my printer is terminal. This device has served me faithfully for at least a dozen years, which I’m sure galls Hewlett-Packard to no end. So the company hastened its demise by doubling the cost of the ink and making the driver obsolete. Planned obsolescence depresses me. I became used to picking up pages off the floor because the output tray was broken. I didn’t mind, except for one writer in my critique group who didn’t number her manuscript pages (and you know who you are).

It’s okay. I only have two ink cartridges left. As soon as they are gone, I will hook up the new printer we bought on sale today at Office Max in Smithfield. We even purchased ink at back-to-school sale prices.

So I will stop whining and get back to work. Rejections are part of the process. Equipment problems happen. Yes, it was a horrible month. But I’m attending a gathering of writers in Greensboro this weekend as a guest of my friend, poet Barbara Presnell. And I hope August will be better! I’m already looking at new places to submit my creative writing.