Friday, July 26, 2013

Both Sides Now

At my advanced age, I am once again in the writing-submission-rejection crapcan.
Once having been sort of notorious as a writer in my home town of Newmarket--and making oodles of money at it--I am now trying to engineer a comeback in the local paperrs, but not so fast, grandpa.
There is a new generation of editors on the scene (kids when I was publishing stuff)--and they remind me once more that journalism is a business and not a creative outlet, though I beat those odds a generation ago and very nearly made the big local paper a creative outlet, back in the days when they still took good writin' over factual analysis.
I got my own column, titled, after my favourite singer, Joni Mitchell--"Both Sides Now."
It was  largely about trying to be a hippie, a communal farmer and musician, and the disappointmet with both pursuits.
The goats would stand around wanting you to do something and you were so banged out with work and drugs, you hardly knew what you were doing. Communal farming was still farming, and that was damn hard work and, yes, it did take brains to make a living off it.
In my group, partially founded by the Canada Council for writers, it was expected of us not only to farm the rocky moraines of Killalloe Ontario, but to produce a book.
Hardly any one of us produced neither harvest or book.
Bunch f*cked up old hippies. And on the government dole. Producing neither truck nor trade.
But after the farming experience I had to take matters into hand. I was already a published writer, a professional, mind you and if I couldn't herd goats  I could at least ride herd on overground writing.
I went to Gerry Barker, owner of TOPIC magazine in these parts and gave him a pitch for a column of my recent life and hard times. It worked. Gerry minted me as a new columnist and paid me $167 oldfashioned dollars a month. It was enought in those days to pay the mortgage and keep my two kids fed.
I lasted a long time, won and Ontario Weekly Newspapers award, and felt kinda superior to all those formr friends, the communal farmers, whe in recent years, had published boo-all for all that grant money.
One thing led to another, I went back to school part- time, won a professorship at the local college--and seemingly, had it made for life.
But on day, (I suppose with Kipling),
I pitched it all for a game of pitch and toss.
Oh, what a loss.
Now it's trying to get back in, in  a different generation, Kids. Spermy hands, probably, clutching my manuscripts.
Foo the wuck are you?
Well, goldurn it i have forgotten more about writing than you'll ever know, spermy editor.
People are online now. The game has changed.
And yet, after thirty years, it is somehow run by dirty old men.
Gimmy back my column.
Gimme back my sexy women editors.
Christ, I want back in!

8 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

There's a rather active process it seems at times of 'trying' to keep everyone out but a select few.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

You seem to have hit it right on, Charles, and in provincial Canada, it seems to me a lot like politics.

the walking man said...

Maybe you need to spermy a few of those kid editors. Seriously that is exactly why I do not submit shit to anyone. You turn in your heart and soul and they shank you in the liver, let them get the kids to write for 10 cents a word with a penny added for each piece of properly placed punctuation and 20 cents deducted for an out of place comma.

ivan said...

Mark,

Yep.

Editors. I used to like the old school kind.

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