We have made it to November, and I haven’t completed most, if any, of the tasks I set out for myself in October. I won’t take inventory right now because that would just be too depressing to think about.
I will tell you that I somehow forgot to turn in my VA certification for school. How that slipped my mind, I have no idea.
Anyway, it’s been raining quite a bit the past few days. I personally like it that way — wet and cloudy. It’s weird, but it feels like I’ve always preferred the autumn and winter months.
But I know it isn’t something intrinsic in me, because I was born and raised in tropical Palau, where there are no autumn or winter seasons.
There is a long rainy season there, but I’m pretty sure I preferred a sunny day to a rainy one growing up. There were certain days, of course, when the rain was nice.
Once, when I was probably around 8 or 9, my dad took me fishing on his boat during a light rainstorm.
It was close to Christmas time and I’d been wanting to go with my brother and some cousins to Ibobang, where they were set to perform a dance routine for the annual Christmas festivities.
I remember watching them rehearse one of their dance numbers to “I’m Going Home to Palau For Christmas,” a song by Johnny B, if I’m not mistaken.
On the morning they were set to depart, it dawned on me that I wasn’t gonna be going with them, and I cried like a baby. My dad, probably feeling sorry for me, decided we would go fishing, and we did — just the two of us.
I’m not sure where my mom was, or my baby sister, but I remember it was only us.
The rain fell lightly as we left land and headed out to sea. My dad had the canvas cover up and let me sit next to him behind the console, and the boat ride to the fishing spot was a blur.
In fact, most of the memory is a blur. I can only recall bits and pieces.
What I remember is catching a big red snapper and him being so proud of me; the light rain rippling the ocean surface like millions of tiny meteor impacts; the ocean being comfortably warm, like an early-morning cup of green tea; him standing next to the Yamaha engine of the boat, soaked through and through handing his fishing line.
What a glorious day it was!
I journaled more in September and October than I did for all other months this year.
I thought about posting some of the journal entries here but ultimately decided against it — some of them are a little too personal to be in the public domain.
Honestly, journaling has been the most helpful thing for me in terms of getting me out of my writing slump.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention — I’ve been in a writing slump since about the end of May. I just didn’t have the stamina to write a long piece until recently.
I have, so far this year, written a total of 3 prose pieces (2 creative nonfiction and 1 short story) and about a dozen poems. The poems, I’ve been writing throughout the year. The short story was for a class assignment, and I just completed the first revision of it last week.
One of the CNF pieces, which was epistolary, became the first ever piece that I read in front of a live audience. The reading was at a pizza joint called Camp Calvos, here in Downtown Tacoma.
It’s an awesome place and you should definitely stop by if ever you’re in the area. Awesome people, awesome pizza, awesome beer, and an even more awesome atmosphere.
Anyway, I was the first reader on stage, and to say it was nerve-wracking would be an understatement.
But I think I got through it okay, even had my mentor film it for an after action review. And upon review, I’d say I graded out pretty well.
Either way, I’m glad I did it. It’s a goal of mine that I was so proud to check off my list of writerly things to do.
As for submissions, I haven’t submitted any short stories this year, though I am gonna start sending out the CNF piece that I read. I’ll start doing that next week.
I have been submitting poems, though, and have received back a total of 4 rejections, only one of which was a tiered rejection — not the run-of-the-mill automated kind. I take that as a win.
Small victories add up, as they say.
Finally, I have two more poems still pending, and there’s a longer one I’m planning to do a final revision on before sending it out.
I’m not entirely optimistic about either of the pending ones getting accepted, but, hopefully, I get an acceptance before the end of the year.
It’s been a while since my last one, so it would be nice to finally break this rejection streak.
Nov. 3, 2022
Featured image by Photo by Roman Kaiuk🇺🇦