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Rules of Engagement Part II

Wherein deponent keeps his promise to explain the rules of this journal to his reading audience . . .

But before I get into it, I have an update on the writing front. My story, "In The Land of The Pretty People," was rejected for publication today. This may sound like a bad thing, but fret not. Rejections are a part of this business and any writer worth his or her salt can show you a stack of hundreds of such missives. Even the really great writers still collect them, albeit not as often as some. What a rejection means is, "This was not the right story for this particular editor at this particular time." At least I've stopped collecting form rejection letters. I've progressed to the point in my ability and training that at least I get personal responses. This one read, "I really like your writing, but "In The Land of The Pretty People," ends just when the story is beginning. Well, that's a fair enough interpretation.

I don't happen to believe that it is accurate, though. I believe that what happens beyond the end of the story is irrelevant, considering that the central character changes and once again becomes involved in her own healing process. She's on the right road, and I feel comfortable enough letting her go about the business of learning to live again on her own. At the point where I end the story, I just wish Suzy good luck and turn her loose from the clutches of this particular, malevolent god. So once again, I'll research the market and put it in the mail. I'll let you know what happens.

Now, on to the subject at hand. The rules.

"Rules?" You say. "What need for rules could a journal have, anyway?

I'm glad you asked. As I stated in my original message, this is for me a way to keep myself writing. By giving myself the freedom to create this journal, I'm addressing a couple of issues. First off, it's nice for me to have an audience. Writing is a solitary business. You spend a great many hours entwined with the language, doing everything in your power to do your best by your ideas and characters, and in the end, you send your baby out into the void. You never really get to see the enjoyment others derive from your work. Your not there when they read it, which may be two or three years or longer from the time you spend in its creation. By that time, you've moved on and are engaged in other projects, and unless your a playwright or a screenwriter or even a performance artist, such as a poet, you never get to interact with you audience beyond the scope of the chasm of months that seperate you from your audience. This journal allows me to know that out there, somewhere, someone is reading and--hopefully--enjoying my writing.

Second, it keeps my fingers moving. Writing every day is a necessity to improvement in this business. Enough said.

But friends, I write about what I know. Hence, this journal will detail my daily life and yes, I will be writing about you. Notice that I'm not saying that I might be writing about you. I will be. You can count on it. And sometimes, I won't be saying nice things.

Hence Rules number one and two:

1) I will only be honest on these pages. Emotional dishonesty is the worst sin a writer can commit. Therefore, I will not get in the habit here. If you don't want my opinion, as honestly as I can give it, you might want to . . .er, well, see you later folks. I'm sorry it wasn't what you were looking for.

2) I will use NO real names. Every one mentioned here will be assigned a nickname. Now, in truth, it will be painfully obvious of whom I'm speaking if you know anything about me or my life as it is now. But, I will give you the gift of anonymity to the outside world.

Okay, I've gone on long enough for this session. I'll leave you with this and continue next time.

Please feel free to subscribe here if you so wish. Just click the "subscribe" link from this page and you'll be signed up to receive an email with a link to this page whenever a new entry is added.

Until then,

Joseph Haines, signing off from the Edge of the Abyss.

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