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  • Writer's pictureLuella Schmidt

Folio: Week Ending 01/29/23

Updated: Feb 20


Writing:

  • I received notice this week that my flash fiction piece, Lost Dog, will be published by Flash Fiction Magazine. This is my first acceptance!

  • Lost Dog was created when my dog, Cece, escaped and roamed the neighborhood while I looked for her in the rain. I've been picking it up every several months and improving it as my writing skills improve, so it's a particularly sweet win.

  • My novel-writing course began in January. I'll be spending the next year with the same cohort of seven people + a facilitator, reading and critiquing each other's work. We have to submit 20-25 pages of our draft each month. I'm wrestling with big genre and point-of-view questions and the clock is ticking for me to make a decision. Be brave! (she says, as a wish to the universe).

  • Published a story about Catch-22, which is ranked the 7th best novel of all time by Modern Library.

  • Submissions: 15 Waiting: 1 Rejections: 13 ✱ Acceptances: 1 (isn't that pretty!?)


Mirror in the Sky News:

  • I took a break from Meetup events in January to set up a publication on Medium. Spending time with the 100 Best Albums, Movies, and Novels has been incredibly soothing during such a tumultuous time in the world and in our country. Now writers who are inspired by these works can write about them and, in turn, inspire others! I'm pumped to spread the joy!

  • February events: the album The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street and the movie Raging Bull from 1980.

Listening to:

  • Flowers by Anais Mitchell. Her unique, aching voice and the haunting strings get me every time. "Come and find me, lying in the bed I made."


Reading:

  • I'm working my way through Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Here's a quote from There Was a Child Went Forth that struck me as evoking childhood trauma as well as childhood wonder. We like to create myths about the people who shape us, and I wonder what myths I've created.

"There was a child went forth every day,

And the first object he looked upon and received with

wonder or pity or love or dread, that object he became,

And that object became part of him for the day or a

certain part of the day... or for many years or

stretching cycles of years."


Pictures of circus "freaks" and acts
The album cover for Exile on Main Street, shot by Robert Frank, one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century

  • I'm still reading How the South Won the Civil War by Heather Cox Richardson. Reconstruction is particularly interesting to me because in some ways, we are in a "reconstruction" period right now as the January 6 attackers are convicted and laws are passed to avoid a repeat attempt. The higher level, coordinated foot soldiers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy, and we wait and wonder with varying degrees of cynicism and hope for the funders and the elected officials at the top to face consequences.

Immediately after the Civil War, the federal government used its power to try to ensure the rights of newly freed black men and to eradicate the newly formed KKK. In response, southern Democrats (back then, the party of the oligarchy) argued that black men were lazy and would vote for policies that took money from white taxpayers and redistributed it to themselves. However, once those southern Democrats stopped focusing on black men in particular, and instead made it about poor, landless men in general, this message began to resonate with wealthy industrialists in the North.


After the war, northerners noticed that certain industrialists had made a fortune from war contracts while less wealthy northerners fought in the trenches. Northern workers began demanding better conditions. After all, the North had just fought in a bloody battle for democracy against oligarchy. Were all men created equal or not?


Nothing brings people together more than mutual loathing of those less well off. A former Confederate Democrat, Robert Toombs, said that "only those who owned the country should govern it, and men who had no property had no right to make laws for property-holders." Gross.


Watching:

  • I'm watching nothing! Help! I need a new series to binge. Feel free to suggest your faves in the comments, or share anything that's feeding your inspiration.

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