Saturday, December 13, 2014


Yes, today is 12-13-14, one of those delightful calendar coincidences! So today is about numbers. I just finished reading Nine Inches, a bunch of short stories by Tom Perrotta, who also wrote Election and Little Children and The Wishbones. These are funny and tender and wise stories about crazy stuff that happens in schools and suburbia, scary yet sympathetic police officers, guys that have some difficulty growing up, marriages falling apart, and wannabe or used-to-be musicians.

I cringed at the TMI conversation between a teacher and student in "Grade My Teacher," then marveled at the little turn this story took. Lots of them take a very interesting turn or serious swerve! I winced at the beating a character took in "One-Four-Five," and many of these stories do end with a "punch," so to speak, a sentence that hits hard.

"Nine Inches" is not about a ruler, nor Converse tennis shoes. It's about the distance kids are to remain apart at the middle school dance, and is measured by a bit of measuring tape, not a hard ruler, as depicted. There's another school party, a high school party, in "The All-Night Party," where we get to see vulnerable people care about each other. That's always nice.

Speaking of numbers, my car is fixed! For only $46! Thank you, Davis Tire and Auto! And in the 100 Rejections project, here's the tally so far: 76 Sent, 33 Rejected, 20 Accepted, 21 Pending, and 2 N/A. Amazingly, the math adds up! True, I did not get 100 rejections in 2014, and did not even send out 100 submissions, but I persisted in sending out what I had that seemed ready. Rejection sometimes means it's not ready, and sometimes means it just needs to go to the right place at the right time.


seana graham said...

I picked up a copy of The Best American Short Stories at the airport yesterday because I was in the mood, headed down to a weekend of readings at my sister's MFA readings at Antioch. Mr. Perotta didn't make the collection this year but I see that he did make the longlist. I hit upon an interesting approach this year, which was simply to not start at the beginning, which isn't the first thing to spring to mind for a rule follower like me. So I read Peter Cameron's After the Flood, which I really enjoyed.

Good news about the car. As always, I am impressed about your rate of submissions. And actually, your rate of acceptance.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Seana. Best wishes to you and your sister and her classmates. Now I am reading Cleopatra's Sister. Finally!

SarahJane said...

I am glad getting your car fixed was so reasonable. And I am inspired to count up my rejections.