Friday, June 29, 2007

Crossing the Literary Rubicon

I have crossed my personal literary Rubicon by sending an article to a writing competition. It is, after all, only 2000 words. But then the Rubicon was a very small stream. It is not, I would argue, the size of the crossing but the fact of the crossing.

Caesar (the first one, Julius, the general formerly known as Octavian) crossed the Rubicon with an army. In so doing, he doomed thousands of years of school children to his bad grammar. His famous Gallia est omnis divisa est in tres partes was bad Latin to describe an attempt about as ill-fated as the partitioning of subsequent countries to isolate good guys and bad guys. His crossing also meant the end of a republic, or at least so we were told in Latin class, and we all know to beware the ides of March ("Cave ides martium") except the calendar has changed so much since then that no one remembers exactly when the Ides of March occur.

I certainly have no such grand expectations for my humble crossing, but it did take an army to get me across the stream. My daughter, a real writer, gave me wonderful comments about which piece to work on in the way some daughters might help pick a dress for a big night out along with boundless encouragement. My husband offered good suggestions, too, and solicited comments from passersby. Blog pals, the discipline of writing (nearly) every day, and a writer's group meeting around a table on a Wednesday night all helped bring me to the Rubicon. With all this behind me, I took the plunge and managed to get 2000 words safely confined on a page and looking good enough to send out into the world, or at least to the judges who can look at my anonymous submission.

Now having had a cast of characters get me this far, it looked as if the whole campaign was to be scunnered by a sudden 24 hour postal strike just at the time of the deadline. Once again, my army rallied behind me. I emailed the article to my husband who happened to be in Inverness. He got a friend to print it out and then he hand delivered it to the address in Inverness and paid the entrance fee of £5. This last fact is worth noting because my husband, being a Scot, must have thought it daft to pay someone to read your writing, but as a good soldier, he did it without question.

This much ado about 2000 words is to say thanks to everyone (even those who did so unwittingly) who helped get me to the Rubicon and to explain why the blog posts have been a bit sparse lately.

5 Comments:

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

Well, oodles of good luck to you in the contest. I hope I get to read it published.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

congratulations! this is a huge step, you have successfully crossed the Rubicon! Now, ONWARD!

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks to you both Ms Piggy and Hayden, not just for your good wishes but your ongoing interest in this log at the edge of the world.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Uh, Sharon, Julius wasn't Octavian -- that was Augustus....

But congratulations on crossing your personal Rubicon... and I hope it works for you... as you know, I'm still waffling on my side of the stream....

 
At 6:17 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Ooops, Cur, that's right. I slipped a generation, didn't I? Julius adopted his nephew Octavian who then became Augustus. Thanks for keeping me right. See, all those years in Latin class did pay off.
Thanks for encourgagement,too. I think you'll know when it's time.

 

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