Oh hey look, two in a matter of two days, I haven't been this good in about a month. Phew, maybe I'm getting a bit back on track. Ha.
So, a few weeks ago, I saw through Barrelhouse's
email notifier that they have gotten some press recognition, which is cool. Very cool. And I've already blogged about how I enjoyed the inaugural issue, and had wanted to go to the reading, but was out of town that weekend.
So anyway, back to those press mentions. Dave Housley, one of the editors, made a comment about the whole process of vetting submissions, and said that he got inundated with "relationship stories" and said something to the effect that he got to the point where he was so burnt out on them, that if Flannery O'Connor herself had risen from the grave with a relationship story he would have rejected it. (Total paraphrase but that's the gist.)
Maybe I got a little annoyed because I had sent a "relationship story" to them (and got rejected handily), but I kept thinking about that concept. Are there too many relationship stories? My mind raced. Should I stop writing stories that could be considered "relationship stories"? Actually I kind of chafe at even considering my stories to be "relationship stories," per se (God forbid chick lit of the Bridget Jones variety, although I know a lot of people are finding that term to be downright controversial these days) I still think they're more dysfunction stories, hahaha, but still. I just kept thinking about how relationships are one of the most common conflicts that humans face. And that in 2005, I am pretty sure that Gen X and Gen Y have very different versions of relationships, gender roles, commitment, and the like than previous generations. Relationships say a lot about our society -- and resonate with a lot of people. And some of the greatest pieces of literature of our time have been about something as elemental as, well, relationships. And of course, I could just go on and on about this, as you might imagine.
I guess it shouldn't have chafed at me so much and I can see how very similar stories submitted could get very tiresome. In the end, though, I still have to write what the spirit moves me to write or whatever. (I'm quite proud that one of my stories was rejected by an editor who said my characters were unlikeable characters doing unlikeable things -- I'm contrary that way. I've also had raves about that story, which reminds me of a recent Hebdomeros
post about contests and the ultimate question of tastes.) I just thought it might be an interesting point to consider. I'd welcome any comments here -- the idea just got under my skin and I couldn't shake it, ha.
Thanks for reading (and sticking with me while I've been a bit dicey with the posts!),