Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

The Next Step

Today by email I got two rejections.

The first was a rejection from an agent I had queried about a children's book. The second was a rejection of a poem by a literary magazine.

It is not unusual for me to get a rejection:  the contrary is true. Blue moons are common compared to acceptance for me.

But two on one day is unusual, and it made me take note of my reaction. For both, I went looking for the next place to submit. Rejection no longer seems like a denial of who I am, or even a commentary on what I have done. It is just the next step in the process of getting the work in the right hands. 

I thought today it is like finding a place to plant a flower (something even more uncommon for me than blue moons). You need to find the right spot. This soil is too acidic. This has too little sun. This gets not enough rain.

I want my flower to bloom.

It takes a while to find just the right spot. 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Monicas-Flower.jpg

 

 

 

Recent Comments
Sue Martin Glasco
You have such a mature and accurate assessment of rejections. I really like this, and I think every new writer should have acces... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 04:34
Stephen Evans
Thanks Sue - the product of many many rejections ... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 16:37
Katherine Gregor
I have planted pomegranate seeds in a small pot of soil. I trust they will sprout. I wish I could give you one. I must start su... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:33
1287 Hits
7 Comments

Alexander and the Gymnosophists

Sounds like a children's book, doesn't it? A excerpt from Plutarch's Life of Alexander:

 

He captured ten of the Gymnosophists who had done most to get Sabbas to revolt, and had made the most trouble for the Macedonians. These philosophers were reputed to be clever and concise in answering questions, and Alexander therefore put difficult questions to them, declaring that he would put to death him who first made an incorrect answer, and then the rest, in an order determined in like manner; and he commanded one of them, the oldest, to be the judge in the contest.

The first one, accordingly, being asked which, in his opinion, were more numerous, the living or the dead, said that the living were, since the dead no longer existed.

The second, being asked whether the earth or the sea produced larger animals, said the earth did, since the sea was but a part of the earth.

The third, being asked what animal was the most cunning, said: "That which up to this time man has not discovered." The fourth, when asked why he had induced Sabbas to revolt, replied: "Because I wished him either to live nobly or to die nobly."

The fifth, being asked which, in his opinion, was older, day or night, replied: "Day, by one day"; and he added, upon the king expressing amazement, that hard questions must have hard answers.

Passing on, then, to the sixth, Alexander asked how a man could be most loved; "If," said the philosopher, "he is most powerful, and yet does not inspire fear."

Of the three remaining, he who was asked how one might become a god instead of man, replied: "By doing something which a man cannot do";

The one who was asked which was the stronger, life or death, answered: "Life, since it supports so many ills."

And the last, asked how long it were well for a man to live, answered: "Until he does not regard death as better than life."

So, then, turning to the judge, Alexander bade him give his opinion. The judge declared that they had answered one worse than another. "Well, then," said Alexander, "thou shalt die first for giving such a verdict."

"That cannot be, O King," said the judge, "unless thou falsely saidst that thou wouldst put to death first him who answered worst."

 

 

 

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Alexander*/9.html

 

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Must admit I'm having some difficulty orienteering with this. I sense we might be approaching Turandot country and that only leads... Read More
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 12:49
Stephen Evans
I don't think Alexander got as far as China, paddle or no. ... Read More
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 18:11
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2 Comments

Three Oversimplifications

1) If something bad happens, then worrying wasn't helpful.

2) If something bad doesn't happen, then worrying wasn't helpful.

3) Wine is helpful.

 

 

Recent Comments
Virginia M Macasaet
I think beer would be just as helpful too!... Read More
Friday, 20 March 2015 11:21
Stephen Evans
That works too! (speaking of course as a disinterested observer, since I don't actually imbibe either).
Friday, 20 March 2015 16:32
Anonymous
So you're saying if something bad happens, whine?
Friday, 20 March 2015 21:37
919 Hits
3 Comments

Limerick (on St. Patrick's Day)

There once was a poet from Eire

Who wrote phrases like “widening gyre”

Till he got very old

And his verse could unfold

And his heart lying down flew much higher.

Recent comment in this post
Rosy Cole
Looking forward to that chapbook of limericks...! :-)
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 18:48
1311 Hits
1 Comment

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