Fish Tale #2 – Dealing With Success and Failure

It’s been a long week here at wherever I am, and there’s a few things I need to catch you guys up to speed on.

My beloved betta fish Hemingway has unfortunately passed away. Like Ernest Hemingway, Hemmy (as I so dearly referred to him) survived several brushes with death (though none of them involved plane crashes or blood poisoning). But eventually his swim bladder disease got the best of him and I was forced to bid adieu to my grumpy-faced fishy friend.

Swim in peace, Hemmy

Swim in peace, Hemmy

Naturally, I blamed myself for his death. Did I do something wrong when I changed his water? Should I have acted sooner when I noticed he was looking a  bit sluggish? Whether his untimely death was a result of my actions (or in-actions), I am uncertain. But I know that I felt deeply responsible.

I mourned. And after a few weeks, I worked up the courage to try again and bought myself a new fish.

Everyone, meet DaVinci.

IMG_0858

He’s a delta tail Betta. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get a picture of him with his fins completely spread out (they’re huge), but this is a little sneak peak of what he looks like. It’s odd having him around instead of Hemmy, and sometimes I even catch myself calling him by the wrong name. But the point is, moving on from your failures doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting what happened. It’s attempting to accept what you did wrong, mourn, learn, and try again.

And this doesn’t just apply to fish. These are life lessons here, people.

Another update: I finally found a job.

After weeks of searching for jobs, filling out applications, and waiting around to never get called back, I finally had some luck with a local newspaper, where I now work as a copy editor and opinion columnist. Huzzah! Success!

So how does one handle success after endless failures? Naturally, I somehow get myself sick and spent my first day at the copy desk trying not to horrify everyone with my violent nose blowing. But despite that, I really quite enjoyed myself and I know I’m going to appreciate every ounce of experience I can squeeze from this job. So although this one seemed like a bit of a failure, I’m taking it as a sinus good things to come.

How to deal with success: Just try not to blow it.

Ah, sick puns.

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Quote #12

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

I’m Sorry This is Late Deadline Writing Memes

Due to reasons which I will discuss in next week’s post and reasons I will not (I had a test this morning and spent the greater half of the day in the car), this post is being posted very late in the evening. In the spirit of lateness (and exhaustedness), here are a few deadline-inspired items you fellow writer-folk might enjoy.

 

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.” — Douglas Adams

Here Kitty, Kitty

Here Kitty, Kitty

Moderately Meditated: Self-Editing

English: Hands collaborating in co-writing or ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is it so hard to self-edit?

Most people would say that it’s important to be able to shut off the inner-editor so that writing quickly and freely becomes a much more manageable task. But what do you do when your editor needs to be switched on?

One of the hardest parts of writing isn’t actually the writing itself, but the editing. This is especially true for authors trying to edit their own pieces. It’s very difficult to critique something you put your heart into. But if you are lucky enough to notice that something is wrong with your piece, you may not be lucky enough to know exactly what it is.

Last night I found myself grappling with a self-editing issue. My solution? Ask someone else. After emailing a friend and persistently knocking on the door of a fellow English major, I got some feedback. Even after a really helpful editing session with my friends, I still had a hard time fixing my piece. How do I figure out exactly what my story needs to be better?

I finally managed to fix a few of the issues my classmates pointed out, but only after staring at the screen for a long time (maybe longer than necessary). Eventually I sat myself down (literally) and asked myself what it was I wanted to communicate with this story. What’s my point? What’s my conflict? Why should anyone read this?

I’m not sure if I can answer those yet, but I did “finish” my story (are they ever finished?).

Fellow writers! Help! Any insights? How do you go about editing yourself? Helpful tips are welcome!

Quote #11

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

Paige’s Pages: A Literary Work #4

Throwback Thursday! (It’s not Thursday.) Here’s a poem I wrote in high school.

 

Those of Our Kind

Past the red-striped tents, you’ll see
A place of wonder, dazzling
Where the wretch’d alone roam free.

“Have a look!” he shouts to me
“Most truly horrifying!”
Past the red-striped tents, you’ll see.

Madmen grin so easily
Behind masks they are hiding
Where the wretch’d alone roam free.

On display, the world will see
The locked and barely living.
Past the red-striped tents, you’ll see.

In cages, they seem to be
Mocked and forever hurting
Where the wretch’d alone roam free.

This was never meant to be.
Our hearts are black and burning.
Past the red-striped tents, you’ll see
Where the wretch’d alone roam free.