Sunday, August 29, 2021

hooray, Queen's Quarterly, and let's dance!

You know I'm generally a cheerful person, in part because I've been lucky in life, so far, and I take nothing for granted. This morning, I was exceptionally, nauseatingly cheerful. (Many sparrows crowded in the public bath on my deck. I should charge.)

Today's email brought me a welcome surprise: another essay has been accepted, barely a week after I submitted it, a miracle - in August! This essay, about my childhood pen pal who died in 1966 and what her death has meant to me ever since, matters more to me than almost anything I've ever written. I was devastated a few years ago when I submitted it to the CNFC nonfiction competition, and it didn't even make the long list. I know, some competitions are a non-objective question of taste, but still, it hit hard. I hung onto the piece until finally, encouraged by the wonderful Susan Scott who's the editor of my forthcoming piece in TNQ, I submitted it to Queen's Quarterly. The editor James Carson wrote today:

I’m writing to say that we would be happy to accept “Correspondence” for publication in the Queen's Quarterly. It is an engaging and professional work of memoir that hits just the right wavelength for what we look to publish. It also prompted our associate editor to recall the time she met Paul McCartney at a party in London.

It's like someone saying, I see you. I hear you. You exist. 

I wrote back to say, wonderful, and please let your associate editor know I want to hear ALL ABOUT IT, and that I have a memoir she might enjoy. 

Then I Zoomed into the dance party Nicky Guadagni runs every day. I'd sent her a playlist of dance songs, and today she used nearly all of them. So I not only danced on Zoom with her group of friends but to some of my own favourites, while looking out at the garden, which has recovered from the recent drought and looks newly fresh and green because - of course, because I watered like crazy yesterday - it poured overnight. 

So, bliss. Here's the playlist from today if you want to create your own dance party, but I warn you - you'll be winded.

Now, I'm going to cook while listening to Eleanor, and then I'll go back to work. It's thrilling: I've at last discovered how to create folders for Documents on my Mac, and the chaos of my Documents file, thousands of snippets, essay starts, inspiring quotes, and a ton of other things from decades of scribbling online, are starting to be renamed and PUT INTO THE RIGHT FILE. Oh God, it feels good. 

Much to be grateful for today. I hope you have a list too. Let's dance. 


  1. Great playlist Beth, all my favorites! But really, only now for folders - am I missing something?

    1. Trevor, I tried and tried to move documents into folders and could not. Only a few days ago, I discovered that you have to do it through Finder. Then it works easily. It only took me ten years or so to find that out. Yes, I'm kinda slow with tech. But then, I did have a young tech helper who couldn't figure it out either...

  2. Replies
    1. It's wonderful, Theresa. Doors are opening!