Slush Pile

On an ordinary winter morning, a savvy New York City editor’s assistant, in fashionable Prada glasses and armed with discerning eyes, sits before a massive pile of unread query letters. Her job is to cull through this slush pile: the heap of unsolicited manuscripts that have been sent to her editor. Piece after piece, she reads the first sentence, groans, and tosses the paper off into oblivion. It’s a dramatic scene: she is the gate-keeper.

For any writer who wants to craft for public consumption, the ultimate is charming/energizing/alluring this gatekeeper.

As a writer, once you have the courage to admit that what you’ve written has some credibility – you realize that you’re competing with a large, bloodthirsty mass. Being prepared for a steady stream of rejection (having your work tossed off into oblivion) is healthy.

Writing is amorphous; what you thought was informative and carefully crafted today seems ridiculous tomorrow. Reminding yourself of your unique voice is a constant task. Praying too – is the other task at hand – praying that some savvy, Prada-wearing editor’s assistant reads the first sentence of your writing, and joyfully exclaims to the Heavens, “I’ve got the next big thing!” Or least, “Hmmm this looks interesting.” That will do!

© 2008 J. Dana Trent

Adams Morgan

The white flag waves
And calls me to surrender
To Kerouac and Fitzgerald
Valentine kisses and failure

A raspy voice warmed frosty days
With strong arms and masculine mystique
Heaven and Hell
In Adams Morgan

Connect – vanish – reconnect
Left haunts so deep
Strong hands pierced the crowded space
And melted the frozen night

The white flag waves
And calls me to surrender
While Kerouac tells me that
“Men have loved women without telling them”

Autumn greets winter
And winter breeds surrender
What if I had realized that
“Men have loved women without telling them”

© 2008 J. Dana Trent

Prayer for an Election

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (or of this community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, 1979

© 2008 J. Dana Trent