Pinboard

Authors today are encouraged to promote promote promote their work on a blog (and on other popular elements of social media that I don’t use).  One promotional activity which hasn’t been too time-hungry and is even enjoyable is the creation of a Pinterest board with images associated with my translated works.  I’ve recently read articles by two much-published authors pushing Pinterest as an author’s friend.  So I tried it.  When you check out my board you’ll see intricately decorated pages from the original French versions of my translated stories, like this one from La Revue illustrée, 1st June 1899, illustrated by Alfred Daguet for ‘Princesse Mandosiane’, one of the stories you can now read in English in the Eleven Eleven journal (which you’ll have to buy):

First page of Princesse Mandosiane, in Revue illustrée, 1 June 1899
First page of Princesse Mandosiane, in ‘La Revue illustrée’, 1 June 1899

Look at the creature in the bottom left of the page doing a handstand while balancing an ‘L’ signpost in his mouth!  Reminds me of the sculpted column swallowers in Romanesque churches.  Such fun!  Why don’t we decorate our pages any more?

Of course, for every one of my translations that’s published there are several others not accepted.  Just this week I’ve received two rejections and a notice that someone is already translating some stories I’m working on.  Or, rather, was working on until that moment.  Submitting stories to magazines and journals has become a part-time job, taking so much time and effort that I hardly have time to translate new stories.  But why write it if no one will read it?  Between the writing and the reading, there must come submission, publishing and promotion.  Fortunately there’s pleasure in it all!

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Not quite the back of beyond

For a couple of months I’ve been waiting for a journal posted in August, and yesterday it arrived in my letterbox:  Eleven Eleven, Issue 19, a Journal of Literature and Art produced by the California College of the Arts.  I was surprised at the size of it, about half an inch thick, 256 pages of stories and poetry and art, some in colour.

Eleven Eleven Issue 19 cover
Eleven Eleven Issue 19 cover

The editors had published two stories I translated from a collection by Jean Lorrain:  ‘Princess Mandosiane’ and ‘Queen Maritorne’, and sent me a copy by way of payment.  Seeing the stories in the journal was pretty special, and knowing that readers will have to go out and buy it gives the experience an edge.

But even being published in a free online magazine earlier this year was, I have to admit, a thrill!  Another one of Jean Lorrain’s stories, ‘Madame Gorgibus’, was published in Intranslation, part of The Brooklyn Rail, ‘an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and beyond’.  I was so glad to read that last word, my home being far far away from New York.  Indeed, I’m very grateful to American magazines that welcome submissions from Australia, from the back of beyond (well not quite), since there are virtually no journals here that would take my translations.

What opportunities there are for writers in this electronic world!

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