The Owmapow Chronicles

by Channie Greenberg

Table of Contents
Table of Contents
chapters 1, 2, 3.1, 3.2

Chapter 3: Owmapow Gets Fired

part 1


Owmapow:

I started writing in 1968 when I couldn’t find a job. I never planned to be a writer. The first thing I submitted was accepted by Snails and Puppy Dog Tails. My other publications followed.

Rena


Rena:

Wow! You have been publishing for a long time. As for me, I was a biology professor for a long time.

As per writing, I’m a bit spoiled by the ease of doing business electronically. I just wish I had more acceptances.

In other matters, are you or any of the folks in your circles interested in a creative writing workshop? My newest ad’s attached. Please pass it around to your friends and colleagues.

Let’s keep the conversation going. I’d love to hear about your writing success.

Owmapow


Owmapow:

All of us are spoiled by electronics. The computer revolution has changed publishing. I live in a sparsely populate region of Montana but am read in Bangkok and Sydney.

Also, I’m a seasoned writer. Not only do I write short fiction, but I have likewise worked in journalism for two plus decades. I’ve written everything from light features to political analysis to social satire. My book manuscripts are making the rounds, too. I’m offering a novel and a poetry chapbook.

Cheers,
Rena


Rena:

May you always know success! I just filed my taxes. Also, I just had at batch of receipts printed for when I teach writing. Maybe, one day, I’ll teach online. For today, face-to-face suits me.

In the past, I taught narrative at a community continuing education program and I taught business writing at the local YMCA. I’ve been blogging for Shellfish and Their Landlocked Buddies and for the children’s science site, Under the Sea. I’ve additionally been published in Smarmy Friends, Squeaks and Roars, Crazed Critters, and in other, modest venues. This summer, alone, I’ve had almost half of a dozen poems, short stories and essays accepted for publication.

What’s more, I’ve been selected to judge a creative nonfiction contest for Ocean Scavengers, am in talks to ghost for someone with an Internet presence, and am happily moving toward formalizing my business of writing workshops. Are you or any of the folks in your circles interested in a creative writing workshop? My newest ad’s attached. Please pass it around to your friends and colleagues.

Owmapow


Owmapow:

My income is mostly from translating and editing, although I recently began writing again, for Tails of Pet Wonder. I don’t write for them too often since they pay so poorly.

The demise of the print media is a worldwide phenomenon. Today, it’s hard to make a living from print. The electronic media are worse. There is more money in business writing than in creative writing.

If you are already teaching business writing and are already established as an academic, why are you trying to get more involved in creative work?

Rena

Rena:

I have several book projects on hold (have turned down at least one publisher because the contract terms were crummy) and am trying to find time to send in more goodies to more folk. I’m starting to get a rhythm, but truth be told, I’d rather create and refine than promote. Also, I’ve taught two writing workshops.

Creative work is freeing. Academic work is not. Are you or any of the folks in your circles interested in a creative writing workshop? My newest ad’s attached. Please pass it around to your friends and colleagues.

Owmapow

PS: Googling me will only give you a portion of my work since I publish under several variations of my name. ;) My motivation grows somewhere between my need to protect my identity and my having “established” an academic presence before becoming a creative writer. So I’m “out there” in several versions, not all of which I have revealed even to my mother-in-law who, one day, crowed that she had located a piece of my online poetry. Since I believe convergent media is powerful, I don’t really want to give anyone all of my pieces.


Owmapow:

Wow. I’m impressed. NSF scholar, huh? A few novels?! Crustaceans? That’s a heavy topic. What are chemical setae? How do they function on a lobster? I know technical writing is more lucrative than creative work, but I find it to be boring and repetitive. I flunked high school chemistry.

You’d probably be good at Technical Writing, though.

Rena


Rena:

Don’t be impressed. I’m currently running myself into loops, not sure of which way to apply myself and am feeling very, very frustrated. Writing novels isn’t publishing them. Also, I grew up calling creative nonfiction “expository writing.”

I like science writing. I did a piece, last year, for Johns Hopkins’ Arts and Sciences Magazine. It’s fun to explain complex ideas to the lay public.

As per “technical writing,” I dislike it per se. I’m not very interested in machines.

In terms of writing fiction, I need to hook myself to a star. After two days’ of acceptance letters, I am getting rejection letters again. Sigh. Maybe I’ll try working as a writing professor. Are you or any of the folks in your circles interested in a creative writing workshop? My newest ad’s attached. Please pass it around to your friends and colleagues.

Owmapow


To Whom It May Concern:

Beam me up and then slather my mind with the marshmallows that melted while we were building pretzel stick carbon rings. It’s a pity that those platypi were confused for chimeras, but most creatures that are possessed of characteristics of several classes within a single phylum can get confusing. Alternatively, we can join together to employ telescopes using coded aperture masks and seek out life on Mars.

In all or partial seriousness, hire this biology professor to write pop science articles. Links to some of my published work and my CV are available on request. Together, we can explore the physics of why G sharp and A flat are dissimilar and the chemistry of making a chocolate cake.

Fly me.

Owen Brownstone


Hi Owen,

Nice note. The site’s called CreatureComforts.com. Feel free to check it out. Would love a few writing samples. I also need to confirm you live in Canada to be applicable to this job.

Z


Z:

Bummer. Not a Canadian. How ’bout someone who is a citizen of the good ol’ US of A? :) Meanwhile, are you or any of the folks in your circles interested in a creative writing workshop? My newest ad’s attached. Please pass it around to your friends and colleagues.

Owen


Owen:

Sorry, Owen, won’t do. Good luck!

Z


Z:

If you hear of anything that’s suitable for me, please send it my way. The offer for the creative writing workshop is still good, though.

Owen Brownstone


Hi Owen:

Your online course, Viruses and Larger Animals, sounded amazing. However, I think I have made a mistake. I am very sorry but I think I have overextended myself. We have just moved and I am juggling graduate school as well as looking after a pregnant hedgehog. I am starting my own business, too. As much as I would love to complete your course right now, I do not think I would be able to dedicate the time and headspace it deserves.

I realize you said there are no refunds. However, I was wondering if you could make an exception just this once? I appreciate your time and I apologize for any inconvenience.

Sincerely,
Cindy Smithers


Cindy:

I hope your move went well. I’m sorry. I can’t issue a refund. Graduate school is tough. Pregnant hedgehogs are tough. I can commiserate with the former and can offer links, depending on the issue, to people and places (I’ve found a strong support team to be essential) for the latter.

As per the class, you can choose not to participate at all, or you can choose to participate in a way that matches your resources (e.g. do readings, participate in discussions, answer only the prompts for which you have time). You’re a grown woman, so you’ve probably heard what I am next going to say, but I’ll say it, anyway. If you don’t nurture yourself, you can’t nurture those around you.

In balance, long baths, brisk walks, container gardening or some other item might be what nurtures you best. Maybe biology courses are fun for you. I don’t know you, so I can’t guess.

The first year in graduate school is one that is normally full of tears. My mentor was mentored, in turn, by someone else. It’s a tough transition. Good for you for persevering.

I’m working on a book’s galley proofs today and will be checking my email intermittently. If you want to write back about pregnant hedgehogs, I’m here for you. :)

Warmly,
Owen

Owen:

Thank you for your support and for all your wonderful graduate school advice.

It is definitely a tough gig, but as you said, the first year is toughest so I am hanging in there. I would love to be in contact generally about pregnant hedgehogs.

I hear that you cannot issue a refund. I understand. However, right now it would be very stressful for me to participate even at half-mast, so to speak.

As a compromise, would I be able to participate in the next course you offer instead, i.e. could you hold my payment in escrow until then? I would really appreciate this. Thank you again for all your advice!

Cindy


Cindy:

I am sincerely sorry, but I do not set aside credit for students. I offer classes as my publishing schedule permits (sometimes regularly, sometimes not) and try to do as little bookkeeping and other record maintenance as possible. To wit, although I lose 10% of funds by using PayPal, I employ that system so that legal records are created for me and so that I don’t have to use my resources to attend to them.

Speaking of which, I must return to the manuscript at hand. You are welcome to participate or not and to do so as much as you desire.

Owen


Hi Owen!

Oh, that is a shame. I hope to attend whenever I can but it will not really be my maximum attention at this time.

Cindy



Proceed to part 2...

Copyright © 2015 by Channie Greenberg

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