Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Academy Grand Rounds! And other stuff!

This week's Grand Rounds is up, with an Oscar theme. I didn't make it in this week: pfui! But as I tell all my writing students, we have to get used to rejection; and this way, I'll appreciate the next time I get in even more.

I've been submitting to Grand Rounds since, I think, August, and there have only been two weeks when I've submitted something and haven't gotten in. So really, that's a pretty good record! Certainly better than my print publishing record, since like nearly all writers, I collected the proverbial shoebox of rejection slips before I actually sold something. In fiction, that is; actually, the first two poems I sent to SF magazines sold right away, but SF poetry is such an esoteric little field that this probably says more about the scarcity of material than about my own skill.

Speaking of poetry, this past week I got up the courage to tell my supervisor at the hospital -- my erstwhile CPE supervisor, and one of our staff chaplains -- about the ED Sonnets. He was very supportive: pleased that I'm writing about the work, and less concerned about privacy issues than I feared he'd be (although if I ever get a complete manuscript together, I'll run it past the Community Relations guy at the hospital to make sure I'm not likely to step on any toes). At the end of the conversation, which happened up in his office before I went down to the ED to start my shift, he even said, "Go down there and get material for your blog!" Which is very definitely how I try to avoid thinking about the hospital work, but never mind. Viewing everything that happens to us as potential material is one of the more vampiric habits writers can fall into.

Meanwhile, the ScrubQuest saga seems to have attracted unusual reader interest. Who knew? Maybe the TV show Scrubs needs a spinoff series about the lives of the characters' scrub shirts?

Anyway, my friend Inez from Iowa -- former star student, mom of the adorable Rickie-dog, and writer and professor extraordinaire -- sent me the following fabulous suggestion about what to do with my old, faded Magic Shirt:
I think you should keep all your scrub shirts as they wear out and have a quilt made in a few years. You can use it for decor, but also cuddle up under it when you need a psychic hug -- or lend it to friends who need one, etc. Plus, good excuse to keep in newish scrubs before they wear to threads.

Think of like, old fashioned patchwork quilts; it will become a record of your ministry -- "oh, I was wearing that shirt when x happened."
So is that a great idea, or what? Especially since I love quilts but have neither the patience nor the skill to make them myself. One of my most prized possessions is a beautiful little wall quilt, hand-dyed and hand-sewn, that a student's mother gave me to thank me for helping her daughter out when she was sick. Someday I'll post a picture of that. If the house were on fire, that quilt's one of the things I'd grab before I fled.

That and my computer. And Gary. And the cats.

Hmmmm. I think I need more arms!

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