Submission: “Driven to the Fields”

Another failure.
——Original Message——
To: Jaramillo, John P
Subject: Re: Submission: “Driven to the Fields”
Sent: Jun 27, 2009 5:27 PM

Hi John,

Thanks for letting us read your work. Unfortunately, we can’t find a place for it in AVERY. We wish you the best of luck as you continue to find a place for your stories and hope that you’ll consider us in the future.


Steph, Adam, and Emma

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Hi-Tech Failures

Recently I purchased a Blackberry and found a brand new way of remembering all those bits of information that slip my mind. I didn’t buy it because of Obama and because of his need for a Blackberry I’ve read about. Now, I mean, I’m usually the kind that leaves the phone home or forgets to answer the phone when I hear it, but I am slowly starting to see the phone as another way of getting control of my life instead of escaping it. Yes, I guess, it is important to know the phone number of my Dentist’s office and my Doctor’s office–things like that. “Stay connected to important contacts and appointments” is what the box tells me. I have to grow up and remember things I tell myself.

Then, today, it hit me how I now have a complete keyboard in my pocket–how I have a way to email myself notes. This is not important when it relates to my Dentist–I mean I still have an appointment on Monday but I am not sure of the time whether I have a Blackberry or not. But the other day I found out my Great Grandfather’s Father’s name–my family just let me have it one day in conversation and I had no pen and no Moleskin. It’s Pifanio by the way if you were wondering and I emailed it to myself. I now have another Hi-Tech way of getting the writing done. 


Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Another Failure

(I set up this blog with the idea that these are not truly failures as long as the lesson is to learn from them. But they can become tiring.)

Dear John,
Thank you for the opportunity to read your submission. After careful consideration, we have concluded that we are unable to publish your work at this time. The opportunity to assess the unpublished creations of writers from around the world is a great privilege and responsibility, and with that in mind, we want you to know how honored we are that you have trusted us to consider your work. We invite your further submission and correspondence and remain grateful for your continued support of the ongoing Caketrain project.
With best wishes,
Amanda & Joseph

Amanda Raczkowski & Joseph Reed
Caketrain Journal and Press
Box 82588, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

3 Failures and a Win

Dear John Paul Jaramillo:

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read your submission (“Descansos”) to Many Mountains Moving. This journal and small press could not thrive without the submissions and support of thousands of poets, writers and artists like you. Although we are not able to publish your work at this time, your submission was read with care by the editors.

Please visit us at for updates about the new books, issues, and contests. Also, please wait at least six months before submitting again.



The Editors

2009-06-22 16:11:01 (GMT -6:00)

Dear Writers,

Many thanks for submitting your work to the Wag’s Revue Inaugural Contest in Fiction. We were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of submissions. Deciding the winner was extremely difficult, but here are the results:

Winner: “The Recital” by Lauren Lovett.
Runner-up: “Mourning Jimmy Crooks” by Robert Meixner.

Thanks again for your contributions. Issue 2, which will include the above stories, will be online in the next day or two. Be sure to drop by and give it a read. Also, submissions will soon be open in all genres. Please do consider submitting again.

All the best,

Will Litton
Fiction Editor, Wag’s Revue

Dear John Paul,

Thank you for submitting “the House of Order”. We won’t be publishing this piece, but we appreciated the opportunity to read your work! Because we read so many stories, it is not possible for us to give specific feedback, but, if you’re a relative beginner, you may find something of interest here: Editors’ Input

Glimmer Train Press Reference#: 250957

Dear John Paul,
We are very pleased with your latest version of “Rabbit Story” and, if it is still available, would like to accept it in our upcoming issue due out this October.  Attached is the publishing consent form.  You can either sign the contract and return it electronically or you can print it, sign it, and mail it back to us at this address:

University of Colorado Denver
Copper Nickel Fiction Board
1015 Ninth St Park
Denver, CO 80217

Please also include a short (under 100 words) bio.
We look forward to printing your work!

Thank you,

Alyson Goodman
Copper Nickel Fiction Staff

Story Ideas from the Brain

It’s amazing to me how one day a writer like myself can be completely lost for ideas and then one phrase gets me improvising into my notebook. I also picked up a copy of Borges’ Collected Stories and he also calls them improvisations in the forward from the 1930’s. These little phrases or anecdotes we hear that trigger the fictive spaces to form up. 41JO0puzbmL__SL500_AA280_

The idea has to do with Relles and Lolo walking to Joe’s Grocery on the corner of Summit and Box Elder back in the day to pick up a little blue box for the Jefita. The boys didn’t know what it was until they were much older–had no idea what Kotex was. And then the line: ‘I was always afraid of one of my crew finding me walking home with that damn little blue box.’

Once I heard that I started to note take into my Moleskin and improvising pretty fast and furiously. I hope to have a draft of that short story or chapter in a few days.

Freewriting: More of the Unreliable Lolo Ortiz

(Here is another freewriting improvisation I put together. It adds a bit more to Vy and Manito’s coversation after they meet.)

While Lolo slept Vy and the sister got to talking while I listened and drank their RC Cola. That’s when the old stories came in to the conversations. Like old memories on breezes through tired old New Mexico neighborhoods—down Vy’s unpaved street and driveway—over the lost dogs and the smoke from a hundred smoked cigarillos. I remember the windows were open wide and my belly was full and I saw what Lolo meant when he had called Vy’s place a home.

That Uncles of mines, Vy told me, reminds me of your Tio, Manito.

Who? The sister questioned, Manual.

No. Ignacio.

Oh, yeah. Ignacio, the sister repeated.

That old man was loaded with dollar bills and used to bury his money in the backyard.

My Lolo’s pockets are always empty, I said.

Yeah, well, that’s not what reminds me of him. What reminds me of him is this one time he was out working.

He was always working, the sister added.

Yeah, Manito. He was out working out in the campo plowing. He was a farmer in those days.           

Farming what? the sister asked.           

No say, Vy said. Maybe lettuce. I don’t know. That’s not the story. The story is he was plowing and he dropped the wallet. Dropped the bank roll while he was working.           

Why did he keep it on him while he was working? I asked.           

So the wife wouldn’t get into it, Manito. Didn’t want her getting the cash and getting out to town to buy groceries.           

Why wouldn’t he want his wife to buy groceries? I asked.

You got a lot to learn about marriages, Manito. Anyway, so he’s out working hard and so he pulls his handkerchief, right. He pulls it and out drops the wallet and then he plowed right over it. So half the night he’s out digging up the money and looking for the bank roll. And the shit of it is he lost the the whole family’s roll because he didn’t trust, you know.           

What does this have to do with Lolo?           

Yeah, the sister added.           

Your Tio has never been that way is what I’m trying to say. Never hid money from nobody. Whatever he’s got is yours. If Lolo has money, then everyone has money.           

The problem is, the sister said, he never haves no money. And that suits him just fine, no.


(the Latest Failure:

Dear John,

Thank you so much for your submission and interest in Sakura Review. Your work was carefully read by the editors, but unfortunately, we do not have a place for it in the journal at this time. Our next issue will be released later this summer; we hope you order a copy, and we sincerely encourage you to submit again in the future.

The Editors

Sakura Review)

Back to the Brain: Downtown


I often refer to the hometown as ‘the brain’. It has something to do with a Salinger story called ‘the Inverted Forest’. I write so much on the area and the people I feel it controls the writing like a brain.


Went out walking this afternoon downtown and took some pictures of the brain–just off of Main Street. I also have some pictures of bookstores I’ve visited but it might be a while before I can post those–need more time for editing. DSC00734

Latest Failure


Thank you for giving us the chance to consider “Farmhouse in the Lanes” for publication in The Missouri Review. Though it does not fit our current needs, we appreciate your interest in our magazine and your commitment to quality writing.

We wish you the best of luck publishing your work and hope you’ll consider sending us more in the future.


The Editors

Ideas for Piñon Stories

Went out and bought some piñon from a guy by the side of the road. Old truckito and dusty clothes–had a real Lolo feel to him. Told us about where to find the piñon. Told me about San Luis and Alamosa crop drying up but the best luck he’s had was driving out to Catron County in New Mexico. Takes some time driving, you know, he told me. But the crop was worth it. No fences to jump or nothing, is what he also told me.

This became an idea for some sort of a new improvisation. I am stealing that word from William Maxwell. I picked up a copy of his collected short stories and instead of notes or free writing he calls them improvisations. Well, this latest improvisation I will be drafting out shortly. I’ve got a few pages of notes in my notebooks and hopefully the full draft will come soon.

This is also what the guy told me: The crop is unreliable, he said. You know. Good thing I don’t have a regular job, you know.