A little of this and a little of that

So, I got me another rejection . . . but, it felt pretty good. 


Well, Bob, I’m glad you asked. I got me another somewhat personalized rejection. And, you know what; it even had a hint or two about the writing and the reason they didn’t pick it up. 

The story in question is Stopover. Note: that’s a protected post. The subscribers who read my fiction (all six of them) have already read it, but if anyone else wants to read it, just leave a comment below and I’ll email you the password.  

Anyway, here’s the feedback I received:

~ ~ ~

Thank you very much for submitting “Stopover” to {redacted}. We enjoyed reading it, and it was well-received among our staff. However, it’s not quite what we’re looking for right now, so we’ve decided to pass on this one.

We have to reject many good stories for a variety of reasons unrelated to their quality. We wish you the best of luck in finding the right home for this one, and we look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

We thought this was a lovely first-contact story with an engaging protagonist, but for our tastes, it relied too much on dialogue that sometimes felt expository, and we sometimes have trouble with stories that work by hiding the narrator’s thoughts/beliefs from the audience.

~ ~ ~

So, here’s the thing . . . first and foremost, I’m pleased they apparently liked it. Perhaps that’s a form letter, but it’s not like previous rejections I got, so perhaps it’s one of many form letters . . . but I’ll take it as at least semi-personalized and that second sentence is enough to make me happy because they are, after all, in the business. 

The rest of the first paragraph and the whole of the second are standard rejection letter fare. 

The third paragraph is where I find gold. It points to two issues with the story; one is that the inner-monologue of the main character is probably not the best way to do exposition. The second issue is one I frankly did not realize until I parsed what they said (and it took me a good ten minutes thinking about it). 

Namely, the protagonist withholds information from the reader. I did that so that I could employ my favorite feature in writing; the twist ending. But, they’re right; I put the reader in the character’s head but then I lie to them. It’s a lie of omission, but it’s still a lie.

I did it because I was focused on the payoff at the end and didn’t realize that I was sort of cheating. A valuable lesson that. 

After things settle down here (another week or two) I’ll give some thought to a serious revision and then send it out again. It’ll go to a different market because they didn’t ask for a rewrite. Still, valuable feedback. This is what I would like from all the places that reject my stuff; one or two lines pointing me in the right direction. I realize editors are busy, but to a writer trying to get published, those few hints can really help things along. 

Anyway, as I said a few posts ago, pretty busy here with stuff. I’ve been perusing other blogs when I have a few minutes but I know I missed a few posts. Also, when I relax, I’m finding drawing stuff really takes my mind into a nice place. Sadly, no one commented on the sketch I included in the last post. I mean, it has a mouse instead of a cat, but still . . . cute furry mammal holding a sign. 

Oh well . . . perhaps people like something different. I drew this next one last night as I was waiting for sleep to claim me. 

The gravity-defying web could have been better executed but I don’t mind that . . . plus, you know, there’s also a joke. 

Eh . . . it’s probably not for everyone. 

Finally, Topaz Studio has a few new adjustment modules that I’ll probably find useful. The first is Digital Frames. 

Some of you might remember my sort-of-tutorial for adding frames to a photo (HERE and HERE). Well, With Topaz, the process is literally a few clicks of the mouse. This short video is a quick intro to the feature.

So, you know, I had to try it . . . 

First up, yesterday’s drawing . . . 

Hmm . . . the Black and White subject is difficult to frame. How about my latest drawing?

Not bad, but I think the colors are off . . . 

I like that (probably not everyone will agree). I also like that you can play with the depth of the photo/picture so that it looks like it’s either behind the matte or floating above it. 

The other plugin is one I mentioned a few posts ago and it’s the AI ReMix adjustment. To me, it looks a bit like Deep Dream program I played with a few months back (HERE).

So, I only have one example because I need to do other stuff. 

Here’s a photo I adjusted (with one click) using Topaz Studio:

I thought the program did a pretty good job. It took me — literally — all of ten seconds and that included opening and closing the program.

I then opened that same photo again and fired up AI ReMix and Digital Frame. Here’s the result:

Obviously, tastes differ. Some might like it, some not. But, there’s a lot of flexibility in the tools and Topaz promises continued additions to the textures and engines for both options. 

Topaz continues to impress me with their innovations, ease of using their tools, and the free upgrades for life policy. Honest, unless you die a few days after you buy their suite, it’s a pretty good deal, especially when compared to every other software package that either in a perpetual upgrade path or that dwell in the subscription business model. 

If I sound like a fanboy, it’s because I am, and no, I don’t get anything from them . . . other than great products at a reasonable price. 

OK, got to get me some relax time in. 

Here’s a recent phone photo for your viewing pleasure. 

Say, here’s something I see every day on the way back to the condo . . . it always reminds me of Dr. Seuss and one of his characters . . . 

Here’s a closer look . . . 

. . . and a B&W rendition . . . 

How about this photo?

It wasn’t planned . . . I put the cup in the sink, turned on the water and ==>> instant photo op.

Here are a few variations . . .

OK, I really have to go now. Here’s a gallery of the above photos. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Effects and Filters, Opinions and Stuff, Photography Stuff, Short Stories, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A little of this and a little of that

  1. oneowner says:

    I like the Topaz plugins, too. A few years ago I purchased ON1 v8 and I thought it was also very good. Then they came out with V9 and V10 and them On1 Photo Raw. I sprung for the Photo Raw and them they came out with Photo Raw 2018. You are required to pay for each upgrade! Although I thought that v8 (and v10) were very good, Photo Raw is not worth the extra money. I’m done with ON1. Hey, that rhymes!!! I’m done with ON1!!! (I’ll allow anyone free use of that until I get it copyrighted).


    • disperser says:

      There were two good things about the ON1 Suite. One was the option to process a large number of photos in a batch, and two, the ability to process a number of photos interactively.

      ON1 RAW 2017 removed those options. I had many exchanges with the company and they kept saying they would eventually reinstate those features but that they were working on clearing up bugs and adding other features.

      I paid for the upgrade in 2017 with the idea that the functionality would eventually be added, but then they offered RAW 2018 and it still didn’t have what I wanted in it. I declined. I never use RAW, relying instead on On1 Photo 10.

      ON1 RAW (for me) was a step back in usability and convenience and the company lost whatever good faith it had earned through its many iterations and delivering products with a lot of bugs.

      I find myself using Nik Tools and Topaz more often than not, and that in combination with Lightroom is working out OK. If I have to do some heavy lifting, DxO comes into play.

      I’m now looking into a video editor and until I can find the equivalent to a Topaz business model, I’ll stick with the free (but limited) Windows Movie Maker.


  2. I would probably be happy with that letter. The final paragraph does give some individual feedback.


  3. And a little of the other thing?!?!
    I love-ed your mouse drawing and said so in your last post. :-)
    Your art subject matters are cool and I see your drawings as whimsical!
    And the colors of purples and greens and blues say “Spring” to me!
    Love the Dr. Seuss character! That’s cute!
    Great photos this time around! I especially love water and cup!
    I admire that you’ve been putting your writing out there. Hey, you can say you are getting rejected by the best of ’em. ??? :-)
    Happy Fri-YAY to you and Melisa! HUGS, too!!!


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, diem3, and yes, you were the one person who mentioned my mouse drawing. It was appreciated and I didn’t mean to include you with the vast majority of people with no taste for my drawings.

      As for the writing, I think you should submit yours as well. I don’t know where, but do a little research and send it out there into the world. After all, you sent your kids out there and they’re doing OK, right?

      Happy weekend to you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do enjoy your drawings a lot!

        Thanks for encouraging me in submitting my writing!

        Yes, I did and they are amazing young adults! They are well-educated, and successful in their careers. But, MORE important they are smart, respectful, loving, compassionate, kind, and etc. They do a lot of volunteer work for charities, etc.
        Everyone who knows them, and hasn’t met me yet, when they meet me they tell me such wonderful things about my kids. :-)
        I love that my kids, now as adults, are some of my best friends. :-)

        Okay, I’ll hush! I can talk about my kids forever. I am so lucky as to how they turned out. :-)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That reply must be encouraging and god knows (Who?) you need plenty. I prefer the fly zone frame free, for a cartoon the frames look ostentatious.
    Does that cup have a chip in it? Looks very much like it, if it’s not what is it?


  5. AnnMarie says:

    I came for another look and your original photo of the blue cup and water in the sink is fabulous! Thought you’d like to know.


  6. disperser says:

    Hmm . . . thanks, but you should check the color settings on your monitor. That’s a green cup.


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