16 September 2010

My First Slip

Today was a weird-letter day.  Not a red-letter or regular letter.  Just weird.  Well, maybe what I really mean is slightly unsettling, rather than full-bore, freakout kind of weird.  It started with my alarm clock, which I actually slept to this morning.  That is pretty strange.  But then it was just a washed out, dislocated 'two-feet-to-the-side-of-myself' feeling, all day.

The weather was no help.  It started out weakly sunny, and then the sky sort of...congealed...is the only way I could think of it.  Congealed into lumpy clouds, and the air started to turn into thin syrup.  I was hoping it would get cooler without the sun, but the grayer the sky, the warmer the temperature.  Not blazing hot but enough combined with the humidity to lay on some lassitude.

Then the rains came.  Not cloudbursts, torrents or gully washers.  The rain was just enough to require the wipers on continuous.  And to bring out the inner moron in two-thirds of the driving public.  A simple errand was simple no longer; it only took longer.

When I arrived home,  I felt bleahhhh.  I also swore all the birds in my immediate vicinity were staring at me.  This wasn't helped when one of the first songs I heard after turning on the tunes tonight was re:stacks by Bon Iver, and there is a lyric in there involving a crow that really threw me off my feed.

Okay, I hear the sighs, I see the eyerolls...why is he telling us all this?  Simply this:

Today I received my first official rejection e-mail (letter) for a piece I submitted earlier this summer.  Now that isn't earth-shattering news, especially to anyone who writes for their daily bread, or is trying to write for the bread.  I have been advised to expect it, to not take it personally, to keep it at hand at least know that someone took the time to respond.

I know all that...but, still...combined with the events of the day, it did put me a little further in the weeds.

Nothing a little music therapy and an attitude adjustment couldn't help.  The e-mail did indicate that I had made it to the final round of consideration, and the final decisions were not easy due to the wealth of good material that had been submitted.  I was also forbidden to be discouraged (thank you, cher Angie!) and that I should submit more, including poetry.  That was pretty nifty!

I also took a tip from my writer/editor friend Rich (who writes stories and a novel and even a play, and also writes cool stuff HERE), who mentioned he has been printing out his rejection letters and wallpapering his office.  So that is what I did.  I printed out the letter and will hang it up where I can see it from wherever I am writing at the moment.  Gotta start somewhere...

Una pequeña petición, por favor:  Another reason I am blathering all this is because my little writing boat is stuck on a sandbar.  I'm flailing away with the oars and just can't get going.  I have an idea for another in my Henry David line of stories, but it refuses to gel, it won't show its face...and it's making me anxious.  So with that in mind, meine Lieblinge, can you spare a brother a story idea?  Anything, anything at all?  A topic?  Even a sentence fragment?  Maybe that could be the spark that lights my fire, and burns off the funk.  And funk-free gumbo is good for us all!


  1. what you've hit is the stagnant doldrums,Gumbo...and I have to say I have been there and from there I've launced my little flotilla of origami duckies. I figured they were much prettier and waay more entertaining than wadded up paper balls..

    yes, I said paper balls.


  2. Hmm. I'm with the birds that were staring at you: write about the crows.

    Here: I just edited this up yesterday to make it all grungy - maybe it (or the original) could get you started: http://www.flickr.com/photos/miscelena/4994951408/

  3. Looks like you need a some writing mojo. Give yourself a little time. step away and then after short while, step back into it.

  4. Have you ever seen someone pass by out of the corner of your eye...and then when you turned to speak to that person, they weren't there?
    But...you were sure you saw them.
    You look again.


    You would dismiss it all together except.....the hairs on the back of your neck are standing straight up, your heart is beating out of your chest and you're sure you smell.......

  5. Oh maaan ... those rejection letters. And I am so not good at rejection.

    When I need inspiration, I read other peoples blogs.. their musings sometimes trigger my musings and then it starts to work again ... if not, stop thinking about it.
    You may just need a few moments/days of Not Thinking .. give your Tired Brain a little break .. it won't listen to you anyway and will keep chugging away with ideas and thoughts and something will come along.
    They always do .. these "topics" ..
    Maybe this will stir something in there ...

    Imagine you are suddenly going to have to pack up your home , where you have lived all of your life and that you are going to a country where 1- you do not know anyone 2- do not speak the language 3- you have to say goodbye to everyone ...
    How would you cope ?

    Good luck, babe ...

  6. being a new reader of yours, i had to click the link, so to speak, so i knew whut we was talkin bout, sugar! i don't know if this will help, but my immediate reaction was don't open the door, dude! and i said that OUT LOUD! yes, your story hooked me and i turned into that girl who talks to the screen when she's alone! that's it, no help, but do know it was a compelling story and i want to know what comes next. (which by the by used to be enough in lalaland to get a treatment to the next read.) ;~D xoxoxox

  7. Perhaps you need a diversion? I don't know if you do these, I've never seen one on your blog, soI apologize in advance, but I tagged you in a "meme"... Check it out at the link below if you like, and feel free to ignore it!

    Hope all is well. :)


  8. Hey, a rejection means to had the guts to submit something. That's a step many people never take. It'll happen.

  9. rejection blows moose balls.
    i've been getting more than my fair share lately, but from a real! live! person! instead of a random, faceless editor. and the rain only adds to the cold shoulder.

  10. You are one step ahead of so many of us. You are writing and you did submit something. Dang. Receiving rejection letters seems to be the nature of the writing beast. That is why I don't even try to write; I don't want to put myself into a position of expecting something of myself. That takes cajones and I don't have them.

  11. You need a muse, my friend. Preferably a nubile young lady type. Because if she's not a good muse, she will at least entertain the eyes and stir the imagination.

  12. I wanna know why those birds were staring at you. I often think it would be interesting to know the animal's point of view...

    I'm immersed in heavy duty academic writing, and my weak mechanics are killing me. I feel your rejection pain.

  13. I keep all my rejections too. In a file anyway. The one I've kept and go back to when I get a new rejection is the one that said I actually am a good writer, just that my work wasn't what she was marketing right then. She told me I had a great ability to get emotion onto a page.

    The thing with rejection is that it isn't always about your writing. Sometimes it's about the competition or the agents mood when they read it or the market right then. There are a lot of variables to it.

    Keep writing. You are a great writer. Don't let one tiny rejection get in the way of fulfilling your dream.

  14. OK here goes: I'm going to step out on a limb. Personally, if I were looking to submit my writing for publication, I would be asking for feedback on my words. What works with people? What does not? With art, friends can tend to kiss our asses because they don't want to potentially hurt our feelings with constructive criticism. The question is, how open are You to receiving it, truly? I think as fellow writers we need to challenge each other. As a photographer, knowing why someone does or doesn't like a piece of mine, is important, whether we take their suggestions or not.


  15. What Douglas said. *snort* Is three months younger, young enough?


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...