Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kindness Is A Form Letter

An anonymous LROD reader sent in this literary magazine rejection with the rejecter omitted. But at this late stage in the game, we know a Howard Junker Special when we see one, complete (the submitter of this rejection added) with the word "onward" written at the bottom.  Here it is:

Gentle Writer:

Please forgive me for returning your work and for not offering comments or suggestions. I would like to say something to make up for my ungraciousness, but I don't think a few quick remarks would really help.  The truth is I have so little space, I must return almost everything -- 99% -- of what's sent to me, including a lot that interests me and even some pieces I admire. (Also, I make mistakes; my taste is erratic, my judgment flawed.)

The important thing is this: Do not be discouraged by this or any other momentary setback.  The road is long; the struggle must go on.

Then, too, the ways of the Muse are strange.  When she does visit again, I hope you will give her my best regards.

Keep the faith.

Yours, 
Editor

When I am feeling cynical, I feel this letter is insincere, but just now as I was typing it in, I thought it seemed kind of nice.  Maybe I've given the old Junk Man too much grief.  It's not his fault that he only has a few pages an issue for publishing great work--or that my Muse is indeed quite strange-acting and looks like an ugly dog named Rodolfo (see photo above).  I should really give the guy a break; he even posted about rejection on his blog this week.

(Also just wondering: What does your strange Muse look like?)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's all fine and good, but we don't pay you the big bucks to go soft on these bastards who turn us down. We want thumb screws, WR. Thumb screws for our pain.

Writer, Rejected said...

Point taken. I'll try harder. Thanks for the reminder, Anony.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you can give the guy a break. Seems well intentioned.

But damn if he doesn't act as though this little missive is so above and beyond the call of duty. And damn if he doesn't position himself as a gatekeeper (albeit an eclectic one...which means what? That he's imitating humility?

Leoj said...

A nose by any other name smells the same.

Anonymous said...

the guy's confused "eclectic" with "condescending." in the latest issue there's a story by a 90-something-year-old stroke victim. it's just poor writing, even unintelligible in some places--pronoun confusion, syntax errors, etc. junk published it with a note saying nothing other than it's published "as is." wtf? it reads, at least to me, like he's mocking the man. i don't get it at all.

Anonymous said...

Ack! Your Muse sure is ugly!

Writer, Rejected said...

You're telling me.

James Lewis said...

I love this blog.

Gloria, Writer Reading said...

I hate this blog, which is ungracious, I know. There is a lot that interests me and much I admire and perhaps my judgment is flawed as I've been binge drinking again. Don't be discouraged by this setback. The road of rejection is long. Endless perhaps. But give your Muse my best regards, but tell her to get her ass in gear. She's clearly been at the hair salon. Keep the faith. Your loyal reader.

Writer, Rejected said...

Actually Rodolfo has been hard at work for me this month, for which I am grateful. Sometimes he won't even so much as look at me, let alone bite my ankles and give me fleas. (Very fickle little guy. I try to feed him lots of treats.)

Anonymous said...

My muse is a lizard.

Joy said...

The first time you get that rejection, it seems sincere. The second or third time, it starts to wear on you ...