Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blog Hop Toward Coming Out

Dear Mice: It's true that here at LROD we have maintained a certain artifice. My anonymity as "Writer, Rejected" is now about to expire. Here is the first step in the process: participation in a blog hop, which will lead back to a writer I know and to non-anonymous me. Here are the questions I am charged with answering as part of the festivities:
1)  What am I working on?  I am currently proofing the galleys of my novel, which is due out in November 2014. I am also toying with the third draft of a non-fiction memoir. Toying is not the right word for something that already has 3 complete drafts. But it needs a different voice, or restructuring, or something, so I am considering scrapping it and starting over entirely. After that, if I decide that my novel is part of a trilogy, I am going to start writing the second book, for which I have some drafts.  If not, I'm going to pack it in and become a full-time reader when I'm not writing for a paid assignment.
2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre? This is an interesting question.  Obviously, I have suffered a great many rejections, as evidenced by this blog.  Therefore, I am tempted to think that my work is either a) bad, b) irrelevant, or c) unlike other works of literary fiction and truly original. I would love to go with c. But who really knows? I would venture to say that this is a matter of concern best left to someone who isn't the writer.
3)  Why do I write what I do? For me, writing comes from a deep place. After my first book of short stories was published, my shrink-at-the-time thought that my unconscious was trying to tell my conscious self something through the writing. (You can imagine how comfortable that session was.) With my novel, one of the protagonists is a kid who has a shadow self in the form of a mysterious missing child. (The shadow self's name is an anagram of the protagonist's name.) Certain events in my life are hard to look at directly, unflinchingly. I am in favor of denial, in a way, but there's a part of my unconscious that sees it all, records it, and is ruthless about knowing what happened. This is the part that carries a gun, a dirty matted thing like the shadow-self in my novel. So, I write to find out what that ferocious unconscious, weapon-bearing self knows--the part I mostly try to keep separate (locked in a box with a key) in order to live. 
4)  How does my writing process work: I write all the time, and I move from writing one thing to the other pretty easily. I write for a living on assignment and with tight, sometimes torturous deadlines; I write blog posts and twitter feeds; I used to write short stories (I have an unpublished collection) and essays (ditto). And the novel was a 15-year exercise in trying to get it right, to find out what I really didn't and really did want to know about what's true. Writing is truly, pretty much, the only thing I am good at. Though I can also cook a little bit.
The writer who invited me to this blog (homo) hop:  Michael Barakiva, author of the forthcoming One Man Guy (FSG, May 2014).  Pre-order your copy here.
Also go check out the author's:
Now is the part where I pick three writers I know and point you to their pages. If you would like to volunteer to be one of the said writers, send me an email at writerrejected [at] aol [dot] com, and you can get some free publicity, for what it's worth, yeah?

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