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Friday, December 31, 2010

What's Your Literary New Year's Resolution?

Mine is to get the novel published, same as it is always is, but also to make some tracks into the memoir. Oh, and not to be so neurotic about the whole thing. I'm planning on a very Zen year. You?

p.s. In the meantime, Happy 2011, Rosemary Ahern, wherever you are.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Do We Think of This Dude?

In this interview, Stephen Markley claims George Bush wrote him a note about his book, titled Publish This Book. The premature author also says: "Some chapters are about me drinking, cussing, and fornicating, so I had to do a lot of hands-on research for those. Other chapters required more reading. For instance, when I went to write about the publishing industry, to try to understand and articulate what young writer’s face when they try to publish, I wanted to get as many perspectives as I could. In a way, that kind of research is more fun: attempting to distill a piece of the world into a thoughtful but entertaining little mid-book essay. It’s like fornicating with your mind." I don't know, dude. I mean, really, is there anything that's really like fornicating with one's mind? It sounds all a bit puerile and like a big put on, doesn't it? I mean, consider his attempt at promoting the book. Or maybe I'm just not that kind of a guy's guy/gal/person. What say the mice on this topic? Has anyone read this book?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Be My Ten Speed Colleague (Rejected, Of Course)

"Dear Colleague" is a vaguely interesting address for a rejection letter. Otherwise, it's the same old hum-drum ten-speed rejection.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hello Holiday Mouselettes

So sorry for the scant and skinny posting this week. I'm bogged down with the most boring paid work: a compliance website that's supposed to be "fun," even though the content is deadly, so I'm spending all my energy writing "fun," but "very serious" sentences. That's for pay of course. Also, I am busily trying to keep my balance on the restructuring of the novel, which proves to be a big challenge. You know how that is, right? Every little thing you change, makes everything else need a slight adjustment in tension, pacing and even sometimes in character attitude. But it's all very good, and I'm happy to be doing it. Mostly I'm grateful to the encouraging persistence of Agent 99.  So, forgive me if I don't get as many rejections up this week; I'll try though. Hope you all are having a lovely holiday.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Comes Early

I woke up this morning, and I knew how to fix my novel. I've been restructuring it since November, but I had a pacing issue. Figured out how to fix it the moment I opened my eyes.  Love that...better than Christmas morning, and probably just as spiritual an event. Got this message from the agent somewhat recently: "I cannot wait to read the new draft, I know I’m putting you through the ringer, but I really believe in this book." Very nice! I feel fortunate.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When Assholes Fly

This is a fantastic rejection letter: a) referral to a different editor, b) a tip about what will and will not work for the publication. Also, I love that in 1996, the NYT readership is considered staid. I imagine the same would be said today. They probably still don't drop the A-bomb in the Times to this day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wrong Genre Rejection

It's always a bummer when you submit to the wrong agency for the wrong thing. At least you know they passed their eyes over your work.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Everybody Gets Rejected

'Nuff said? You're in fine company, and maybe you're just not ready yet either, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be snapped up now in your Baby-Madonna state. Which is to say artists aren't always born; some of us are in the process of self creation.  I wonder if this dude is sorry for missing the boat while it was sailing nearby. And on that note, have a good weekend everybody.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

According to Health Magazine, writers are at number 6 on the list of the 10 careers with high rates of depression. Thanks to GalleyCat for the news flash.  I think we all probably already knew this. But it's nice to have reality confirmed. There's medication and therapists for this, you know. I used to worry that my depression was the source of my creativity, but I'm over that phase of crazy thinking. I'm just as exuberantly writerly without feeling suicidal it turns out. Who knew?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


When you don't get into art school, you can always turn the rejection into art.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Batten Down The Hatches, Ya'll

So, Gawker has had a major problem, resulting in your username and password being "released on the Internet." This means, it's time to change your username and password, not just on Gawker, but everywhere else, too.  It's major identity protection time, peeps.  Get to it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Didn't Even Look At It Rejection

We do live in paranoid times, but not without reason. I had a friend whose movie idea was stolen right out from under her after "comedy writers" worked on her script, and then apparently went skipping on over to a certain famous actor obsessed with religion who allegedly beats up his girlfriend and coughed the idea right on up to him.  Leo's peeps are never going to be sued for those shenanigans with this cautious attitude, though does an agent or manager's presence really stop ideas from being stolen.  Aren't you just fascinated by the idea of idea ownership...If I could own an idea "idea ownership" is the one I'd own.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Mute Entity That Makes Me Seem Cute

Is it some sort of trend among the young people?  (I sound like my mother: that and "the email.")  But really what's with all the writing of letters to things that can't write back. Have we lost our way? Is communication so abstract that it seems plausible to write to rejection letters and futures? Just wondering. And also: "Dear Dust Bunny Beneath my feet: I think you should stop mocking me. Sweep your own self up; I'm tired.  Sincerely, WR" "Dear Starbucks Chai Latte: You can fool me no longer. You are really just a liquid piece of cake in a cup. Tempt me no more, Okay? Now go away, WR" Maybe we've simply lost interest in what others (preferably mindful beings) have to say.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When Did It Stop Being Personal?

This is what I imagine most literary rejection letters look like in the agent/editor's computer before it is filled in and sent to you. Of course the material would be about [] and your [ Maybe there are agents/editors out there who can confirm that the format above is applicable to the publishing enterprise in which we are all so fervently engaged?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A New Approach to Rejection

You could always write your rejection letter a letter....huh? I don't think that would make me feel better, though apparently it worked for this college senior getting rejected from non-creative jobs.  To apply it to the literary world, it would be something like:  "Dear Assanine Literary Rejection: Thank you for the wake up call, for showing me that you are more lame than my novel is. It hurts, but I'm still breathing. Kisses and hugs, W,R"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vintage Rejection Monday

Could this be the source of the original multiple choice rejection? (I do love me a good multiple choice rejection.)  The above was originally posted on NPR; it's a rejection slip from the film company famous for producing Charlie Chaplin films. Essanay Film Manufacturing was in operation from 1907-1925. I personally like the directive in #17, as if that were the direction of modern American movies. Funny.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Can't Even Think of A Title

Form rejection on a slip of paper: I got nothing. Can't think of single thing to say about it, clever or otherwise. Nope...nothing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Evidence for Mr. Proof

I really just like the names in this rejections from Mr. Proof to Quirk Books. It's like all of life is just a cartoon, even the rejections.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cutbank Rejection

Dear [first name of writer]: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read “[title of piece].” While we very much enjoyed your work, after careful consideration, we’ve decided we don’t have a place for this manuscript. Your story was compelling and received a lot of positive reactions from the staff. We hope you’ll keep us in mind and send us more work in the future. Kind regards, Laura Scott, Cutbank Literary Journal