Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This is One Historic and Prestigious Rejection, Lad

I was going to say something snarky about being rejected by an undergrad lit magazine run by a bunch of undergrads, but thought I'd check it out first.  Good thing.  Did you know that Stylus is Boston College’s largest undergraduate literary and art magazine? I did not know that.  According to BC's English Department page of publishing opportunities, Stylus was founded in 1882. That's a long time ago and a lot of rejection, Mice.  It is in fact the oldest club at Boston College and one of the oldest collegiate literary magazines. It is also a completely student-run publication.  Thus, today's rejection is a piece of fine rejection history.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blurb, Blurb, Blurb...Drowing in Strong Emotions

I'm feeling overwhelmed and lucky. You guys are never going to guess who just gave me the BEST blurb a new novel can have.  I'll give you a hint: It's someone we know here at LROD, which is my only connection to the guy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What Happens to all the Words That Die in The Process of Writing a Novel?

This morning my shirinkydoo (whom I'll call Mini-Freud) seemed disgruntled. I asked him, "What's up? How are you feeling?"* This led to a long drawn out discussion about me, of all things, about how I'm doing with my forthcoming novel. November still seems a long way off, but by the end of this month, the final edited, the publisher's proof and the layout of the book will be put to bed, which means no more final fantastical blurbs, no more changes, no more holding it close to my chest. Not ever again. It is done, ready for sailing.

What came up as I was saying all this to Mini-Freud was somewhat surprising, at least to me.  That is, a great wave of sadness rose up and appeared in written words, not water. All these written words were the ones that didn't make it into the final book. Discarded scene after discarded scene, and back story after detail, all of which have been cut from the novel, and they washed over me, and I felt a sense of enormous grief. How is it that all these beloved words, these hundreds of pages, which did their duty in service to building the little boat that is my novel, are now gone, erased, their work complete? What happens to the unused writing when the little vessel floats out there on its own? It's just a slim volume compared to all that has been written in it and as it over the years to get to this very launching? How will it do on its own without the support of every single left-behind thought, word, image, metaphor, and scene that helped to create it? All those words that only I know about.  What if those are the words that justify the novel as being worthy of reading?

Mini-Freud suggested in his gentle way that perhaps I am grieving all the choices not taken in my own life, all the options passed by on the way toward realizing my one impermanent, imperfect, fragile life.  He said, "To actualize anything, especially a life, we leave a lot of dreams behind, don't we?" Ah, Mini-Freud, how wise you are.  Ah, novel, I hope you have a safe, adventuresome, and long journey into the world without too many storms. Sail boldly in the name of all the words that have drown in your honor.

*Or maybe I was feeling disgruntled and he asked me how I was feeling? I always know who's who in there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Y.A. Rejection of Yore from the InterWebs

Time may change the equipment on which these bastard rejections are written, but it doesn't change the content much, does it? I found this modern classic while surfing the InterWebs.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blurb Ettiquette: Amazing response from a cold-call email to a famous, favorite writer

Got a new blurb on Sunday from someone I do not even know, whose intelligent read brought a tear to my eye. This was an extremely nice woman who responded to my cold email request.  This alone makes me have faith that all is not lost in this publishing world: kindness among writers exists! While thinking about blurbs this weekend, I came across this fun post over at Ward Six, when it was still up and running (closed in 2011).  Here are some of my favorite interpretations:
"luminous prose" = too many goddam words
"a tour-de-force" = threw it across the room
"a triumph" = huge advance
"a commanding new voice in fiction" = girlfriend's brother wrote it
"sublime" = didn't know what the hell was going on
"achingly beautiful" = really long sentence 
"radiant" = already been blurbed by people more famous than me
 Luckily the blurb I got was very original.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Douglas College Review Shall Reject You Too

I love a good form rejection letter with an exclamation point.  It is fresh and speaks of youth. At least this editor invites you to come back again with new material.  That is nice.