5 Random Things, Part III

Posted on 16 December 2010

1. The cover of the current New England Review makes me happy.

2. When I was 15, the local paper did a little profile on me after I won a writing prize and ran my photo on the cover of the weekend section. The day after the paper came out, I was walking my dog in my neighborhood when a man I’d never seen before stopped me and said, “Hey, you’re the girl from the paper. You’re the writer!” Even then, I knew that would probably be the one and only time a stranger on the street would recognize me as a writer.

3. Just to clarify #2, that’s fine with me. Having strangers recognize me has not and never will be a goal of mine. This one time I was at a party and some guy came up to me and asked if I was a writer. I was a little freaked out; I thought he was reading my aura or something. It turns out we’d both been in a very short-lived writing group a few years before that, so crisis averted.

4. A few people have recently suggested (in a nice way) that since I’ve had such a good year, writing-wise, I don’t really have a right to complain about any letdowns. While I tend to blog more about the good news, other writing-related things go on behind the scenes that make me feel hopeless or dejected or half a step away from consuming an entire bottle of cheap Trader Joe’s pinot noir. Basically, how all writers feel from time to time.

5. Speaking of failure, do check out this lovely tale of the rejection chair. What are some of your creative and productive ideas to put rejection letters to use?

5 Random Things
5 Random Things, Part II

9 responses to 5 Random Things, Part III

  • lisahgolden says:

    I am not a fan of people telling me how I should react or not react to things so I fully support your need to feel however you feel positively or negatively.

    Thank you for sharing both that publication cover and the tale of the rejection share. We lost our house to foreclosure, but I didn’t think ahead to use the notices for wallpaper. Dang it.

    I haven’t thought ahead far enough to consider what I’ll do with rejection letters, but I’ll come up with a plan now.

  • I throw all my rejections away, except for the personal ones that offer advice or invitations to submit again — especially if the rejection comes from one of the bigger magazines and is signed by an actual human so I have a contact for the future. Otherwise I can’t be bothered by them, especially if they’re forms. I like the thought of making rejection furniture, though.

  • Averil Dean says:

    Okay, I LOVE the rejection chair and the way people would ask to sit in it. Personally I can only bear to see the rejection once, peeking through my fingers like it’s a horror movie, then I hit delete and try to forget as quickly as humanly possible.

  • As my grandmother always said ‘your troubles are still your troubles no matter how they stack up to anyone else’s’.

    Being a writer is hard at any stage of the process. Having worked as a publicist for a major house, I saw this first hand. Anyone I was working with there was already living the dream by most people’s standards and I can tell you that they weren’t one iota less tortured than the unpublished writer I know. The creative end of writing is wonderful, the business end is brutal. Always has been, always will be.

    As far as rejection letters go I try not to give them too much weight. I take what’s helpful from them and move on. Which I’ll grant you, is not as interesting as making them into a chair.

  • amyg says:

    the thing with rejection letters is that as disappointing as they can be, they are at least an end. i hate the waiting part. ugh, it kills me. (i’m that girl that used to call her boyfriend nonstop and then hang up whenever he answered.)

    everybody has the right to complain. always.

  • Daniel says:

    This one time, when I was 15, a newspaper did a story on me as well. Only, it was for digging up a land mine in a remote camping location in Colorado.

    I bought a typewriter today. For some reason, you seem like someone that might appreciate that.

    • I’m a little late to comment here but I just want to say that I DO appreciate that you bought a typewriter! An electric one? An old manual? I wrote an entire blog post about typewriter love. :)

      • Daniel says:

        Sadly, it’s an electric one, although that might be a better suit considering how fast I pound out words. I can’t remember exactly who owned it, but from my childhood years, I used to play with an old manual one and got a massive kick out of it. Believe me, if I can find one on the cheap, I’ll be all over it…

  • Lyn Hawks says:

    After hearing J.K. Rowling tell Oprah how she became like the Beatles, but there was only one of her so it was tortuous and lonely, I thought how nice it is to be a published author no one will recognize, unless the person came specifically to see you at the reading. I can deal with that kind of celebrity. I seek that kind of celebrity! :-)

    The rejection chair is brilliant. I have a poem breeding in my head that will fuse all the rejection lines into one beauteous tribute to “no.”

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