|MooTime Creamery, Hotel del Coronado|
Sometimes all you want to do is submerge yourself in despair. It's been weeks, months, years...and a piece you spent hours crafting and submitting still hasn't found its home. You've bravely resubmitted once, twice, even three times. But no, your orphan still isn't acceptable, no matter how much you've spiffied it up.
My late daughter-in-law, Mari Lou Laso-Elders, a beloved writing teacher in Orange, CA, once patiently listened to one of her students complain that she had rewritten a section of her memoir three times.
"Three times? I spit on your paltry three times," Mari Lou said, before going on to explain how it had taken her ten years to craft her YA novel, Otherwise Known as Possum, published by Scholastic Press earlier this year.
I've written on this blog previously about rejection and how I've dealt with it:
Here's an update on my submissions, one ancient and others reasonably current:
- A magazine contacted me last month about a story I submitted in 2008. That's not a typo. The editor inquired if I would allow the regional magazine in the south, with a circulation close to half a million, to publish my story next year...that's right. A full decade after the original submission. Of course, I agreed. Though the story, in a slightly different form, had been published in a Canadian anthology, it's never previously appeared in an American magazine. It had been rejected by several anthologies. I'd rewritten it several times, both before and after that 2008 submission.
- Though I've not yet heard back about some new stories I've sent out, I've listed below the anthologies either now available or soon-to-be-available that have accepted my stories.
- 07/17 Sarah Miner, Narcissist's Playbook (Needs)
07/17 Marfa House, Love is in the Air (Secret Love)
08/17 Grace Publishing, Loving Moments (An Astonishment of Unicorns, All Those Years Ago)
08/17 Dr. Zeal Okogeri, You Can Never Go Wrong By Being Kind (Just Like the Others)
09/17 Anne Bardsley, Angel Bumps (Painted Ladies)
10/17 Kelly Ann Jactrobson, The Way to My Heart (A Pair of Merry Mollusks)
10/18 Trisha Faye, In Celebration of Sisters (Upside, Downside)
- Of the stories above, three are reprints or revisions of previously-accepted works, one is a recently-crafted story, and FOUR are orphans, some having withstood multiple previous rejections. A couple of the orphans have been languishing for six or seven years.
I know it's a cliché. Nonetheless, when all else fails, try ice cream. But not gulping down a quart of Ben and Jerry's, while slumped on your couch in your nightie and slippers. Get some fresh air, preferably near a body of water. The Pacific Ocean always works for me. You'll come home refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to submit again...and again. Nevertheless, you persisted!
Here's some literary authors on rejection...real words of wisdom:
And here's Chuck Wendig at his profane, foul-mouthed best...and don't click on this link, despite its solid advice about rejection, if you can't deal with this writer's sometimes-colorful-beyond-belief language: