Saturday, April 24, 2021


 It's not you it's me. So, the rejections begin.

Recently, in the middle of the night, as is my unfortunate habit, I awoke with a phrase running through my feeble cranium. Unable to turn this trickle aside, an hour later I was putting the final touches on yet another stroke of something likely far less than genius. But maybe, just maybe, this one has as many legs as a centipede.

I decided in that moment that this Seuss-like poem could indeed stand up to the light of day. And so, I am deeply sorry to advise, I have kept this tale tucked away from all but a handful of you. This one, if it were to find a larger audience, requires a smaller one for now. 

My problem is that I lack the focus and energy to sustain almost anything. Lazy is too kind a term for what ails me. Thus, faced with the daunting task of turning my early morning gem into an every day classic, I was in unfamiliar territory. Hard work and patience are to me what kryptonite is to Superman.

But, determined for once not to fold at the first hint of trauma, these past weeks have been spent trying to gain an education on the do's and mostly dont's of the process of finding a publisher willing to engage my thoughts with something other than a sneer.

The first step, find an agent. And so, I formulated a query letter, a kind of pep talk guaranteeing the reader that I would be the guy to make their day. Only there are more child story agents than there are grains of sand on the beach. And most are seemingly shut down for the likes of me tighter than Melania  when Donald gets that frisky look on his face.

I have however muddled through, so far able to send my piece, along with my all too positive cover note, to a half dozen or so of those who represent the first hurdle in the Mt.Olympus sized struggle before me.

Don't call us, we'll call you is what their universal message is on their websites. We are very busy and if we don't get back to you before you die, awfully good try.

This week, the first two replies appeared, much sooner than anticipated. "Not a good fit for me" read the first, as though I was a pair of shoes that had come in the wrong size. The other was crueler, finding mine a wonderful story that she just couldn't "connect with", as if my deodorant was not working as advertised.

I am trying not to be discouraged.  I know my chance of success is smaller than the probability I will dunk a basketball this afternoon, or spontaneously grow a full head of hair on the airplane landing strip on top of my head. But I feel strangely compelled to soldier on.

 Maybe it is a response to the title of my work, "The Land of Not." Maybe it is in its message that positive thought can turn bad into good. Maybe it is just that the reality of the futility of this exercise has not fully penetrated my skull.

But for now at least, I have not waved the white flag. I apologize for keeping you in the dark about this tale, but I will keep you informed as events unfold. And maybe, just maybe, we will all read "The Land of Not" together one day when it is not the subject of rejection but praise.

 By the way, I definitely see some new hair protruding from my scalp this morning. 


Anonymous said...

Perseverance! Soldier on! Don’t wave the white flag yet. good luck.


Anonymous said...

Power of positive thinking! Keep at it.


Eileen said...

Can't wait to read it to my grandsons! Don't give up

Anonymous said...

Never Never Never Give Up! --WC