Tag Archives: Publishing

Rocking Rejection

Aw, shit.  Rejection.  The dreaded R word that probably should be spelled with four letters, it sucks so bad.

Micronodular cirrhosis developing in a transpl...

Micronodular cirrhosis developing in a transplanted liver with chronic rejection (Photo credit: bc the path) Writing rejection doesn’t suck as bad as organ transplant rejection. See? There is a bright side!

It happens to every writer at some point in time (and if it doesn’t, I bow down to you, and also will be creating a voodoo doll in your likeness later today–send me a pic).

Anyway, I’ve gotten them, and will continue to do so as long as I keep writing.  I’ve accepted it.  Sure, it still hurts, much like the country music someone just  turned on as I sit in the lobby of my five-year-old’s sports class.

[Seriously, people?  Are you trying to tell me I shouldn’t hang around while the boy runs his crazies out?  The classic rock you played the last few times was tolerable, if not preferred.  This is down-right cruel.  Mental note–head phones next time.]

Back to rejection.  It comes in all forms, and when I get past the anal-sex-with-no-lube burn of having my dreams dashed I can often see the positive side of rejection.  Here is my opportunity to add that scene I’d been considering.  Here’s my chance to employ some of the new editing techniques I’ve picked up in the four months I waited to hear back.  Now I can work out the suggestions recommended by editors kind enough to take the time to send along their notes.  Now I can rock this.

Sure, not every rejection is a lengthy letter on things the almighty publishers think should be changed.  They don’t always tell you what sucked about your precious bundle.  Sometimes they’re form rejects.  But even those are an opportunity to tweak your tale into something better than it was before.  Shake things up.  Get a few more beta reads.  Sell your soul to the Devil for a magic pen that writes real goodish. It’s a second chance to make your beautiful baby even prettier before she goes out into the world.  Stick a freakin’ bow in her hair and put on her frou-frou party dress before you promenade her through the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton.

[It was all of my bad analogies, wasn’t it?]

Your glass can still be half full with Jack Daniels, friends.

Me?  Mine has a good mouthful in it, and even a chip of ice still floating around as my latest N-O is tossed back on the drawing board.  I’m gonna make it sing way better than the dude currently whining on this f#%@^9 radio station.

I’m gonna rock it.

Cheers to second chances, all!


Wading into the Slush Pile

I was rabidly devouring info on turn-around time for submissions to certain pubs on Absolute Write yesterday.  That’s a productive use of writing time, no? Okay, it’s not.  It’s about the same as haunting Web MD in search of an ailment that matches the numerous questionable symptoms you (I) have lately.  It’s enough to make you think you’re dying as far as the symptom-checker goes, and enough to make you second guess the submission you (I) just sent and get absolutely no work done.

46. symptoms of cancer Courtesy of techtechboo...

46. symptoms of cancer Courtesy of techtechboom.com (Photo credit: TipsTimes)

In my case, it made me realize that I never wrote “Dear [Anybody]” at the top of my submission.  Nothing.  Just tacked my synopsis and full onto the attachments and launched into a brief description.  The automatic response email didn’t flat-out call me an a-hole, but I doubt it has those detection abilities.

So then I had to search for the etiquette behind the “Dear Editor” thing.  Is it really necessary?  I know I’ve read “the rules” before.  I planned to send my sub in as picture-perfectly as possible.  I read everything on the site numerous times, and triple checked to be sure I had included all of the requested info.  I self-edited until my eyes bled.

But they never told me to be polite on the web site and I just plum forgot.

Crud buckets.

I’m not rude, generally speaking.  When I burp, I say the word “burp” which I think is way classier than a loud belch.  I always remember my “pleases” and “thank yous”–case in point, I remembered to thank the mysterious entity on the other side of my email for their consideration after I dumped my electronic business in their inbox.  Perhaps I earned back one of my demerits in the closing.

Well, the fact is, I don’t believe I’ll be summarily rejected for lack of an opening greeting.  Me being me, I feel like if I received a tug boat full of perky, overly friendly, and downright presumptuous submission emails each day, I’d want to punch someone in the face.  Cut to the chase.  We all know why we’re here.  Sorta like long-winded and cocky bios–I don’t like to write them and it pisses me off/gives me a reason to make fun of people when I read them.

Halifax Harbour

Halifax Harbour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Editor,

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I think you’ll be interested to read what I am sending you.  The fact is, I’ve been having sex for years now, and I fancy myself an A+ fucker.  It was only natural for me to translate my sexpertise into smutty fiction.  I’m sure you’ll find my submission to be the best you’ve ever read and will want to thank me in person.  I will graciously allow you to buy me a drink at my earliest convenience   I just know we are going to be best friends.

You may find a link to all of my illustrious writings below.  Once you sample my authorial prowess, no doubt you will be interested in purchasing my other work.  Use coupon code IMAJERK10 for 10% off for a limited time only.

Thanks for your consideration,

[insert revoltingly flowery pen name here]

I like a bio with a bit of mystery.  Or maybe that is just my excuse for keeping them as short as possible because I hate writing them.  Food for thought.

Back to my point (if I ever had one, other than trying to justify my stupidity).  Does placing a specific editor‘s name on the top of one’s submission help it out of the slush pile?  Without an agent or a well-known name, aren’t we all just doomed to doggy paddle around in the slushy pool?  A flashy swimsuit won’t get us out of there any faster, will it?  I like to think, if I don’t drown immediately, I’ve got the same chance as the kids with the Speedos on, right?

Here is an interesting link on the subject.  I like this guy’s style.  Of course, in the end he says “Dear Editor” is just fine.  Nothing about having a cheesy log line for a greeting…

At least it got me off of Web MD for a short while.  I can’t die from idiocy, can I?


Sirens Call Publications’ Horror E-zine just out…


And the first issue is up for grabs–gratis–for a limited time!  Check out some fun new voices in horror, excellent chilling photography, and insight into the writing/publishing/editing world all for free!

My bizarro flash fiction ‘Mental Floss’ was graciously included in this zine so go snap up your download before the lovely ladies at Sirens Call change their minds!

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