Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I am a writer. I write. It's my thing.

Today, today I am a writer, officially.

Today, I got an official letter of rejection.

Tor Books officially is not interested in publishing my novel.

There's a nice form letter, giving the official blah-de-blah "thank you but it's not right for us at this time, maybe we could just be friends" bullshirt, that refers to me as "Author". As in, "Dear Author". And yet, at the bottom of the official letter, on official letterhead, just above the phone and fax numbers, someone has Scrawled. In handwriting that is so bad that, honestly, I didn't even recognize it as handwriting and dismissed it as some sort of weird-ass letterhead art on my first read-through. It says, simply, "Re: Mad Jack".

What does this mean? What does this mean for me, as a writer? Well, I can't say for sure, but I'll tell you what it means in my head. In my head, there is a dude who gets a pile of mail, and has a pile of form letters, and nine times out of ten he reads, cringes in disgust, stuffs the form letter into the self-addressed, stamped envelope, and moves on. But every once in a while... every once in a while he's not sure, so he sets it aside. And when the aside pile gets large enough, he sends it to a team of people. These people read, and they talk, and they talk, and they read, and they slowly, slowly, painstakingly make a decision, and when they do, they have to make a note of it. They deal with a lot, and so they're forced to scrawl things down from time to time, to keep track of things. What if the pile of form letters is on the opposite side of the room as the envelopes? They're going to have to write down what book they're talking about on the form letter. Makes perfect sense.

Yeah, maybe I'm reading too much into a three-word scrawl. But then, that is my nature. Who among you is going to deny me this little happiness? Trollface excepted, of course.

I was rejected, yes. But they had to THINK about it. Maybe I was step 2 in a fifty-step process to publication, but I got through the door and if nothing else, someone had to write down the name of my book on a piece of paper. What have YOU done today?


Anonymous Mel said...

I remember my first rejection letter. It was from Alice Quinn, poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine. What can I say, I was ambitious at the time. I framed that shit. I find her to be rather trollific as well.

9/21/2006 3:29 AM  
Blogger Ford Dent said...


I've gotten two rejection letters, making me more of an author than you!

One of them even called my work "funny."

9/21/2006 6:15 AM  
Anonymous AAMF said...

I made about $255 bucks this week and I only worked two days. Is that something?

9/21/2006 6:43 AM  

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