Monday, September 13, 2010

80 rejections and counting

I was just perusing my duotrope submissions tracker. About two years ago I started really seriously sending out my books, poems and short stories for publication.

Since that time, I've had my fair share of rejections and no responses. In the past two years, I've had my poems rejected or not responded to at least 40 times, my short stories have been rejected or not responded to about 20 times, and The Cavey Journey has been rejected or not responded to at least 20 times.

I feel like I should win an award or something. Of course, there are probably writers out there who've been rejected much more than I have.

In all that time, I have had some successes, which keeps the bitterness of defeat away.

My work has appeared in The Kern Valley Sun, Concise Delight, Midnight Screaming, and the Blinking Cursor. In addition, one of my poems won first place in a valley-wide poetry competition.

4 out of 80...not the highest ratio in the world, but it's a really good start. Now if I could just get off my duff and write something new, maybe I could make some real progress!

Today I will share with you a monologue I wrote for my Drama 2 class. It's only loosely based on reality.

Husband-Hunting at the Baptist College

Not interested? Not interested? You all never said it, because I certainly would never have asked, but your body language tells me enough. You’re not interested in me. And what’s the matter with me, huh? I’m young, I’m healthy, I’m smart, I’m talented, I’m interesting, I’m a died-in-the-wool Southern Baptist girl.

I know…it’s because I can’t keep my mouth shut. When John was wrong about Abraham’s lineage in the book of Genesis, I shouldn’t have said anything. When Steven was wrong about the page numbers we were supposed to read for our “A History of Baptist Thought” class, I should have just smiled sweetly. That’s what a good future pastor’s wife is supposed to do, isn’t it? Maybe the History of Baptist Thought is that women don't get to.

Or maybe I’m not using the correct terminology. What are the Christian “buzz words,” right now? Let’s see, “Purpose Driven,” “Courtship,” “New-Testament Church.” Maybe if I work some of those words in more often. For that matter, I might as well lie when people ask me how I am, and just say, “Blessed,” regardless of how my day is really going. Do I have to act like a ditz to find a Southern Baptist husband?

It’s just too bad God made me smart. It would be much easier to find friends and boyfriends if I could just blindly accept the things these wanna-be-pastors keep spouting off about. But unfortunately, I know more about the Bible than they do, and from the things they keep saying, I think I must have considered my faith more than they have.

So, God, what am I supposed to do? I don’t respect these boys who think they know more than I do. And they are certainly not interested in a girl like me. If you don’t send me a good one soon, you know what I’ll do? I’ll marry a Methodist!

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy this article on Lark News. Yes, it's a joke.


  1. I think you are a little bit of a victim of the recession here. I think there's a glut of unemployed writing folk who have finally had time to sit down and write that novel/short story they were putting off when times were good. Write because you love to do it, and its good for you:). There are some truly horrible books out there that have gotten published, so its not personal, and we all know you are a good writer!!!!

  2. That's very sweet, Carolyn- but I don't think I'm a victim of anything except perhaps for my own laziness. The truth is- my work is being rejected for a variety of reasons, the biggest one being that it is simply not good enough yet. It's getting there...but it's not there yet. I have a long, long road ahead of me before I get an actual book published. But hey, I'm young- I've got time.

  3. I don't think that is a bad publish-to-rejection percentage at all, especially if you are doing all the submitting yourself and you are still early on in your writing career. I honestly don't know how many times Sparkle's book was rejected before it was picked up by Adams Media because I was fortunate enough to have an agent that took care of all that (I have been writing professionally for 25 years and it is still not easy getting traditionally published, especially a book!). Just keep submitting and honing your craft. Even in this day and age of technological advances, I know of no way to speed up the process!

  4. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Janiss. I really enjoy Sparkle's website adn I appreciate you reading my blog. I will keep on keeping on.

  5. Thanks for dropping by our blog. Our biped grew up in the Sierra Nevadas so it was extra special that you visited us.

    We hope dat you get 'discovered' really soon. Keep writting those books for kids