Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dealing with Rejection

So how long has this been going on? I think since 1994. Twelve short years. In that time I've published a handful of short stories, some poems, and had 3 or 4 agents get excited about the books but for some reason or another not take them on. And of course the internet publisher took me on and gave me a "published writer" status. I get a few royalties and speaking gigs. It's not all rejection, but it feels like it.

One publisher said to cut World of Mirrors by 25,000 words and they might take another look. I cut it by 12,000 but 25,000 seemed like eviscerating the book, so I'm sitting on the fence. Next weekend there is an opportunity to schmooze with editors and agents and I have a window of opportunity. It's hard not to get one's hopes up.

Today I read an (unpublished) short story (not mind) that was so bad one had to keep reading to see whether it could get any worse and it did.

I have to face that fact that computer crime and books that take place in offices and foreign settings are a hard sell. Nobody likes to read about business in fiction. This is hard to swallow if you spent the last 20+ years sitting in an office progrmming computers. Gravedigger would be a more fitting occupation for a fiction writer.

Adam Smith or somebody said that "economics is men in the everyday business of life." One could say the same thing of fiction, but maybe with more pizazz.

Festival Madness is still computer crime, but there will be nary a bit or a byte in the 1928 California book. "They" say don't follow the market; write about what turns YOU on. Man, that has been a twelve year downward spiral.

I polished my latest Promiscuous Mode query like Miss Snark advised and sent it into the world, where it has come back rather quickly with the usual thanks but no thanks response. Approach wall; beat head.

Thus there has been plenty of sucking it up around here, but that's over for the day because I'm going to make Swedish meatballs and red cabbage out of the NY Times International cookbook, and diets be damned. O.K., I did substitute ground chicken for the veal and half and half for the heavy cream with a nod to health. We are really into red wine.


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