I heard from a woman who asked me to share a story with young people. The story was my own, The Healer’s Daughter, from How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
She said the story was valuable and every young person who has ever bullied or been bullied needs to read it.
Bullying is a part of the story, and for the little girl in the story, it’s a very big part – as it was for any and all of us who were on the wrong side of the mean kids.
She felt, I believe, it would also help bullies to gain some sort of understanding. Maybe, maybe not. But I appreciated her feedback on what some people feel is a minor part of the story.
I appreciate the feedback and that my story touched her so much she feels the need to share it.
Our stories have power. And they have unintended consequences. I’m happy that mine leaned toward positive.
Doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.
I usually receive rejections that are quite nice. “We really liked it, but…” or “Please submit again…”
I asked someone more experienced than I and was told that these are usually genuine and the editor, whether or not your work was accepted, liked the work.
I have been told that it didn’t quite fit their needs or that there was some disagreement between editors, which I again take as reasonably good rejects.
Once in awhile I get a rejection which makes me wonder what story they actually read.
I submitted to one journal who called for the topic of Deception, “Friends, Lovers, and Liars.” It’s a story about a woman who even deceives herself as she she comments on other’s deceptions. I thought it was spot on. The editor, however, did not and wrote, “I’m not sure why you submitted this. This doesn’t at all fit our call…” He wen ton to make me believe that I had triggered something.
The story is about a woman who has an affair. I have a feeling, the story struck a nerve. Ouch. Sorry. (The story has been published twice since then. – You can find it here.)
I recently received another long and involved rejection, although I don’t think because it acted as a trigger. But the rejection was nearly as long as the story. (haha – I’m exaggerating, of course.) But it stated things like “promises and doesn’t deliver,” “narrative too thin.”
Again, I wondered – had this editor read MY story? Or did he/she confuse it with another. This has happened once before.
I received a rejection – thanks, but no thanks, and then another the next day: “Thanks for submitting, we love it and would like to publish it!
If this happened face to face, I would nod and smile. I do something similar through email – “Great, thanks!”
Someone asked me if I respond to negative rejections with commentary. I don’t usually. I think I have once, but the editor was so nice about it. He gave me commentary, and then still asked me to submit again! Him, I thanked.
If these were feedback type of rejections, I might thank them. But I feel that they are not. It’s someone who is feeling his/her power and thinks they know everything.
I don’t respond to people like that. There is always to say no nicely. There is always away to give someone feedback – even negative – and be nice about it. Edit
ors should be experts on that.
By the way – that story with the “too thin narrative” was accepted to a number of journals within a week of sending it out. I’d barely gotten to sending out the withdraw notices when a number of others had sent acceptances – my apologies to those journals. I’ll do it the same day from now on!
That story, too, appears in my latest book of short stories – How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
One negative rejection should not upset a writer. They are to be expected. Do not let it take away all the nice rejections and don’t let it come near your brilliant acceptances!
Reviews are so important to writers; it helps other readers make more informed decisions. I’m always grateful for a review and even more grateful for a good review!
My first review for the new book of short fiction! Thank you! See it on Amazon!
These might be some of the best stories I’ve ever written – even if I do say so myself.
Malcom Gladwell has a theory – it takes 10,000 hours to perfect one’s craft. Well, I think, perhaps I’ve hit 50,000, maybe 100,000.
Beyond that – one learns, one grows wiser with age; hopefully, that is what you’ll read in these stories. Wisdom. Empathy. Healing.
Find out how to throw a psychic a surprise party.
Okay, so not bragging, but….. I’ve been hard at work….
The Healer’s Daughter in The Ear
The Healer’s Daughter is a departure for me. It marks a turns in my writing that came about just this year. It’s more mystical. Risky, maybe. A woman’s daughter describes her mother’s gift and discovers she has her very own gift, but will she actually use it?
The Healer’s Daughter will be featured in my summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party. It’s a book of short stories, all of which have a special or surprising twist.
Friends, Lovers, and Liars in Home Renovation
Originally titled Deception, it didn’t find a home. In fact, the topic of lies and cheating offended one editor. I think it may have hit too close to home. It, too, will be released in the summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
How to Throw a Psychic Surprise Party in The Electric Press Magazine
The title story for the book of short stories. Inspired by a show in which I saw a television host throw a “surprise” party for a psychic. It struck me – How do you throw a psychic a surprise party?
This story may answer that question. Maybe not. How much empathy can you muster?
Hunger and other poems as well as some photography in Voices of Eve
Not in the book of short stories. But well worth the read. Hunger is one of my favorite poems.
Also in the book of short stories –
The Crier: In a time when emotions are unheard of, people need a release.
The Mirror People: Ever wondered what’s inside the mirror? You know there’s something, right? Here’s a woman who collects them – she knows.
Bowie and the Basket Case: Anna’s things keep disappearing and reappearing. At first she thinks she’s misplaced them, but then she’s sure she hasn’t!
I recently visited Gibraltar. Gibraltar is a UK territory attached to the south of Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is home to the Barbary Macaque Apes.
I’m a person who likes a challenge; I crossed the highest, longest suspension bridge in North America, I swam with sharks. But, moreso, I like to explore; I saw a grisly bear in the Yukon, held a Koala in Australia, traversed the catacombs in Paris, etc.
So, I was there on the Rock of Gibraltar to get a peek at both Spain on one side and Africa on the other all the while standing in Europe. Pretty freaking cool.
The apes, which look more like monkeys (and are referred to as such), wander free there. They hang out on the patio of the visitor’s center, play in the trees and bushes, and hang out on the roads.
I did get close enough to one to have a photo. But I know better than to attempt to feed a wild animal. I did see four young women getting their picture taken by a park ranger while they fed one of the adult Macaque’s not far from the “Do Not Feed” sign.
From the visitors’ center, you can hike to other views, other places on the Rock and even all the way down. There’s another shop on the Rock where you can see a cave and buy trinkets, which is what I did. When I travel, I like to buy holiday ornaments for my tree as a remembrance.
I have the Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, a Santa Star Fish from Hawaii, and even a Santa Chili Pepper from New Mexico to name a few.
I hiked back up to the center to grab some water and lunch before taking the cable car back down to the city.
I’d been warned not to take a big back pack or food with me. The monkeys, they said, will jump on you. I heeded these warnings, had only a small pack/purse and no food.
But approaching the visitors’ center, one of the juveniles (juvenile delinquent!) jumped on my back. I raised my hands in surprise and she bit me. She then opened my bag, took the ornament, and hopped off. (This is the picture of the monkey as it tried to eat my ornament! Thank you, Geoff)
I’m okay. Maybe “attacked” is a strong word, perhaps assaulted is better? She left a dental impression and some scrapes on my hand. Yes, a little blood, swelling, bruising. My doctor is a little vexed with me.
But what does this have to do with writing?
We must challenge ourselves, we must overcome, we must use incidents such as these as inspiration or fodder. I feel all of these adventures make me who I am and my writing what it has become over the years.
I’m not suggesting you put yourself in harm’s way! I am suggesting that once in awhile get out and face your fears, do something new, experiment, explore, learn something new – this will create fresh shifts in your writing (and in yourself)!
The whole incident has me thinking of a half a dozen stories!