Posts made in August, 2011

Rejection letters

Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in Life in Writing | 2 comments

Rejection is such a harsh word, isn’t it? At its bare bones, the word itself merely means to refuse, or to not accept. It has a lot of connotation, though, and I imagine that’s what the harshness stems from. The word’s implied meaning is that of repulsion: rejection is suggested to be a bad thing, rather than the simple failure to accept. I recently received a rejection letter, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is the reason for this post. I submitted a poem in response to a call put out by a Canadian literary magazine about three months ago, and their response arrived in my inbox a week ago. The e-mail told that the magazine receives a great number of submissions a year and is only in a position to publish a few. I am subscribed to the magazine and can see this is true, given how relatively short each issue is. Why is it, then, that I and so many others perceive the humble rejection letter to be a failure? A rejection letter is a good thing. This may be a difficult concept for many to believe, but a rejection letter may also be a compliment. The publishing company is saying that while they may believe your submission to be a worthwhile one, it doesn’t necessarily fit with what they were looking for. Why is this a compliment? You were worth responding to. Maybe this seems like a common courtesy, but it does mean that your work wasn’t just tossed to the wayside. They read your submission over, analysed it, and after careful thought gave you a no as a response. The rejection letter is a humbling reminder that we are not perfect, no matter whether this is our first rejection letter or our fifty-first. It is a reminder that we can always improve in some way, and when we look extensively at our own work, perhaps to the point of getting others to look at it for us, we’ll be able to find those things that make our work imperfect and polish them. Perhaps your work wasn’t rejected due to its imperfections, but searching for those imperfections is a good exercise anyway. Content people are creative people, that is very true. But you can be content and still strive to improve your work. It’s good to be pleased with work you have done, but it’s more constructive to try and improve upon it. That said, I will include the poem that I wrote and had rejected. Perhaps this reflection will help me fix my errors, as well! This poem is called “Siblings”. I wrote it for a magazine that was doing a call for sibling-related poetry. My problem is that I do not have any siblings of my own: I am an only child. That is a possible reason for the rejection, of course, but the reflection of having received a rejection letter was, I feel, still very relevant. Perhaps if the poem was–to use a vague term–better, it still would have been published. Siblings by K. M. Cooper Lone As the pheasant who crows in the spring, Searching through the brush for its partner. My search is not so simple. All my life I have craved a sibling– A younger child to hold, to teach, to grow with. When I was young, Christmas commercials of sisters baking cookies together would bring me to tears. “You’re lucky,” friends assured me. “Having a sister is awful.” I wasn’t so sure. Time passes by and I grow older. No longer a child, I understand now My time to have a brother or sister has passed. I still feel a pang of regret when I hear the conversations– Nieces and nephews, never to have. Never the blood-aunt, for my husband, too, is without siblings. I’ve resigned myself to a life of fraternal solitude. Family is, however, what you make. You cannot choose your blood relatives, But “family” and “blood relation” are not the same. No, family is a whole different animal. The world is filled with my little...

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Next project

Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in Life in Writing | 1 comment

I’m starting work now on my next project, which will be the spiritual successor to Hub City Survival. There will be no zombies in this one, however there will be a great mystery to unravel, and it will take place again in Canada, this time in the fictional town of Cullingville. I, again, plan on releasing this chapter-by-chapter online, probably through my deviantArt account. This one, however, I plan to be a little different. If you recall, a few posts back I embedded a brief short film/trailer I shot back in April. If you don’t recall, here it is: I’ve decided to use this as a trailer for the project, and my plan for it is to become an online, episodic writing project, akin to what Hub City Survival was, only with a twist: I want people to be involved! Ideally, this story will be semi-interactive, giving the readers a chance to involve themselves in it. My ideal would be to have people give clues by comments in deviantArt to serve as letters or hints, and also to help decide what the main character, Dahlia, is to do through polls. I hope to get started on the project soon, but I’d like some opinions first! Feel free to go and join the discussion on my deviantArt page or to start a separate discussion here! Please follow and like...

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