Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some Like It Hot; Some Like It Cold . . .

On one of my writing loops, they've been discussing rejections. How to handle them, how to use them to push yourself farther up the road; how to relate to God's will for yourself when you receive rejections.

Actually, I've only gotten one rejection, and that was years ago as a teenager when I sent something to a publishing company. They rejected my submission, but were kind enough to encourage (what they surely realized came from a young person just learning the ropes!) me to try again.

What makes one person love someone's writing and another turn up their nose at it? What makes one editor pant to have that new novelist and another send out a standard rejection form letter?

Ach, I think the reason is as simple as being individuals. I'm not crazy about paranormals or science fiction, but my son loves them. I love mysteries and cozies and action stories, but I have friends who'd rather read historicals.

Here's my seventeen-year-old niece's take on Cindy Woodsmall's "When the Heart Cries." I let her read my book on the condition she write a review of it. Obviously you can tell she was smitten.

"When the Heart Cries" is about a young Amish girl who falls in love with a Mennonite and decides to marry him against her father's wishes. Shortly after she accepts his proposal, a tragic incident occurs.

"When the Heart Cries" is a very good book, and I would love to read more like it. The characters, plot, and setting were excellently portrayed. It really gives a lot of information about the Amish and Mennonite people, and shows what a struggle it is for those who want to break away. --Leci

Anyone who can write with conviction enough to make you want to read more has found the depth to make a good writer. And no doubt, has received her/his share of rejections to help her reach that spot.

Some statistics:
  • Melanie Dickerson: 78 rejections on one book before it became a Christy Award winner.
  • Mitchner: his agent broke the contract between them because he was difficult to work with and not a good writer. When he went to work he found out he'd just won the Pulitzer Prize for South Pacific!
  • Pearl S. Buck received a letter from one publisher that said, "It's good, but these days no one's interested in China."
  • One of Jane Austen's characters was called a "husband-hunting butterfly."
  • One publisher called "Alice in Wonderland" a stiff overwrought story.
  • Another told Tony Hillerman "to get rid of all the Indian stuff."
  • Mr. Kipling: You just don't know how to use the English language.
  • Harry Potter was rejected by over 30 publishers before finding a home.
And this doesn't even touch the tip of those who've received rejections.

Household Hints:
  • Candles last longer if placed in the freezer at least 3 hours before using.
  • Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers. Fresh smell for weeks!
  • Spray a bit of perfume on light bulbs for a lovely scent. (Cold light bulb!)
  • Spray your plastic ware with nonstick cooking spray to keep the tomato based sauces from staining your bowls.
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil before placing in fridge; it'll keep for weeks!

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is? --Frank Sculby



Teresa Slack said...


Loved you niece's review. Made me want to run out and get the book. That's what good reviews do. Great post. Learning to take rejection is a growing experience. "Not loving the book is not a personal attack." Sounds good in theory, but it still hurts. I'm hearing good things about Debbie Macomber's book, "Knit Together" about her writing journey. I got the book at ICRS in Atlanta. Now if I can find the time to read it.

Caroline said...

Isn't that so right? Glad you visited. And I can't wait to get Debbie's book, too.

Break Time!

In Case Anyone is Wondering What's Going on with few posts lately-- I'm taking a short hiatus. Deciding where I want to...