Friday, May 09, 2008

What are the odds?


Life throws the strangest curveballs sometimes. And it struck me that if I wasn't totally anonymous on this blog I couldn't post this entry. H'm.

Here I am with massive re-writes (read: reduce content) to perform on my collection of short stories. Ordered by my editor.

I haven't done them yet as I am committed to writing thirty pages of my newest novel every week. A book she has requested first dibs on.

In January I applied for an Arts and Letters Award for one of my pieces that had received quite a bit of favourable attention. *Inspects fingers, glances shyly downward*.

This piece has not been submitted to anyone before.

It is an anonymous process, applying for this award, meaning that the applicant is anonymous to the reader but not vice versa. And guess what? The adjudicator of my piece is the blooming editor of my short story collection.

She recommended rejection. Said it was too wordy. Said 'cut the first six pages'.

Gobsmacked doesn't begin to cover my reaction.

10 comments:

  1. Oh dear, editors' comments can be so blunt and brutal can't they? She might have a point but it's a real blow when you've spent hours honing your writing until you were satisfied and then Whap you have to start over. Jenny gets the same thing from editors about the academic stuff she submits. Unsparing criticism can be truly devastating when you were confidently expecting a positive reaction.

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  2. ah, i feel for you! deeply!

    and as an editor i completely understand the brutal unvarnished reaction.

    i'm so sorry. but it sounds like you have success a-plenty.

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  3. How disheartening for you WWW sorry to hear that. How do you maintain your motivation in the face of such critical feedback?

    xxx

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  4. Nick:
    Aye, there's the rub. I was totally confident of this piece and had it vetted fairly publicly. Stoic men had wept. I'm with Jenny on these kinds of out of nowhere rejections.
    Laurie:
    That depends on the 'day that's in it'. Yesterday I was weepy and frustrated. Today not so down. This woman feels like part of the bad rellie side of the family. You have to connect periodically but you're always lying in wait for the next drunken outburst.
    H:
    I don't know, day-to-day pep talks to self, write another two pages of the novel. Think it crap. Take the dog for a walk. Stop the self-criticism. Consider a part time job at Tim Hortons (a coffee shop chain in Canada). Then write a blog entry.

    Thank you all, you make me feel better.

    XO
    WWW

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  5. What's the betting that the editor in question has a lot of Virgo in her natal chart?!

    There must be other editors, WWW - don't stop trying, remember Hillary!

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  6. OMG, T:
    I think you nailed it. I bet she is. My father, every critical and judgemental was a virgo.
    Interestingly, I thought of HRC today. I need to keep on keeping on.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Oh, that's a bloody shame, WWW. I am a Virgo too and I think that I am judgmental too and critical and they are not virtues that I am proud of. Maybe we were all once related to each other somehow, from the same gene pool or something. I promise I would have been kinder to you. That's just the way I am.

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  8. Thanks Irene, just visited your new place, right now I think I preferred your old one.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. I never did get that email with you dream interpretation. Did you try to send it again? I am very curious. I hope you'll give it another go.

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  10. I sent it on for the 3rd time Irene, I hope you get it. Maybe your mailbox is full? ;^)
    XO
    WWW

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