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Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Rejection at Yuletide

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Well, here it is the week before Christmas and I am totally bummed out. Not from shopping or the crowds, but because I sent a copy of my latest manuscript off to be evaluated and they sent it back and said they couldnít use it because it had entirely too many clichťs in it.

Hello? Whatís this all about? Is anybody home? I mean am I just talking to a brick wall? I feel that when it comes to writing, I am certainly a team player. I never intentionally try to go against the grain and try to keep my writing very simple and easy to understand.

These editors must have an axe to grind or something. This was a good book and one in which I am very proud. I was tempted to just call them up and not beat around the bush and just ask them exactly what is the bee in your bonnet? Now, donít get me wrong, I am not the great American novelist and donít think for an instant that anything I write is the best thing since sliced bread. But on the other hand I do believe that my stuff is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, if you know what I mean.

Of course calling them kind of puts a fellow in between a rock and a hard place. I could make them mad and they might put me on someoneís list and then where would I be? I mean itís not like I just fell off the back of a turnip truck. I can see the writing on the wall. All of these editors probably know each other and if I speak harshly to one, then the word might get out and Iíd be a dead duck. You know what they say, if you lay down with dogs, and then you wake up with fleas.

So, I suppose there isnít much sense in flogging a dead horse. I should just lay low and keep my mouth shut and a zipped lip. Even if I think these people are dumber than a bucket of rocks, I can afford to bide my time and wait it out. As far as Iím concerned every dog has its day and Iíll get mine.

I think Iíll just keep on submitting these manuscripts as I believe if it isnít broke then donít fix it and I donít think my writing is broken. How about them apples? No, from what I can tell some of the editors have been scrapping the bottom of the barrel with some of the books they have published. The ones Iíve seen just arenít my cup of tea. I am convinced that only the strong survive and that I should keep on keeping on and let bygones be bygones. Theyíll eventually come around, if you know what I mean. What goes around comes around in my book.

I think I might just take a break and stop and smell the roses for a change. Iíve been working in the old salt mine for too long and need a fresh direction. You know often we canít see the forest for the trees. Iíll just save everything Iíve written for a rainy day and wait for these brainaics to call once they realize the genius of my work. I donít know if I can find it in my heart to forgive them, but weíll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So in the meantime, Iíll just sit and wait them out and when they call, Iíll tell them that the jury is still out on my decision and that Iíve moved their offers to the back burner. I have to have enough time to justify the effect of their decision and what it will be on my bottom line. Let them put that in their pipe and smoke it.

Too many clichťs? How ridiculous.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America

December 19, 2007 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com


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