Wednesday, November 21, 2012


…Yesterday I got my novel rejected by an agent I really liked who I’d met at a writer’s Conference, and who seemed really interested in my manuscript.  It bummed me out, even though I get how rejection is part of the gig.

Here’s what she/they said:

Dear Len,

 Thank you so much for giving up the opportunity to read House of Rats. We read it with interest and admiration and believe that you possess a lot of talent. Unfortunately, we will not be offering you representation at this time.

 This was not an easy decision for us (which is why we took such a regretfully long time to respond to you). We believe that you have a very unique voice and, sometimes, it has the effect of overwhelming the rest of the work and acts as a distracting measure that made us feel keenly aware of every word on the page instead of being transported into the world you created. Of course, this is only one opinion and we wish it were otherwise.

…I wrote a story yesterday for the first time in a while.  I think I need to kick myself in the ass and get more productive.  Sometimes I wallow in self-pity, then I don’t like myself for wallowing and it becomes a vicious cycle.  (“vicious cycle” is cliché and I don’t want to become a cliché.)

…I hope your Thanksgiving is fantastic.  Mine will be interesting.  About 30 people will be here.  I like to be surrounded by family and kids on the holidays.

…Here are some things I like:
"Why are we telling this story?  What does the story mean?  When you can answer the big questions, then you are ready to write.  The idea is paramount." David Simon

"It is good to dream, but it is better to dream and work.  Faith is mighty, but action with faith is mightier." Thomas Robert Gaines

"Have the courage and the wisdom and the vision to raise a definite standard that will appeal to the best that is in man, and then strive mightily toward that goal." Harold E. Stassen

"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections, and the truth of imagination." Keats

"No obstacles fell in his way that seemed to him insurmountable. He might be defeated, as he sometimes was, but he shrank from no hardship through impatience, he fled from no danger through cowardice." J. P. Morgan writing about Napoleon Bonaparte
"I am a Beginner. What the others are I don't really know. All I know is I am wiped out every six months or so. I die. I have died hundreds and hundreds of times. It is always the same death. I do not know what dies. Why must I always begin again and again – always the same high hopes, the identical death?" Lew Welch


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