Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rejection, Writin', and Reggae

A while ago, I made a post and mentioned that I'd submitted my science-fiction short story "Apologies" for consideration of publication.  Well, as happens to virtually all writers at some point, my story was rejected.  I didn't get a lot of details -- just a form e-mail that essentially said it just "wasn't right for us at this time."  I confess that it's frustrating, but at least their turn-around time was relatively quick.

(image from Wikimedia Commons)
I could take it personally, or choose to feel dejected, or decide that it means that I am a complete failure as a writer.  But I don't think any of those would do me any good.  Rejection is part of a writer's life. And it's certainly not the first time it's happened to me. Nor will it be the last.

Because I choose to keep on writing.  "Apologies" is going back out again to another potential publisher, and I'm (slowly) working on several other writing projects, including an idea for a novel that won't go away, no matter how hard I try to convince it that I simply don't have the time.

But in the spirit of "keep on writing." I also have another Prehistoric 50-word story to share.  I really appreciate all the kind words of support in the comments from my last post where I talked about submitting two micro stories to Tim Sevenhuysen's 50-Word Stories for the upcoming Prehistory Contest.  So I thought you might like to see another one. Here's a second story that didn't make the cut -- a visit once again with Oona and Og: 


The Birth of Literacy

Oona found Og gouging the cave wall with a rock.

Exasperated, she sighed. "What are you doing?"

"I call it 'writing'," Og said. "Each symbol represents something. Now mankind's greatest thoughts can be preserved for millennia."

"Uh-huh. So what's this squiggly one?"

"I call that a 'LOLcat'. Isn't it cute?"

(image from

And finally, since I haven't made a musical post in a while, let me offer you a piece from wikiloops where I added two guitar tracks to a reggae jam. The original drums were done by the user "nofish," keyboards were then added by user "rastafari", and the user "Carpenter" added bass.  I added a rhythm guitar track and a lead track.  I called it "Rasta Reggae Redux" since the previous version of the Jam was called "Rasta Reggae." You can listen to it HERE or click on the icon.

Because the jam was so structured and full, I didn't want to clog it up with too much guitar. And the horn fills in the middle break were so cool, I wanted to complement them instead of overpower them.  So this is a track that shows that I don't have to layer tons of improvised guitars to a piece, that a coherent part designed to be part of a tune can also be a lot of fun to do, and that many times -- just like in writing -- less is more.

Thank you very much for reading and for listening -- I really appreciate it!


  1. You're right - too much guitar would've overwhelmed the song.
    Like the flash fiction. Darn you, Og!
    Just keep sending out Apologies. Lots of other places out there - just ask Milo.

  2. I am short on time today. I will try to remember to come back and listen to your jam.

    However, I wanted to say "Good For You" on persevering. The more I read from successful writers, rejection is part of it all. Everyone gets "NO" a little or a lot. Refining the work and keeping on keeping on is the key!!!

  3. Love your Oona and Og story - and LOLCats, too. I waste a bunch of time laughing at those things. I must be part Neanderthal!

    I've had about a 50-50 split between my short stories that were accepted (eventually) and those that never found a home. *sniffle* But now with the advent of self-publishing, I may put my little orphans in a collection someday. Just because "Apologies" was rejected doesn't mean it's not an awesome story. I hope someone will accept if, and if not, you can publish it anyway! :-)

  4. I admire your persistence, attitude and fortitude. You don't give up. That's how to conduct some light into this world. My compliments and admiration.

  5. I'm impressed by your 50 word story. I can't seem to make a blog comment in less than 300 words. Keep sending that story out - 'Attitude is Everything!'

    Really impressed by your Reggae Redux. Course I'm a big fan of Reggae, but this has a nice mellow jazz sound also. Great stuff.

  6. You be jammin' man! Another great Og & Oona tale that had me smiling. "Never give up, never surrender!" - Galaxy Quest -- that's my motto. Good on you for getting that story back out there. Some of mine have had to weather 20 rejections before finding a good home.

  7. First, to all: Sorry for the delay in responding to your comments -- been very busy lately. but I did read them as soon as you posted them and GREATLY appreciate every comment. Thank you for taking the time to offer me your thoughts!

    @Alex: Thank you very much for the support, Alex -- it means a lot to me!

    @Robin: I hear you about the short time, lol! Thanks for the thoughts, and you're right. To paraphrase Yogi Berra: "Writing is 90% perseverance, and the other half is simply sticking to it."

    @Lexa: Thank you so much, both for the kind words about Og and Oona, and for the support. And I think that's a great idea -- you absolutely put those stories together. I'm sure a lot of people will love them!

    @Geo: Thank you very much. It's not that easy for me. I have at times tended to lean towards the idea of giving up, but I've now given up on it...

    @FAE: Thank you! I really appreciate the support, and I'm thrilled you liked the reggae tune. It was a lot of fun to do.

    @Milo: T'ank ya, mon! And yes indeed, oh wise writing Jedi master -- I have learned much from you! You words and successful actions have many-times-over taught me the hidden secrets of writing: "Get 'em done, get 'em out there, and keep 'em out there until accepted!"

  8. "Apologies" is going back out again to another potential publisher,

    Atta boy.

  9. @Suze: Thanks! And out it still is...


Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.