Monday, November 12, 2007

but i love him!

Well, geez…but nope, I’m not taking it personal. So my first rejection letter for Bottom Rail came back to me with promising comments, but no thanks in the end. I think I am supposed to be disappointed, but like cutting those dreads, I’m feeling rather more than neutral. I sort of expected this because I really didn’t fine tooth comb my ms—neither did I bless its intent, purpose, theme, which I’m still trying to figure out. I have people who do this writing stuff and yet, no one has told me how to find the significance and compose a damn good query. In fact, my query was so long that I could have easily written one more chapter to the book and I guess I’m not supposed to do that….have an extensive explanation for the work. It’s suppose to “speak for itself.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all. Oddly, I’m having fun spending hardly any time just on this one process alone and this way, I don’t have to think about a second work. The question is: Am I really a writer? I think so, but this other part to it, the selling it, the pitching it, the Pr-ing it is rather a difficult animal to choke, and I haven’t even really begun to push it out the door. Can I imagine if I put a lot of effort into it? I’m trying. Sort of.

Anyway, another slip for me and my hopes to become a great, famous writer is Stephen King’s September article in the The New York Times Sunday Book Review.


He wrote: “…I read scores of stories that felt not quite dead on the page, I won’t go that far, but airless, somehow, and self-referring. These stories felt show-offy rather than entertaining, self-important rather than interesting, guarded and self-conscious rather than gloriously open, and worst of all, written for editors and teachers rather than for readers.”

Which of these apply to me? Well let’s start with not quite openly glorious and maybe there’s a tad of guardedness. I’m working on all this: when I find time. Then I read on and found a little more umpf: “Talent can’t help itself; it roars along in fair weather or foul, not sparing the fireworks. It gets emotional. It struts its stuff.” But the true heartbreak is his statement that he doesn’t want “some fraidy-cat’s writing school imitation of Faulkner, or some stream-of-consciousness about what Bob Dylan once called ‘the true meaning of a pear’.” Should I cry…? Because I do Faulkner and I do stream-of-consciousness in my own way. Feels good and at times rather sticky.

I can’t even imagine a life without Faulkner, but I guess I should come to the realization that I might have to change. Sort of.

And what's the difference between "strutting" and "self-importance"--as far as writing is concerned? Help!


Spring said...

It's a killer, isn't it? Man, if I had th answers there would be a whole lot of happier people around. Plus, what's openly glorious to some is.....well, not openly glorious to others. Keep writing. Keep writing. The best most concrete advice I can give myself.

Shawna Yang Ryan said...

Yeah, keep writing! He wasn't talking to you!