Monday, April 25, 2011

Bleeding Rejections

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
-Ernest Hemingway

The Writer Magazine recently published an article by Lisa Shearin: To modify an old comedy routine, you might be a iwriter/i if ... - The Writer Magazine Ms. Sharin posted a writer's version of Jeff Foxworthy's, "You might be a redneck if..."

One of Lisa's points: The stacks of your old manuscripts and rejection letters officially constitute a fire hazard.

Any writer I know, who has submitted their work to publishers or agents, can say this is true. If I made two separate stacks, one of my manuscripts and the other my rejections, the rejection stack would be at least twice as high. Possibly, three times the height, depending on how many times I've submitted a story.

Does this upset me? Sometimes. Ok, most times. Anybody in their right mind will tell you rejection hurts and there's nothing worse than repeated rejection. It's hard to not take a rejection personally, especially when you're excited about your creation.

So, sometimes I cry and sometimes I crawl into a hole for weeks on end and refuse to write but today I realized I need to think with my "write" mind and view the rejections as another chance to make my manuscripts the best they can be. I'm going to take out my pile of manuscripts and see what I can polish. Heck, maybe I'll write new stories while I'm at it.

It's often said that anything worth having doesn't come easy and while I wish acceptances came a bit easier and more frequently, the few times I've had a manuscript accepted, I forget all about the previous rejections and my "happy dance" is all the more joyous.

How do you deal with rejections?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Hush-An Irish Princess' Tale" by Donna Jo Napoli (Book Thoughts)

The books I have written posts about were not sent to me for review but were borrowed from my local library. Since I am not a professional book reviewer, by any means, I've decided that instead of calling these posts "Book Reviews," I am changing them all to "Book Thoughts." So without further ado, here are my thoughts on a book I recently read:


In the 900's, Melkorka, a 15 year-old princess of Downpatrick, Ireland, begs to visit predominantly Norse Dublin for her birthday. She explores the streets with her 8 year-old sister, Brigid, until something terrible happens to their brother, Nuanda, immediately sending the whole family back home.

Seeking revenge for his son's misfortune, King Myrkjartan, plans to restore his family's honor. The King and Queen send Melkorka and Brigid to another village for safety but on their journey, the girls are abducted by Russian slave merchants.

Through brutal treatment and humiliations a princess should never endure, Melkorka stays silent. In a time full of superstition and belief in magic, Melkorka's silence leads her captors to believe she is a magical creature.

The beautiful young woman, who was once priveleged and a little spoiled, finds herself a slave on a journey halfway around the world. From unbearably hot Byzantium then on to Scandanavia where she is purchased by a Norse chieftain from Iceland, her journey is brutal and eye-opening. Always silent, she watches, listens, learns, and even manages to make a few friends.

Will Melkorka ever see her family or beloved Eire ever again? Or will she learn how to embrace her new life?

Based on the Iclandic Saga of the People of Laxardal, Donna Jo Napoli weaves her own tale of the Gaelic girl's unknown background. Although I'm not familiar with the saga, I found myself transported in the middle of the slave ship, inside the thoughts of Melkorka, where I learned right along with her.

"Hush" is a book filled with the myths, legends, and the life of slaves in Medieval Ireland, Byzantium, and the home of the Vikings.