Thank you for submitting to [ name removed to protect the guilty], and we are honored that you considered us to read your work. These are horribly hard decisions for us, but we are unfortunately going to pass on “The Devil’s Tonic.” This line of work is all so subjective, but ultimately, we have to connect fully with every aspect of the material, and we didn’t connect in the way that we must in order to represent it. We do, however, hope you’ll submit to our press again in the future, and thank you for all your talents, time, and consideration.
What followed that was a list of names of all those who didn’t connect with my material. I don’t know whether to laugh like a drunken hyena or reread the above several thousand times wondering why they didn’t like me. Maybe I can combine both reactions, just to see if I can.
I have a bad tooth and I do mean I am considering a pair of pliers and some homemade bathtub gin kind of bad tooth time.
Where you yank the fucker out and then try to not die as you scarf down whatever fermented dog pee you’ve managed to conjure up from a can of two year old peaches and some ten year old cough syrup you found hiding at the bottom of a box full of stuffed teddy bears. Oh don’t worry!
I have an entire bottle of ibuprofen to scarf down and I can gargle with hot salt water and there’s vodka. I think a goodly dose of straight vodka and about a gallon of over the counter mild pain killers should see me through. And it’s not that bad! If I pretend real hard my tooth doesn’t hurt. The power of positive thinking, baby! If you believe hard enough, you’re a ballerina! Yay! I probably am not the one to ask how actual positive thinking is supposed to work…mm.
Now!! That challenge writerly thing I sent my hasty pudding to and which received the above truly, um, reply…yeah. Whatever. It stings. Like putting your hand down on a bad-tempered wasp. Ouch! And then the little bump, the swelling, the wasp lumbering off cussing you out, and then you, or in this case, me, forgetting it ever happened a couple days later.
Oh yes, the November Novel Challenge requisite update, while I’m here with yet another bitter snotblossom [that’s code for blog post] to my own mediocrity and failure. It’s humming along. I guess. Sure.
It’s at chapter ten. I cut thirteen pages and added some stuff and things. Because the story cleared its throat and hinted, albeit gently and in off quiet moments, that perhaps it wished to go slightly in a different way, please. I plan to push through to ‘an ending’ before I attempt a read-over from the opening salvo. Gosh! I hope it fucking connects on all cylinders! I hope I connect to my material in a way that allows me to represent it! [Yeah, I’m in pain and a wee bit obsessively bitter to combat the throb in my jaw’s interior. I can’t summon nice thoughts and oh gosh what can I learn from all this-ness just right now at this very here moment.]