At the Behest of the The Rejectionist, My Essay On Rejection

LE R, HOW DID YOU KNOW? I AM ON A HORSE! 

Me and Spirit

Me, On My Horse

But I digress. 

Rejection. More specifically, the question: “What Does Form Rejection Mean to Me?” Answer: Not much to nothing. For a more expansive response, I thought I’d sit down with an old friend and get her take. She is a lady with whom I see eye to eye on such matters, and I am sure her comments will speak for me. 

CLF: Some people find rejection unpleasant. So unpleasant it becomes a deterrent. What do you think about that? 

LM: Make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it!
 

CLF: See, this is why I had to talk this over with you! You have such a clever way of putting things! Now, another issue commonly associated with rejection is the What If disease. People are tempted to conduct a post-mortem, wonder why, mentally fidget with what could-have-been. 

LM: Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what’s done, is done.
 

CLF: That does make sense. Perhaps what looms largest of all in the writer’s imagination is the issue of failure. One works so hard, always trying to improve, better one’s writing, one’s self. It can be daunting to think the process itself will be the only reward, that one’s efforts will ultimately result in failure.  

LM: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking place,
And we’ll not fail.
 

CLF: But there is no denying it, the writer has no guarantees. 

LM: Art thou afeard 
To be the same in thine own act and valour 
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that 
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, 
And live a coward in thine own esteem, 
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” 
Like the poor cat i’ the adage?
  

CLF: I’m not saying the lack of guarantees should keep a writer from trying, I’m just saying. 

LM: (Silent Disapproval) 

CLF: Just sayin’. 

LM: Consider it not so deeply. 

CLF: Anyway! I don’t actually disagree with you, so let’s move on. You know, I’d like to add, it’s important to be at peace with the fact you can only control so much. You have control over your own actions, your own writing, and nothing else. It is best to simply endeavor to be the best writer you can be and let the chips fall where they may.   

LM: Why, worthy thane, 
You do unbend your noble strength, to think 
So brainsickly of things
.

CLF: Yeah, I kinda thought we might not be on the same page with that. Anything else you’d like to add? 

LM: Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? 

CLF: What? 

LM: What? Wait, what did I say? 

CLF: Something about blood. 

LM: Oh. Yeah. That was about something else. 

CLF: Okay. Well, thus concludes my essay on rejection! Thanks to LM for stopping by and so generously doling out her wisdom!

My Writing Place

***
The Rejectionist had a most brilliant idea – she would create a post about her writing spot whilst asking her readers to do likewise, who would put then link to their posts in her comments.
***

Where I am.

THINGS OF NOTE

 

CATS 

  • Kitten lounges upon the half-sized bookcase.
  • Mama Cat’s tail and back can be seen as she walks past.
  • Max looks down upon them all, framed above the bookcase. This picture of Max was given to me by my friend Tony. One of the best gifts I’ve ever received.
  • The empty trashcan sometimes contains Pumpkin, who has a special way of unceremoniously lumping his fatness face first into it, before settling into a curled heap at the bottom.

BIRDS 

  • Outside my window is my bird feeder
  • Bird bath
  • Other bird feeder
  • Some pics had birds in them, but they were so blurry you couldn’t really tell what they were. Titmice, in case you were wondering. Or perhaps titmouses.

HOUSE 

  • Beadboard walls are hard to paint. When we bought it the entire house, and I mean to say THE ENTIRE HOUSE – walls, trim, fireplace, light sockets, everything – was painted mint green.
  • The windows are the old fashioned kind with the rope pulleys.
  • The house directly across the street was recently gutted by fire. I look across and see the neighbor’s white cat, waiting. It will be good once the neighbor’s back and they are reunited.
  • I love our house. It is small and it is old and it is home.

MISC 

  • That box and laptop bag are not usually to the left of my computer. I’m kinda annoyed they’re in the shot.
Close up

Up close and personal.

DESK 

  • Mug of something hot. Not usually in a Scorpio cup. But I am a Scorpio.
  • Undealt with mail and miscellany piled to the left.
  • Space for sleeping cat to the right.
  • Prescription bottle of cat antibiotics.
  • Cheap, half-destroyed headphones. Expensive headphones destroyed by Pumpkin. Cheap headphones half-destroyed by Pumpkin.
  • Birds close at hand. Good for me, good for the cats. (Cat TV.)

 AND FINALLY: 

Jadwiga, Mama Cat and Little Bastard, from many moons ago.

An old photo, perhaps 2005. Before Jadwiga died, before Little Bastard got sick, before Mama Cat got old. The whole family sitting on my desk, looking out the window.

 

Quick Note: Truth Be Told Trailer is Up!

Hello Fanfreakingtastic Friends!

This post is almost as slow off the mark as I am (and as we’ve established, I am incredibly slow) but I wanted to share with all of you the book trailer for Truth Be Told. We had a great time making it. Axel Gimenez from AGBK Productions flew down from Brooklyn to direct (he also edited) and scores of local friends and friends of friends acted as cast and crew. The quality of the final result is a testament to what a great team we had. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Truth Be Told Book Trailer

A Killer Named Skinny

***SPOILER ALERT*** Anybody who is reading my book and doesn’t want to know the ending, don’t read this post.

I’ve always been weirded out by writers writing about writing. Obviously, it can be done well. I was once given a book on writing by Joyce Carol Oates and I enjoyed it immensely. Everyone says Stephen King’s On Writing is exceptional. It is something that can be done well, and I can understand why a JCO or a Stephen King would want to tackle the subject. But as a subject of casual conversation, I don’t get writers writing about, or talking about, writing. It’s not something I feel comfortable with, probably for the same reason you don’t see too many paintings of people painting. Why paint a picture of someone painting a picture when there is an entire world out there of subjects to be put on canvas? Why turn inward when there’s so much more outward? These are my thoughts, anyway. And they are thoughts long held. As a teen I was a huge King fan, until he hit roughly the sixth book in a row about a writer whose imagination actually brings to life some monster. You know when a 16 year old thinks you’re self-indulgent, it’s a bad sign. All of that said – I am a wicked hypocrite, because this post is going to be all about a.) my writing and b.) my own very King-like experience.

The shoot

Axel Gimenez, Fred Adams and Officer Richard Gooch.

As most of you know, this last week has been muy ocupado. My friend Axel came down to South Carolina from NYC in order to shoot a book trailer for Truth Be Told. I’m not sure who came up with idea first, but I know my thought was Axel would put some of his flash talents to bear and he’d make a little graphics and still shot trailer. Except he told me he was “writing it.” And I was like, “how the hell does it take you this long to write a little flash animation book trailer?” Then I got the trailer that Axel wrote. Holy Awesome, Batman! Axel had done a fantastic job, but I was blown away by how ambitious it was. I wasn’t sure if I could swing it. And then he called me to say he’d bought his plane ticket. It was go time.

Thanks to the generous nature of Southeners, locations and cast quickly came together. In the process, a lot of things changed from the book to the trailer. For example, Deputy Young is described as follows: “From the passenger side a deputy unfolded his long limbs. He was blonde and painfully thin, his body nothing but flat planes and points. The only round thing about him were his eyes, which were overly large and opalescent.” Playing Deputy Young was Officer Richard Gooch. Gooch is essentially the exact opposite of that description, but what he brought to the table was a whole other kind of scary, and it was awesome. 

For me it was a fantastic experience. I watched as this thing, which had previously lived inside my head, came to life in the outside world. As it came alive, it morphed and changed. Axel, the actors, and the locations stretched the scenes, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and I loved it all.

As I hustled my bustle, pulling together eight locations, a cop car, a hearse, and a diverse cast, some things didn’t come together as easily as others. We quickly found our main character, the absolutely stunningly awesome Mary-Margaret Coble, as well as most of the other speaking roles. But we hadn’t found Paul. One night, about a week before the shoot, I sat in my tiny kitchen with Evan and our friend Dan Dinger. Dinger knows everyone. Literally. Dinger knows every man, woman, and child in a three county radius. I was fussing about not being able to find someone to play Paul, and Dinger said, “describe him to me.” And so I did. Dinger goes, “I know that guy. His name is Skinny.” Dinger picked up his phone, dialed, and said to the unknown man on other side, “My friend Carrie needs you to be in a movie. Here she is.” I told Skinny that Dinger was a trip and Skinny agreed. Right away I thought, the voice is right, but will he look the part?

Skinny

Skinny rolls in the dirt.

The next day Skinny and Dinger came over to our house before we all headed out to dinner. As Skinny got out of his truck, it was as creepy an experience as I’ve ever had, and suddenly I knew why Stephen King became so enamored with this notion of one’s imagination coming to life. Skinny looked EXACTLY like the character I had written. He sounded EXACTLY like the character I’d written. And he behaved EXACTLY like the character I had written. This was unnerving, because the character I’d written was a serial killer.

During dinner I felt compelled to ask Skinny if he actually was a serial killer. I think he answered with, “maybe.” Or something else equally disturbing. Honestly, it took me a few days of being around Skinny to separate the real person from the character. I eventually learned Skinny has a pet squirrel and a cat named Charlie, he’s an extremely hard worker, super competent, and an all around decent person. In other words, he’s nothing like Paul. Except for the fact that, on the outside, HE IS EXACTLY LIKE HIM. SERIOUSLY, IT’S WEIRD.

Derby Recap

Kids! It has been, like, forever! I’d promised more Derby Delights, but unfortunately nothing sufficiently delightful came along. Plus, I’ve been busy. (More on that later.)

All that said, it is still the Kentucky Derby, the high holy of all holies, and it would be wrong to leave it unmentioned. So, here is my recap of everything delightful about this Kentucky Derby.

  • Calvin Borel wins yet another edition, making it three out of the last four
  • The Todd got the monkey off his back (I was so over that story line)
  • Toupee guy won $900,000+ dollars on a $100,000 win bet provided by Churchill Downs.

And that’s it! Super Saver himself? Meh. He’s a nice horse, clearly. Is he going to win the Triple Crown? Well, Calvin says he will. And who knows, maybe he will. If he does, I’ll celebrate like I’ve been on his bandwagon since the day his dam foaled him. But it’s hard for me to imagine a Triple Crown winner named Super Saver. Triple Crown winners are named things like Affirmed, Assault, Count Fleet, War Admiral, Secretariat, Citation. Super Saver doesn’t really feel of a piece with that list.

But he is a lovely horse. Let us close this post with a photo of him galloping:

Super Saver

Super Saver works.