Song & Story
By: Pamela Willis
This essay was first published in HOUSEWIFE WRITER'S FORUM.
Some people have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the computer world. I was one such person. In fact, there was a particular day when I felt proud that my typewriter was not a computer...
Breathing through my livingroom drapes, I waited for the mailman. Three large manila envelopes dangled delicately from his fingertips. Could they all be mine? Three rejections in one afternoon? My heart did a nose dive and landed on my shoes.
The little door on the mailbox clanged shut. I slithered to the screen door, stuck my head out and...ducked!
A thirteen-year-old delinquent leaped at my head and announced to the neighborhood: "Hey, Mom! You got some more rejections!"
I snatched the mail from his hands. Running into my bedroom office, I sighed, locked the door, and opened the envelopes.
"We appreciate...but regret that we cannot...Thank you for your submission but...Please--double-space your manuscript..."
Hey--wait just one minute here. I always double-space my manuscripts. In fact, the returned manuscript was in my hands, beautifully typed and most definitely double-spaced. Didn't they even look at it?
I looked inside the manila envelope again. Would the real rejection letter please stand up?
Another writer's manuscript stared up at me. It was a fascinating example of what a clever computer can do. The first paragraph was bold, oversized and single-spaced. The second paragraph was in delicate italics, and the third in "Olde Englande" style script.
I felt positively smug. My trusty electronic typewriter would never do that.
But where was my rejection letter? Maybe they didn't even see my manuscript. Maybe they were in such a hurry to reject this guy's story that they dove deep for a SASE and accidentally pulled my story down with his.
It was worth a try. I picked up a new manila envelope and slid a piece of bond into my faithful, reliable, glad-it's-not-a-computer typewriter. I composed an unusual cover letter:
May I have my own rejection letter, please? You inadvertently sent me a manuscript and rejection letter belonging to another writer. Is it possible my manuscript was overlooked? Please find it enclosed once more for your consideration.
P.S. I'm also returning the other writer's story.
A speedy two weeks later, I got everything I asked for--and then some. A rejection letter was attached to my perfect manuscript with a warm apology scribbled on it by the editor.
In the same mail was another rejection letter referring to the same perfect manuscript and signed by the assistant editor of the magazine.
There it was--proof positive that my story was read and rejected by at least two people. I now had my very own rejection letter. Two of them, in fact.
Well. I guess I showed them.
Pamela Willis is a full-time writer/editor and has published short stories and articles. She writes regularly for Eye On The Web (http://www.eyeontheweb.com) and is the author of a mystery novel in the Nancy Drew paperback series.
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|| Letting Go || || Out of Montana ||
|| PLEASE--REJECT ME! || || Sweet Release(Review) ||
|| The Results || || In Transition ||