Another rejection, and it’s all about the dog, the dog

Well, Foundry doesn’t want any of the five (or was it four?) poems I submitted.

They did mention that they liked Sundays, after the cat dies but unfortunately couldn’t find a place for it.

I think this means that they thought it sucked a little less than the rest of my work.

Submitting is a painful experience. There’s the initial spurt of enthusiasm, that giddiness that comes from hitting the Send button. Then the fear, the doubt. The weeks and often months that pass before, The Letter.

You know the one. You see it in your inbox and feel that cringed fascination because as long as you don’t open it, there’s still hope that it’s an acceptance letter.

Finally, you do (because, you know, curiosity and all) and there it is, brief and to-the-point:

Dear Writer:

Thank you for submitting your shitty little poems. Please burn them. On second thought, please burn all of your work and find a “real” job.


The Editors

Well, of course, it’s never quite that blunt but that’s what it feels like each time I receive one.

But, no matter. Because life is more than writing. It’s also running and hiking and taking long beach walks. And, of course, it’s about dogs. Because weathering rejection is so much easier when you have a four-legged pal that doesn’t give a damn about literary magazines and thinks your blackberry muffins are the greatest thing in the whole. entire. world.

A few days ago we took Seriously to the beach for a little romp. She loves the beach. I think the spongy sand must feel quite delicious against her paws because she goes wild, running up and down the beach chasing sticks and digging holes. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, a dog running wild on the beach like that.

Meaningless but interesting facts I can’t stop thinking about: According to the ASPCA, there are about 78 million dog owners in the US plus 85.8 million cat owners (though really, does anyone own a cat? It’s kind of the other way around).

American Pet Products Association estimates that we’ll spend a staggering $69.36 billion (yeah, billion) on our dogs this year.

Last year we spent $66.75 billion, on everything from pet food to doggy treats to vet bills, etc.

And there are some snazzy, and expensive, tech devices out there: doggy treadmills ($600-$800); PetChatz, which lets you facetime with your dog when you’re at work ($359); activity monitors ($100), collars with GPS ($150-$600) and even pet feeders with cameras that allow you to talk to Rover while he eats during those long afternoons you’re stuck at work and he’s home snoozing away on the sofa.

Luckily, Seriously is happy with long runs, chew bones and the occasional piece of cheese.

14 thoughts on “Another rejection, and it’s all about the dog, the dog

  1. Thank you for this. Just … thank you. And I stopped at where you started to share statistics because what really mattered was this … you keep submitting and putting your stuff out there, and you have a dog that loves running on the beach. Keep doing what you’re doing.

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  2. You’re so right about the hidden message in those rejection letters. They might as well say, “You damaged my eyes and brain with your ridiculous poems (novel, story). Go away. Now.” But we don’t mind. We just keep on truckin’, eh?

    Our dog is the same way on the beach. He goes utterly nuts there. It’s the one place he can really let down his hair, since he’s totally neurotic.

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  3. Whenever you get a rejection, remember this: “Because life is more than writing.” It is! It is! As much I want to see my writing in print, I don’t want it so bad that I feel my life is wasted without it. You take joy in your running and in Seriously. I take joy in my walking and in Maxine, Wendy, and Junior. Oh, and my husband 😉 Besides, you have been published and you will be published again. You have publications you can be proud of because you’re a damn good writer. Submit some more and then go for a run and forget about it 😉

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    1. Thanks so much, Marie, and I hear you. More and more I wonder if I really want to spend the next 20 years of my life sitting on my ass and writing. Or do I want to go out and live instead? Of course I could do both. But I’m kind of tired of sitting on my ass. P.S. Glad you also have good joys in your life.

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  4. Loved your comments on dog stuff. Think that I should get a “activity monetor for Molly so I can see how far she walks from the bed in the morning to my chair as I sip coffee to the floor as I walk on the treadmill and then to her cat bed to take a nap to rest up from all the activity so far in the day ha ha ha

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  5. Ugh, I hear you. Rejection sucks, and there’s so damn much of it in this line of work. I’ve been doing the same as you lately… wondering if I really want to keep doing this. (Even when I bypass the rejection and self-publish, there are the inevitable bad reviews, etc.) It’s a lot of work for not-so-much payoff. But I try to focus on the parts I like – the writing itself (and the editing. I love editing!). But still… it would almost be a relief to just give it all up and focus on other things – painting, reading, cooking, and definitely LONG walks on the beach with the dog! (What a great beach! Seriously looks fabulous!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, writing can be a pain in the ass sometimes. But still we keep on keeping on. Maybe we are deranged or maybe we see the world differently or maybe we are (god help us) biologically wired to write. But no matter, for there is always the joy of dogs, eh?

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