welcome readers & writers! in this cyber space please find: + a photo writing prompt + a place to post your creative writing response (poem, memoir, short story or the like) to the prompt + a community of readers and fellow writers excited to read your writing + morsels of genuine fiction, poetry & creative non-fiction as the blog is updated. share a response as often as you'd like. everyday discoveries from my life, captured on film, will serve as prompts. this is not a place where we will critique one another's work; however, words of encouragement or praise for writers who share their work are most welcome. writers, share your story, poem or creative non-fiction response to the photo by clicking on comments; word count is flexible. cheers! demery

Friday, July 30, 2010


hello writers & readers.  this  first week of blogging has been a kick.  thank you for writing with me - i love reading your work!  as always, many thanks to our readers for making what we do real.
today's photo prompt may be familiar to anyone who's queried agents or publishers.  rejection is a fact of life for writers, and sometimes it feels impossible just to get your stuff read before the word "no" appears in the old inbox.  the publishing world works in such a way that you often hear that "no" based solely on your idea, meaning that your actual book (or even part of it) is not read before being dismissed.  so here's my fantasy about what it would be like to get someone with power to just actually read my novel, beginning to end, before making a decision:

Any novelist can tell you about the importance of an elevator pitch.  It's that jazzy, one sentence pitch that must be spit polished and ready at any moment in case you have the good fortune of stepping onto an elevator with a high profile literary agent.  Here's how it went down for me.  Literally.  Last summer, at a writers' conference, in the clear glass elevator of a hotel and conference center, I caught my big break.  I'd been riding the elevator up and down for an hour and a half in hopes of having a literal elevator pitch moment with as many agents as possible.  Original, right?  As I pressed the down button one last time, he put his hand in the door and stepped in.  It was THE agent I'd been hoping to meet; the agent who represents not one - but two - of my favorite novelists, writers whose style I try most to emulate.
I make a little joke about elevator pitches, then bleat out a little laugh.  He nods, checks his watch, and smiles a, well, tolerant smile.  I suppose he's comforting himself with the fact that the ride will soon be over and how my pitch will just melt quietly away into the pool of words shared with him by with the other three hundred and seventeen conference attendees he's heard from this weekend.  I swallow hard and begin.  "When a budding home and gardens columnist gets the opportunity of a lifetime..."  Glancing up at him I see that his eyes are already glazed over.  I contemplate starting again, take two but with more enthusiasm and I'll try to look ten years younger and fifteen pounds thinner.  Then there's a jolt, the elevator stops, the emergency lighting kicks on and we look out to see that the lobby is dimly lit as well.  We are stuck.  Just the two of us (and a room service attendant with a rolling cart full of snacks and drinks).  The whole gaggle of aspiring writers in the lobby below are looking up at us, craning their necks to see who's inside.  When they figure it out they're going to hate me, every last one of them.  Even my writing group sisters will hate me, just for now, because I've got an agent trapped.  And I didn't even have to use duct tape.  He speaks not a word to me for the first two hours, but when his cell phone battery finally dies he mentions that his "team" reported that the whole city grid is down, that we'll be elevator-bound for the rest of the afternoon, maybe even through the night.  He turns to me and says, "Right.  What's your name again?"  I tell him.  "Do you have your novel with you?"  "Of course," I say.  "Read," he says, cracking open a Diet Coke and making himself comfortable on the floor.  I sit down beside him and read.  Eight  and a half hours later we emerge, me, the agent, and Stewart (the room service attendant).  The men are dabbing tears out of their eyes with the sleeves of their shirts.  Their faces are aglow with laughter and new insight.  And folks call my novel chick lit.  "You're in," says the agent, handing me his card. "Call me on Monday."
how about you?  spin us a little tale about rejection or success in writing or another of your pursuits.  submit your piece by clicking on comments below.  200(ish) words or less - i'm flexible.  enjoy!


  1. “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” –Walter Wellesley Smith
    For some of us, writing comes as naturally as breathing. When we get inspired, the words pour from our soul, jumping seamlessly from our brains, splashing onto the pages. Then there are the times when our muses seem to have deserted us, and we want so badly to be able to write, but there’s just nothing there. Even then, even when we have nothing to write, writers feel like they need to write in order to live. And every day that the writer’s block remains, it’s like we’re dying slow, painful deaths.
    It’s no wonder that every piece we writers produce feel more like a offspring then just a piece of writing. It’s not just a story or an article—it’s part of us. It’s a picture of who we are, who we want to be, our hopes, our fears, our dreams. So, it’s only natural that when someone rejects our writing, it’s personal. It’s not just the book or the story or essay that’s being rejected—it’s the writer. Or so it feels.

  2. I look at that piece of paper there ~ right there in the picture and think "Screw it." Never submitting the work that really isn't, I GET rejected, before I can BE rejected ... by never taking the risk to try. I can't really put my finger on it. I feign confidence. I actually CAN BE confident ... sometime ... but just today, I was rejected Big time. It's a job I Really needed. I NEED to pay my mortgage. I think I might have been trying too hard. I felt a bit desperate, a vulnerable smile, a weak hand shake. She did say I was really good for the position. a "people person, great experience, wonderful skills." But 60 other people applied ... and there will always be someone better .... always. That's the reason I like to write. Even if there is someone better, people always have the unquenchable desire to read even more, something new, something different. So I take baby steps and risk just a little. I risk just enough, just by letting someone else read my thoughts; read it here on this blog. And I don't have to be worried about getting a rejection letter. I'm just sharing ... no risk but no real gain either.

  3. rejected
    its the way you feel when that popular butt-head in high school told you how worthless you are
    its the way you feel when your not invited to the party with all the people you thought were your friends
    its the way you feel when your older sibling locks you out of their room every time a friends over and then is still surprised that no one knew they had younger siblings
    its the way you feel when you walk into a new school and no one gets up to say hi or acknowledge you in any way.
    its the way you felt when you walked into that cafeteria in middle school and everyone stared and when you tried to sit by the cheerleaders and football team you were laughed at and humiliated
    these are all the stereotypical rejections
    but what about when your key wont start your car
    or when your credit card is declined
    or when u try to hang up a coat and it just cant seem to stay
    no matter how annoying both kinds seem
    the rejections we have no control over seem to hurt us most
    how about getting a new key to start the car
    or keep up with your credit bills
    or ask for help or use your arms and hold your coat yourself
    but either way i believe that we should try to not take any of these rejections so personally
    now i know this is going to make me seem like a hypocrite because i never take rejections well
    so im going to try and think of this more like if i can not take them badly then anyone can
    rejections... they are never easy