Monday, August 21, 2017

Paulo Freire - An Incredible Conversation

"A curious being must create in oneself a virtue..."

Another highgrade rejection with helpful tips

My brief time enrolled in Goddard's MFA program, I attended some great workshops. I recall an agent saying if a rejection includes a request for more work, get on it. I have collected my share. I had to return to older emails to find out who wanted more of my writing, who liked it, who requested full manuscripts  etc. One agent, I stumbled on, Andrea Somberg had requested fulls, expressed an interest in a couple of my novels, and she was extremely helpful.  Unfortunately, this latest novel 40 Days of Asylum has taken longer (going on three years now) but encouraging words from Somberg inspire me to keep going. (also see video below...the brilliant William H. Macy interview, and his experience in Goddard College). I do wish I had completed my MFA there. (sigh)

Dear Elizabeth, 

There's some beautiful prose in these pages -   in fact, the quality of writing is far superior to most of the material that crosses my desk.  I also thought these pages had a great sense of atmosphere and I found Eliot and Lenore to be intriguing, multi-dimensional protagonists.  It's with real regret, though, that I must admit that I ultimately didn't fall in love with the manuscript as much as I had hoped. Perhaps part of the problem is that I never felt fully grounded in the world or in the storyline itself. As a result, I found it tough to feel fully invested. Elizabeth,  in spite of this manuscript's considerable strengths, I'd better bow out. I suspect that, based on my above reservations, I just wouldn't be the best advocate for the project. 

Thanks so much for contacting me, though, and for giving me this opportunity!  It is much appreciated, and I'm sorry to be passing. This is such a subjective business -  I'm sure another agent will be a better fit.  I do think you're a very talented writer. If you ever find yourself without representation but with a new project on your hands, I would love to hear from you. Regardless, though, thanks again, and all the very best of luck on the road ahead.   

best, Andrea

Sunday, August 20, 2017

excerpt: 40 Days of Asylum Alice Beckett and Jesus

Alice Beckett asked me if I ever saw Jesus Christ. I told her I did not. She said she saw him recently at the foot of her bed. I want to believe it is Jesus, she said. But then I wonder. I asked her what he looked like and she said he had magnificent height and very light features, delicate like snow,  chiseled features, and aquamarine eyes like the Caspian Sea, she said.That sounds too perfect, I told her. Jesus was dark skinned with dark features and he was short. She looked away from me then and was quiet. I said I was not sure about these things. She then went on about the size of the Caspian Sea and how they determined that the hummocks are to blame for the scratch marks on the floor. I wonder if he’s sending me a message. That was last week. Now she sleeps, probably sedated. She is too young to be disregarded. But I keep silent. I know they are tricky and could use it against me like ammunition.

The Altering

Inspiration for poem is Sylvie's preoccupation (novel). Glad to be a contributor to Tree House with The Altering. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Novel Musings and rejections

I'm back to my old blog.

Musings and novel updates...slow going, years (close to three total now) and each page, each of Sylvie's entries, continues on, evolving. It is consuming, and it seems to be a part of me, always there like a close friend.

I'm still convinced it may just be too quirky for mainstream publishers and so I will try smaller ones more apt to consider works that are literary, not so much plot driven. I'm almost halfway there, but the opening pages, I've spent painstaking hours on as these, will be the first ones to catch the agent's eye, and these pages will either seal the deal or get it rejected.

I may submit another excerpt. Speer Morgan, Editor of The Missouri Review (TMR), to whom I grateful and always impressed, referred to it as a "close call" and wanted to see more of my work, even provided a brief critique.

This story is what I call a "close call." It's quite well written, coherent, with two strong personalities and a meaningful friendship that is convincingly described.

The reason that I am going to pass on it is that it brings up too many questions without enough suggestions of final focus or meaning, and because I think that it's conversational form is finally not the strongest way to present it. Potential themes are ageing, unlikely friendship, feminism (in a specific historical context), relationship demise, etc., but none of them is finally circled around or strong enough in thematic focus.

Anyway, you are a fine writer, and I hope I see more from you.

Speer Morgan
It may seem pathetic, but affirmation from Speer Morgan is big for me and this is a high grade rejection. I'm close. If I get a story in a top tier magazine such as TMR then I get more visibility and greater chances of securing an agent for my novel. I will start submitting another round in the upcoming days.

Annointing up in Sleet Magazine and other

New publication here Sleet Magazine    And cute pic of Jack, the greatest showman And excerpt... Ro was a good boy, Josi felt.  She n...