So now I have the dreaded task of following up with those some 53 people who received review copies but have not contacted me. Are they interested in writing a review? Did they read it and think the book was unworthy of a review? Have they not had chance to read the book yet? I obviously hope for the latter. In my marketing book, the writers indicate that you should call. It’s harder to avoid a call than an email, but in this day and age, most people find the phone an intrusion and violation. I will probably just email, but I do know (oh so well) that is is VERY VERY easy to ignore emails.
Yesterday I had a temporary lapse in faith. I was with my son at the mall. We were picking up some photos, and he saw the food court and the area designated for small children. They have various rides, like a train, a car, etc., for kids his age. He had been such a wonderful boy, so I promised him that he’d get to ride one. Well the change machine was not working, and the rides only take quarters. I had only .50 and one ride cost .75. I asked the lady who was working the sweet stand next to it for change. She promptly replied that they do not provide change for non-customers; that is not their policy. I spent the next 10 minutes trying to find change from someone. I was not asking for a handout. I had .25 in dimes and nickels; I just needed another quarter. Did I get it? Nope. No one had the decency to help, even after my wallet opened and pennies, dimes, and nickels spilled everywhere. No one cared though it was obvious that it was for my small boy who had been waiting so patiently for his chance to ride. Heartbroken, I ended up buying a soda at another place and then getting some change there. Still… what is wrong with people? Why did no one offer change? I was shocked and saddened. This incident may have to make it into one of my stories, though obviously it will be fictionized (I know that’s not a word). Sometimes things happen, and I lose total complete faith in the human race and its ability to empathize. I must move forward.
Rejections–I got one from Memoir (and) for a nonfiction piece I wrote about my mother and her cooking. It’s gotten some good praise, but no one wants it. I think it’s good, and I refuse to revise it. It seems these days, journals that publish nonfiction want it to read like a story with vivid details, description, and movement as opposed to exposition. My piece reads more like a personal essay.
I was very bummed that I received a quick rejection from Versal. They had held onto my story last year to the final round, and this year I was cut so quickly. They only take one submission a year, so alas, I must wait a full year. They will probably forget me by then. I also was rejected by Gulf Coast – my worst rejection yet for the story that has gotten personalized responses from Missouri Review and many other journals. So… goes to show that there is no “standard.” And they tell you to read their journals to get an idea, which I do, but you still just don’t know.
I wrote an Op-Ed a few weeks ago in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement. There is an Occupy movement going on here in Albuquerque. I have not gone to any of the actual protests, but I did go to a sit-in at the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice to raise money for the people in New York. I haven’t gone to the protests because I don’t want to bring my son there in case the police get rowdy. I also don’t want to get arrested (luckily the police have been tame here) since I am the primary caregiver for my son. I know people go with their children, but I am just not willing to take that risk. My husband and I have talked about rotating shifts and going, but so far, it has not worked out with our schedules and his travel itinerary. Though I think there are other ways to show your support, so I have been writing letters, sending donations, signing petitions, making calls. The Albuquerque Journal will be publishing my Op-Ed next week, so I hope that helps the cause some too. Having a child makes this cause even that much more important to me.