mm and i have started a new sort of ceremony wherein when either of us receives some sort of creative blunting or rejection (be it for a grant, a publication, a contest)that we will celebrate. this is not merely to be ironic or to keep us from self-pity but also to in fact celebrate the fact that we're still trying to do what we want to do.
yesterday's celebration was a sort of benchmark in a way b/c we were both flummoxed and agitated by the rejection of mm's essay, not just her. Granted the essay involves the first wk of my diagnosis and how we handled it so i am probably over-protective since i'm in it. Also, it's taken from our memoir-in-progress and getting the essay published in a respected literary journal would be a boon so i have a stake in its success. All that aside though, it was the note they put on mm's rejection email, citing how impressed w/ the caliber of the writing, how stunning her 'scalpel-like insight's were to them but that ultimately they had to reject it b/c the essay was 'too familiar'. Familiar? Too freaking familiar?! Argh, my rage is rising as i type this out. Isn't every possible topic for an essay or a story familiar? It feels like a cop out. A dodge.
i mean, it's certainly their prerogative to reject whatever they want to reject. Of course. But to single out mm's insights and talents as particularly compelling and then reject them b/c of subject matter? What is she supposed to do w/ that information?
i am certainly biased in favor of mm's writing (and prone to both hyperbole and mythologizing) but these buffons are the Decca Records of the literary world. They will be sorry. They will rue the freaking day.
okay, i feel better now.