Dark and Stormy

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

Damn. That’s not right.

“It was a dark and stormy morning…”


I awoke to find that the heavens had given up the ghost and emptied the left over bath water from an exceptionally dry and muggy summer. As I considered whether or not it was even worth bothering with an umbrella I discovered a glaring red icon on my Mac desktop. I had an email.

Nothing all that new in that (although I don’t usually get that much mail), however, the fact that it was within my writing account suggested that someone was contacting me with regards this blog or possibly my manuscript submission.

Bleary eyed (it was dark and stormy after all), I clicked on the red stamp and watched as the screen went through the motions of revealing my mail. I sat there for a moment as I recognised the email address of the sender. It was from the literary agent that I had recently submitted my work to. As the arrow glided steadily across the screen I saw the beginnings of the response and new immediately that Halloween had arrived a week earlier this year.

It is akin to that moment of sudden and deathly clarity when you realise that standing just beyond the slightly ajar door is the machete-wielding maniac. The film is only half-way through and you know that means you haven’t got a hope in hell of surviving until the credits roll. That ticket is solely reserved for the hero/heroine of the movie and you definitely aren’t it.

The agent’s response, or rather that of her personal assistant, was short and sweet. My submission had been read but they did not wish to pursue it any further. Thank you and goodnight.

It happens. That is my third rejection to date. I shall send it out again, although I am having alternative thoughts. There is the possibility that I will need to consider rewriting it and have the story told in one, stand-alone, volume. It may well be the fact that the book is only the first of three that is getting it rejected. On the other hand, perhaps I need to reject the build up I had crafted and jump straight into the action from the get go. Another possibility is that the story or work itself is just plain rubbish.

It would be nice to have a measure of feedback, however negative it might be. Whether one buys into the criticism is up to them, but it would be nice to have a viewpoint from inside the industry to consider. I responded politely and briefly with a one-sentence question but have not received a reply. I probably won’t in all honesty.

My other thought has been to possibly let the novel rest for now and concentrate on another work of fiction that I have started. This would be a single volume story of around 50,000-65,000 words that would fit within the boundaries of publication. Perhaps I need to get my foot in the door with something else first and then look at getting my larger work published once I have someone willing to believe in my ability.

Hmm. I think the lurker behind the door is getting somewhat restless. I should just get it over with and throw open the door for them. Of course, it is important to appear surprised on such occasions.

Pleasant nightmares and have a delightfully terrifying All-Hallow’s Eve!


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