Back on my Feet?

I often try to surprise myself…. I google my name and see what comes up, and I was stunned today to find a short story I wrote for The Kathmandu Post online. The editors didn’t get back to me, to tell me whether they liked it or not, and I assumed they did not like it.

Well, I wrote this piece, only about 1,000 words long, the shortest story I’ve ever published, in an attempt to get back to my writing feet. True, I did manage a novel last year (which I’m desperately trying to sell) but a publisher, who read the entire book, said she didn’t like the ‘disjointed narrative’ and that the portrayal of women is ‘dangerously close to offensive’ – I couldn’t understand what ‘disjointed narrative’ meant, but why did she think the book is offensive to women?

That little rejection note did put down my spirits a lot. It summed up my writing life. All hard trying and lots of praises from editors (the above editor did commend the book as being ‘well written’ and having ‘a vivid and unusual imagination’. But I’m tired of praises. I want to see my stuff in print.

It’s like in the film business, where I have a leg (though I put a leg in there purely for commercial reasons, while I write prose for therapeutic reasons, maybe) I keep getting loads of praises, but no success. I keep fearing that I will end up as a ‘almost was great’ (like this guy who ended up eaten by wild bears, they say he competed against Woody Harrelson for the role in Cheers, and he came second) That’s the thing I don’t want to be. Praised. Showing potential. But ending up eaten by wild bears in some godforsaken spot of land.

Which is why I love writing short stories. At least it is easy to get them published, and that keeps a dim candle of hope burning somewhere in my stomach.

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