The Zombie Apocalypse: Phyne Dyning Style

In General Information on July 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm

A few months ago, I reached behind my blog’s respirator and pulled the plug. The patient died as expected and I set off with my sea bag over my shoulder, now completely unencumbered and free to roam. I set off to finish my great American novel.

I finished it.

Now, I have two newly labelled drawers in the file cabinet next to my desk. One drawer is labelled, “Rejections”. The other has a plain black mourning band around the drawer pull. It is the draw in which I file the letters containing the concluding lines: “We are no longer accepting unsolicited manuscripts. We will contact you when this policy changes. Thank you for your interest in _____________.”

I may need two more drawers.

My agent, Linda, still answers my calls. That’s something, I suppose.

When the rejection letters began arriving by the bagful, she suggested that I keep plugging along. When a rejection arrived from a publisher in Ghana arrived, she recommended the services of a writing coach.

The needle on my BSI (Bull Shit Indicator) began to twitch. A lot of money changes hands between struggling writers and writing coaches. I could hear my long-dead father’s voice balefully intoning, “Those who cannot do…teach.” Of course, I was all over the idea like a West Texas vulture on a week-dead coyote.

My coach turns out to be plural. It seems that coaching amateur writers is a default occupation of retired composition professors and publishing house reviewers.

They coach via the Kiss-Kick-Kiss model: “Your writing shows great promise. It sucks now. But it is obvious that you have diamond-in-the-rough talent.” After a dozen re-writes, the coaching paradigm  changed. “It is the object of our efforts that you improve. Try to think what has happened that may be adversely affecting your writing. Personal problems? Pressure?”

Then, it dawned on me. Without his monster, Dr. Frankenstein was just a creepy old guy with a bunch of surplus electronics stuff stored in a castle.

I had pulled the plug on my monster.

The journey continues.


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