Too Many Dead Children Stories

One of my summer projects is to go through my stacks and stacks of “stuff” and bring some kind of order to the chaos.  One such area is my idea box.  It is stuffed with all sorts of writing ideas–papers, napkins, post-it notes, etc., all shoved in without rhyme or reason.  Somewhere in the bottom I was sure there was an idea for the next best seller!

One piece of paper I came upon was something I had saved from an editor where I had made a query.  His response as to why he was not interested in reviewing my piece was that there were already too many dead children stories.  Can you imagine what it was like to get such an insensitve letter addressing an article I had written on the death of my baby!

I just got a great idea for a mystery thriller:  An insensitve editor has to live through all the plots of the stories and articles he has rejected till he develops compassion.  Nah, maybe it wouldn’t sell.

About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
This entry was posted in memories, Thoughts, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Too Many Dead Children Stories

  1. jmgoyder says:

    What a horrible editor.

  2. reinkat says:

    Such a typical editor response–and yet every writers’ organization seems to tell us that it is encouraging to get a response at all. You do develop a thick hide in this profession.
    I have had similar experiences, and belonging to professional organizations and attending seminars and conferences illuminated me to the fact that old-fashioned editor, a wise and astute professional, is seldom seen anymore. They have been replaced by young (VERY young) recent college graduates at low wages. They might have talent but not yet enough life experience to speak with tact and compassion. Maybe more oriented to “product” and merchandising than beautiful writing. Turnover is very high, pressure to perform is great.
    I am sure you know all of this already. Before I turned exclusively to iconography, I was a writer and illustrator, and spent decades dealing with editors like yours. I haven’t missed it a bit, either.

  3. Write it anyway and send it to a different editor. 😉

  4. Wow, what a jerk. I can’t believe he worded it like that! Did he even read it? What a jerk! (can’t say that enough). I kind of like your idea for the next story – kind of a reverse “Its a Wonderful LIfe” idea.

    • Yeah. Maybe he had a bad day, but it was really ridiculous. A query lays out the basic story in hopes that the place will say, yeah send me the whole thing for publication consideration. This was from a QUERY LETTER ABOUT THE DEATH OF MY FIRST CHILD AND SOME OF THE LESSONS (i hate cap lock!!!!) I learned through it.

      • I’ve sent several queries and had fairly decent rejections. Is that an oxymoron? 😛
        Sorry you had to experience such callousness. Hopefully you won’t run accros anyone else like him.

        • If it was the only one, I would have gone under my bed never to come out. Well, maybe not. But I had a lot of articles published and some helpful and friendly rejections. This one always stood out because he was insensitive at the most vulnerable place in me.

        • Again, I am so sorry for his “jerkiness” I’m glad you have some positive things to replace the memory with. And your humor and sunny outlook is a testimony that it did not scar you for life. I am glad our we would all be missing out on your talent!

        • Thank you. You are sweet. There are lots of things to scar, but that’s where choice comes in–to let it bury you or rise above. I feel buried often, but I think that is why God gave me the ability to write poetry and music, to laugh, and to see beauty in His creation; otherwise, I would have no balance and be swallowed up. Feeling deeply needs the balance of expression.

        • We all have to find our outlets; I think you have nailed yours on the head! I’m not sure I’ve totally found mind. Nothing covers the scars effectively so I choose to try to distract them by watching marathons of my favorite si fi movies!

        • If it helps! Probably better than chick flics. 🙂

        • Healing is a process, and sometimes a very long one.

        • Sometimes I like chick flicks too, especially ones like Pride and Prejudice.
          Yes, it is a process, and you would think after 35 years I would be completely healed.

        • There are parts of sorrow that are never healed, I think, but we learn to go on and hope for the future without these sorrows.

  5. nutsfortreasure says:

    OMG it would be a BEST SELLER do you know how many writers who go to see them squirm 🙂

    Sorry you had that kind of stuff to deal with yes clean up ciaos and START WRITING!

  6. dorannrule says:

    I love your new idea for a mystery and I would send it over and over again to that miserable editor! Maybe he will recognize himself.

  7. bdh63 says:

    I’m very sad for your loss. I’m sure you wrote a moving, wonderful story. I’m sad that any person involved with words would put a rejection so callously, but the world is full of oblivious people and also those who make terrible mistakes. It’s hard for artists to be rejected at all, because we put part of our soul into our work.

    • Thanks for your kind words. Out of all the correspondence I had with editors at that point when I was actively pursuing publication, that was the worst.

    • The only other thing similarly cruel thing was a poetry prof who mocked the poem I wrote processing my dad’s death. The part of his comment “everybody dies” took the cake!

      • bdh63 says:

        Men. Enough said. 🙂 I once was meeting with a man and his daughter. The daughter told me that her mother had died, and started to cry. The father was impatient and told her, that was a year ago. I looked at her face, all crumpled and sad, and I told her that I had lost my mother many years ago, and that the pain never entirely goes away. It’s okay to be sad. They both seemed surprised, and oddly enough, the father seemed chastened and more sympathetic. I wondered at the time if he was embarrassed by grief. Maybe afraid of grieving himself, and that’s why he tried to get his daughter to stop. I feel sad that men don’t feel able to grieve. It’s cruel. I feel sad for those men. I try to support my boys in having emotions.

        • The environment I was in really didn’t allow me to fully grieve my daughter’s death. We were in ministry, and people expected us to be stronger than we were. But it is not just in the church. Some folks are much more ready for you to be done grieving than you are, which only prolongs grief. I grieved deeply for most of my life, and though I am in a much better place, you never forget. You never get over it as some would have you do.

        • bdh63 says:

          You have to move on and keep living, but you can do that without forgetting. Most people just don’t want to talk about it, ever. I still find that surprising. It’s part of life. To have people we remember is a privilege and honor. Not a burden. Hugs!

  8. pattisj says:

    It sounds like that editor needs someone with a heart to write the rejection letters!

  9. Maybe if there are so many such stories, an editor would be wise to compile them and publish a book!

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