A former teenage author turned twenty and her stabs at writing life and living to write.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Chesire Grin

No really, I can't think of any title that would suit this post, especially seeing as I have no clear plan of what this is going to even be about. Okay, so it has been forever since I've written anything... FOREVER!!! Ah yes, my public, you are missing me terribly. I know. No fear. I'm back.

I graduated High School. I feel that is worth mentioning, though both of my readers I think already know this. Still, it is a miracle to me that it actually happened. I am so grateful for all the people who have been with me through all of this. I may not have done High School in the conventional way, but I had strong people helping me through. I may not have experienced the traditional "High School Moments", but I don't feel like I've really missed anything. I hope I will feel the same way in twenty years, thinking of the glory days. (My glory days though will have to come in college, as my glory days of high school were mostly spent in hospital rooms and hooked up to oxygen tanks.)... Just sayin'!

Okay, so with college up ahead and a job search currently underway (if you know of a job, I could REALLY use one as I am broke), I have been less rigorously searching for agents. I did, however, receive a rejection letter that made me laugh a little (this is definitely the first one that made me do that). This is how it went.

Dear Ms. D'Arc,

At (redacted), we appreciate you submission to us of your novel, Jhevalia. Unfortunately, we found we were not able to accept it due to the fact we do not believe it is our kind of manuscript.

I personally had difficulty with the fact that your characters do not seem believable. You have a writing style and even the concept of your book could be very enthralling, but your first few chapters at least were much too squeaky clean. People simply aren't like that. I thus found it impossible to believe.


I had to laugh. First of all, I was really tempted to invite her down to Utah, to church. Then again, I'm wondering if she saw my letter came from Utah and was trying to show a "sheltered little Mormon girl" what the world was really like. And secondly, I'm writing YA (young adult). I can't imagine that most parents look especially hard to find books for their kids that are slimy and crude. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they scour the shelves looking for anything but something squeaky clean!! Heaven forbid my children don't get to read about horrible main characters who care nothing about themselves and behave in gross, scummy ways!! Anything but that!

Wow, I had a little more contempt built up there than I'd realized. Strange. In any case, I'm not going to dwell on it any more. These agents are from New York. Maybe they can't imagine a day where a line of swear words aren't repeated hourly. Maybe there is a lot of scum in their surroundings. It just made me terribly sad. I've always known the filth sold. I always knew that slime and sleaze were gobbled up on the rack. I just never knew there would be such a prejudice against something clean, against characters who stand for morals such as courage and purity. Yeah, that is really saddest part of all. Maybe the worst part is I knew it all along, on some level.

I do have to make those decisions now though. I have to firmly promise myself never to give in, even when the cost is high. Maybe someday I will find an agent whose interested, who promises publishers and contracts. And it will be so easy to be swept away in the thrill of the moment, to maybe let him/her change parts of my book that make it just what I don't want it to be, what my standards can't let it be. I have to make the decision now to keep my values high and to never raise them, no matter what the cost... no matter what.

I'm reminded of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (the book), when she meets the Chesire Cat (my absolute favorite character).

Chesire Puss, asked Alice. Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to go, said the Cat. I don't much care where, said Alice. Then it doesn't matter which way you go, said the Cat.

Oh, I totally have a title now.

No comments:

Post a Comment