Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rejection Dejection...And My First List!

So I'm a little bummed out today because I have three more rejections sitting in my inbox than I did yesterday. While part of me wants to whine about the process in the hopes that a few people will feel sorry for me, another part of me knows that 1. rejection is part of the deal 2. there are some reading this who've been rejected more times than Barack Obama has said "uh" and 3. nobody really likes a whiner.

So instead of that, I'm going to recycle something I posted on a blog before I had three names. (Apologies to family members who've already read this.)

This is a list of ten overrated foods and drinks. This is not to be considered a “top ten” because I’m sure I missed a number of overrated items. Also, this is not a “foods and drinks that suck” list. These are foods and drinks that are held in high esteem by many people, but which in reality suck for some reason. As always, feel free to add your own, but remember the guidelines here. No fair putting “mushrooms” for instance. Everyone knows mushrooms are awful and if you like them, you’re the one that’s abnormal.

TEN OVERRATED FOODS and DRINKS (in no particular order)

** Marshmallows–not a food. More like a Styrofoam-chalk hybrid. And before you get all “but what about s’mores?!” on me, s’mores suck too and it’s not the fault of the graham cracker or the chocolate.

** Lobster–too much work, not enough meat. I don’t like my food to challenge me.

** Raisins–this one’s borderline because I don’t actually know any adults that sit around and eat these things. However, when I was a kid I do remember eating raisins and even then I wondered why. It is my firm belief that if there were no children in this world, raisins would cease to exist. (And so would this song. And this song. And whatever the hell this is.)

** Caviar–Never had it. Don’t need to. Gross.

** Fried chicken–Similar to lobster in that it tastes good, but it’s a pain in the you-know-what to eat. You have to gnaw at it like a caveman and then the skin always comes off in one piece, and then when you get down to the bone you either have the choice of sucking off every last morsel of meat and in the process dealing with parts that aren’t really meat but also aren’t bone, or you can just say the hell with it and risk having someone (usually older and male) say, “There’s still some meat on there.” I'll take the chicken fingers.

** Cupcakes–Maybe this is because I’m a teacher and some kid brings me one almost every day for their birthday, but cupcakes are the poor man’s dessert. Cake is good. Cups are useful. Put them together and you get a cruddy treat.

** Heineken beer–I believe most people who can drink this so-called adult beverage do so only because it makes them feel sophisticated and superior to those of us who drink beers that actually taste good (okay, decent). These same people buy fancy cheeses and claim to know things about wine.

** Water–I know I’m supposed to drink this, but I almost always find myself drinking something with flavor instead. It’s not so much that water is bad (it can’t really be described as anything other than neutral), it’s that so many other beverages taste better. Grape Kool-Aid, for example.

** Corn on the cob–I’m sure someone out there is, at this very moment, getting their hackles up (I've always wanted to write that), but in corn on the cob we have a food that isn’t very good to start with (corn) that we put on this big cylindrical thing (the cob) that makes it harder to eat. If you actually want to eat it while the corn is still hot, you need these things. Then, even if you succeed at getting the corn off the cob and into your mouth you are left with little bits of kernel stuck in your teeth that your tongue will diddle the rest of the day. You will also still be hungry, because there just isn’t that much corn on the cob.

** Watermelon–Don’t get me wrong, I like watermelon, but it’s still overrated. A lot of people adore watermelon and that’s taking it too far. First, if we’re talking about the fruit in its natural state, there is the seed problem (See fried chicken, lobster, and corn on the cob). Second, watermelon almost tastes really good. It’s like when you make grape Kool-Aid but only put in half the needed sugar. The thing is, watermelon mostly tastes like water and you already know how I feel about that stuff.

So there it is. A couple of things. First, I'm not very cosmopolitan, so there are lots of foods that I have never eaten and probably never will that did not have the chance to make the above list. Feel free to add them in the comments (and expose yourself as an elitist snob).

Second, I do realize that the above could still be considered whining, which I sort of implied I wasn't going to do. My defense is simple. The top ten overrated foods isn't whining, it's more like complaining. Or grumbling. Very different things. In my experience, people don't mind complaining, as long as it's done somewhat humorously. (So you'll have to be the judge of that. And don't let the fact that corn on the cob is on the list affect your overall enjoyment of the post. That's not fair.)

Third. Yes, "elitist snob" is redundant, but I feel strongly about it and when I feel strongly about something, redundancy is an excellent weapon.

Off to gather some more rejections!


Anita said...

You must never have tasted Colorado water.

Was there any feedback in the rejections?

Unknown said...

No to both. Although I have tasted Oregon water, right from the waterfall. And it was pretty good, but I was probably influenced by the setting.

As to the rejections. I've received seven and if you added the word counts of all seven, you might get to 50.

Anita said...

Have the rejections included samples of the manuscript or just the query?

Unknown said...

Six were query only. One with manny, but who knows whether the agent got that far, eh?

Two still out.

I'll rework before the next batch.

Anita said...

I wouldn't worry unless you're getting rejected with your first chapter having obviously been read. If it gets to the point where you've had a few rejections with first chapters and no feedback, feel free to send me the first chapter and I'll let you know my thoughts, if you want them.

Anonymous said...

Oregon water is the best water on the planet!! I should know - I grew up there. Now I live in Utah, where the water tastes like you're licking a rock. Blech!

Sorry about the rejections. At least it proves you're actually doing something and not just one of those "thinking" writers - the one's who like to talk about being a writer without actually doing anything to get there.

Lily Cate said...

I think I'm going to have to post a response to this classic food snobbery, Paul.

About the rejections, at this point, try to see them as a sign of progress. When I got my first rejection for a short story from a magazine, I framed it and hung it above my computer for a while.
It was a reminder that I had gotten farther than 90% of the people who say, "gee, I'd like to be a writer."
I actually wrote something.
Now, I'm on to that next step of trying to write something, you know, good.

Unknown said...

Don't worry, Paul. More than likely, you'll get many more rejections, it's the nature of the business. You'll eventually find the right person who's passionate about your work, which from what little of it I've read, is really good. These agents are missing out. (and I'm not just saying that) Hang in there. Take a few steps back to take a giant leap forward.

Unknown said...

Also, don't be shy about including your first chapter after the query in the body of the email. Don't attach it because many agents don't open docs unless they've requested them. I often put my first chapter in the body of the email with something at the end of the query like "I have included the first chapter so you can get a real sense of the story." It's worked so far and at least forces said agent to read further, if nothing more, out of curiosity. Okay, I'll shut up now.

chris said...

sorry about the rejections. it's okay, you can whine about it. i still do.

i'm by no means a query expert, but if you'd like i can take a look at your query and/or first few pages.

as for your list, i was reading it and nodding my head. I was on board with you. but then you dissed cupcakes. that's not cool, paul michael murphy. at first when i read your viscious remarks about cupcakes i cried a little bit. i curled up into a ball next to my washing machine and sobbed on my dirty laundry. but then some song called "hero" came on the radio. and i realized i needed to be strong. becasue that's what heroes do. so i baked a dozen cupcakes and ate them all with extra frosting.

Kelly Polark said...

Sorry about the rejections, but you are right. That is to be expected in this tough biz.
Funny list. I happen to love fried chicken with corn on the cob in the summer! It's messy but good!
I agree with water. I wish I could make myself drink more!

Unknown said...

Thank you all for the kind words of support.

Lily--I look forward to your response. The first 25 rejections or so were kind of fun. Like paper badges of courage. Now, they basically suck.

Tracy--thanks for the advice. I actually did send it along to one agent even though they didn't request it and I'll probably continue to do so. What's the worst that can happen? (Rhetorical)

Anita and Chris--expect something soon in your inboxes. The more eyes the merrier.

Kelly--how was the trip? (Apologies if you blogged about it. Haven't been blog surfing yet today.)

Ray Veen said...

Here's an idea: eat your rejections. They'll probably taste nasty, and then you can add them to your list.

Unknown said...

Big V--I'm a sadist. I save them.

Carrie Harris said...

I happen to like Heineken, but I'll still commiserate with you on the rejections. Rejections suck rocks.

Martha Flynn said...

Rejections are a bummer. When I get them, I tend to make myself feel better with some down home fried chicken or a cupcake....