Writing is a solitary pursuit--the imagination guiding the hand moving the pen. I'm pretty old-school, valuing the work of good editors and the revisions process before letting my words go public. But life is short, right? And sometimes, just sometimes, we need to spout off.

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A writer, mother, teacher, friend, I love books, blizzards and beaches, music from Hildegard von Bingen to the Beatles to Bonnie Raitt to The Brood; I love medieval churches, red wine, creme caramel, and roasted beets, and walking the woods and coastlines of home. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Check out today's Globe and Mail, Books section, for a sadly hilarious satire--effective because it's so true--about how consumerism is eating the heart out of literary art.


It's enough to make you wanna live in a tent and eat berries and write yourself into the sunset, pencil in hand.

Maybe/probably it has always been like this, that the pursuit of ever-shrinking (??????) dollars drives what gets picked and what gets passed. Somehow, though, I think the (past) recession continues to give license to those whose knee-jerk response/first priority is covering their sorry arses and scrambling to make some/more money. No one wants to lose money, and nobody wants to go hungry.

BUT imagine the metric tonnes of literary works from the past that wouldn't have a hope today of ending up anywhere but in a landfill, if publishing had been dictated through the ages by dollar figures and sales projections (based on what, you have to wonder).

Under the current climate--so much more dog-eat-dog than when JK Rowling first entered the scene, lo, a decade ago--her initial 16 rejections (or whatever) might number in the 1600s now.

Oh ye of little faith.

Anyway, we'll rant and we'll roar like true word addicts. And take heart (sort of) that the idiocy sometimes somehow gets redeemed. For proof of this, here are just two fine examples:

Anne Frank's diary was rejected at least 13 times on the grounds that Frank lacked any 'special perceptions, feelings'.

Animal Farm by George Orwell was rejected by at least one sage publisher because ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.’

Lust for Life by Irving Stone, rejected 16 times (‘a long, dull novel about an artist’ ) found a publisher and went on to sell about 25 million copies.

For a plethora of examples, go to


(to list just two of a plethora of links) and smile all the way back to your desk, my friends!

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