The “Unpublishable” Story

The unpublishable story.  Every writer seems to have one that he or she sends around relentlessly to no avail. I wonder sometimes if editors ever ask one another if they have been sent “that” story yet.

This is the tale of one such story.  I won’t say its title, because I’m still sending it out, and I don’t want to prejudice anyone against it.

I have workshopped the story.  Even though we’re not supposed to talk about the stories with those outside of workshop, everyone seemed to know about mine.  I’ve gotta say, I was proud that it was being talked about, and I (wrongly) surmised that it would be quickly published if I sent it out.  Wrong!

I have targeted it to specific markets.  I have shortened it.  I have sent it in to contests.  Nothing.

Two different film makers have seen it, and one even said he liked it and that he has some specific ideas for it, but I haven’t heard back from him.

The story is creepy and sensual.  It mentions taboo subjects and things in unsual contexts.  It involves one of my enduring passions — food.  All in all, it’s a “Drematale.”  But it hasn’t been picked up yet. Why not?

I could say there’s no accounting for tastes, but I feel a bit more defensive about it than that: “What?  You don’t like my baby?  What’s wrong with her?  No, what’s wrong with YOU?”  She’s got some beautiful eyes and a sweet voice.  I love the way her nose swoops.  So far, I’m the only one who likes her.  But then I’m the one who picks up twisted chairs and odd bits during Spring Cleanup that no one else would touch because I “see” something in them, either a line or a patina that I adore.

This is not a tale of triumph, not yet.  This is a tale of perseverance.  I WILL get this story published, because I believe in her, and because she was conceived in my favorite coffeehouse during on morning when the baristas were laughing and singing and the bread scented the air and it was just the perfect morning, the perfect memory.  I’ll keep you posted.

What’s the story behind “your” unpublishable story?

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I Want to Launch a Little Free Library!

Do you know about Little Free Libraries?  I first read about them in Writer’s Digest, and then again at a conference I went to last Friday.  I was lying in bed reading WD and was so charmed by them that accidentally woke my husband by exclaiming over them.  Now I want to put one up!

When I was a child, I did not have access to a library. My parents had books, scads of them, but they were just occasionally obtained odd box lots.  I lusted after books.  Sadly, the few books on the shelves at my grammar school were uninspiring and we were not encouraged to take them home anyway.

When I was in high school the state started a library that loaned books through the mail, and I was delighted!  They printed a catalog and you sent in your card to request the books you wanted.  I was always delighted to come home and find out what books had come in the mail for me.

So, what is a Little Free Library?  It’s this:

(Image from http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/little-free-library-originals.html .)

Yes, you erect a little box not much bigger than a birdhouse in your yard to encourage people to take a book and return it when they are finished reading it.

The irony about my wanting one is that we live less than a block from the library.  But I want so badly to go back in time and give my child self books.  Perhaps I could partner with a friend of mine who is working diligently to fix up my hometown.  They still don’t have a library there, at least not in the rural area where I lived.

In the meantime, I still want to put one up, because I know that some of my students have children who cannot check out books due to fines or lost materials.   Perhaps if we put up a library, the gaggle of children who gather a block down to wait for the school bus  (or their parents) would stop by for a book.  I’d like to think so.

We’ll see if I do or not.  What about you, would you consider doing this?