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?