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  • Writer's pictureerinkirsh

The Losing Game: Writing Rejections 41-45/100

Back again, friends. Back and overridden with Sunday evening ennui. Today's Sunday ennui is exacerbated by the fact that today, for the first time, I gathered with three lovely friends and opted to Try Something New. For those of you who know me personally, you know that's not really my jam. I'm an upper case Creature of Habit. I'd rather rewatch a show I know I love than try a new one, even if someone I trust has recommended it to me. I order takeout from the same delicious restaurant every week, and 9/10 times, I order the same thing. (Daal, bhindi masala, and kadai paneer. If I'm ever put on deathrow and verbally incapacitated, please request this for my last meal.) But lately I've been feeling like I want to expand my skillset, and like I'd like to learn a hobby that is not only creative, but useful. I suggested to my mother recently that I'd like to learn woodworking, and this was her reaction:

Okay, it was actually, "You will lose both of your thumbs." So I aimed smaller: today, I tried to learn the noble art of embroidery. The three friends I went with all made decent progress. I? I could not even thread the needle. I tried for close to fifteen minutes. The instructor suggested I change thread twice and eventually just did it for me. I unstitched more than I stitched, which is to say, all that was left on the canvas when I was done was the discarded thread that I gave up with. I claimed I was the Jackson Pollock of embroidery, but I don't think the instructor thought it was funny.

Anyway, that brought up a lot of memories about my poor fine motor skills and the general air of failure that lingers around me like the smell in a cheese shop, so I thought, you know what, I've been rejected a bunch this week, I'll share those. For those of you who have been following along chronologically, you'll remember that my all time record for rejections is 46. Good news: Today brings us to 45. I am SO CLOSE to my personal all time worst. Pray for me, babies, help me show me who's boss. But before I start with the actual rejections themselves, I want to say that rejection 41 is VERY EXCITING, because it is the first time that my book of poetry as a whole, which I finally have a complete (never complete) copy of, was rejected. That's right: your girl has assembled a book. Whether anyone will want it, I don't know, but it's compiled. It's even got a table of contents, cuz I'm a classy broad. The formatting was a nightmare, thanks for asking. So rejection 41 is for the book. I'm chuffed as fuck. (But not really, I'm still feeling pretty embarrassed about being the worst in my embroidery workshop. Maybe I'll do better with woodworking.) [WRITING REJECTION 41/100] Hey Erin! Sorry for the delay! It’s taken a while for a giant pile of submissions to come in and be read. Unfortunately the editors didn’t except your submission for the upcoming print run. I really hope you consider submitting again in the near future! Thanks a lot!!

[WRITING REJECTION 42/100] Thank you for submitting your story to Lilith’s annual fiction contest. While it was not selected as a finalist, I appreciate having had the chance to consider it and wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere. Sincerely, Fiction Editor

[WRITING REJECTION 43/100] Dear Erin Kirsh, Thank you for sending us "Tombstone". Unfortunately we will not be able to use this work for Vestal Review. We receive many well-written, compelling stories, but can only take a very limited number due to constraints of space and style. We wish you the best of luck in placing your story elsewhere. Thanks again. Best of luck with this. Sorry it took so long. Sincerely, Vestal Review

[WRITING REJECTION 44/100] Dear writers, The 20 winners of our short story competition have been announced today! While your story wasn’t chosen this time, you’ll be happy to hear that we’ve launch another short story writing competition named “New Beginnings”. Most importantly, we’d like to give you a complimentary gift(*) from us - FREE ACCESS FOR 1 MONTH (no credit card required) to our brand new product and writer community! As writers ourselves, we've experienced the same challenges you’re going through, so we’ve built a revolutionary platform that enables you to get the readers you seek. We would like to thank you, first of all, for being an amazing group of short story writers and to thank you for taking the time to submit your stories. Want to read the winning stories? Here they are. We are so happy and touched that you shared your stories with us ❤️ Never stop writing! The Short Story Project Team

[WRITING REJECTION 45/100] Dear Erin, Thank you for sending us John came Home Different which we read with interest. I'm afraid we've decided that this submission isn't quite right for Ambit - we receive a large volume of material, and have limited space in the magazine, so competition is high. I'm sorry that we're not able to give individual feedback. The next submissions window is from 1st February to 1st March 2019. Thanks for thinking of Ambit, and good luck with placing this submission elsewhere. Kind regards, Fiction Editor Ambit Magazine

So there go my dreams of embroidering all of my failures onto beautiful needlepoints that adorn my bathroom so that all of my house guests can feel uncomfortable while using a toilet that isn't theirs. Until next time, -E.B. Kirsh

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