Posted in self improvement, Writing for healing

Rejection, Breaking Dishes, and Rewrites


You’ve heard the quotes about how many times Babe Ruth struck out during his career. You’ve been reminded about the number of rejections J.K. Rowling received before she hit it big.  Do these reminders help when another rejection comes in?

Hell no.

What goes around does not necessarily come back around. Your dreams can die in the water if you get discouraged. Please don’t give up.

Time to toughen up, yo.

But what to do in the meantime?

Every writer knows how easy it is to get sick of your manuscript. The thrill of what you thought was so profound is being rejected by better writers, or famous peoples’  sex scandals and famous peoples’ romance. Again.

Have ever wondered how much time you’ve wasted looking at other people living their lives? Seriously.

Or, you just plain got rejected.

You have several options when rejections fill your inbox-tongue in cheek-not literally.

  •  Break dishes
  •  Learn how to play golf
  • Put on your old Allman Brothers or Buddy Guy tunes and crank it up full blast
  • Run away &  put a week at a luxury hotel on your credit card-suffer later
  • Do yoga for pissed off people
  • Yell at the dog
  • Knit, break the knitting needles and ball up the yarn, donate said yarn to the Goodwill
  • Doodle
  • Rewrite


I favor breaking dishes, running away, and doodling. Doodling usually wins. You can find budget hotels to replace the overly expensive bed and breakfast inns, but the cold hard truth is no matter what your coping mechanisms are,  you have to  do the rewrites.  When you sink your head into the pillow, be it luxury lavender or at home on budget, the naked truth is staring at you from the ceiling.

You have to revise. And unless you have a contract,  nobody cares. You still have to do it.


Do the rewrite.

Again. Hog the bandwith. Be stingy with your time.

For anyone struggling with the sting of “so sorry, but we’ve had hundreds of submissions this year,” I have no advice except that you’re not alone.  As old Aunt Mathilda used to say, “just stay with it. Don’t give up, honey.” At the risk of sounding bitter and pathetic, I won’t bore you with how much I’ve spent on writing classes that haven’t gotten me any closer to finishing my manuscript. But my wasted funds might make you feel better about yourself.

Ladies, I’ve found that people in support groups don’t always pan out the way you wanted. If you think that all the law of attraction stuff and spiritual types are the best way to find kindred friends, you might want to think about joining a bowling group instead. You’ll find better camaraderie. Plus you get to smash things and make noise.

 Or if you are really into spirituality, as I am, you haven’t met your people yet. Keep the faith.

Big shots and famous people have staff writers who troll the internet to get ideas…from you! Really. I once wrote a blog post and within weeks, I saw my exact words on a high-profile spiritual hot shot’s ad. Maybe it was my imagination-I have no idea. But at least I got some form of a delusional ego-boost out of it.


 Writers, artists, musicians, poets, and even street bums are all about competition. “Players really only love you when they’re playing.” Shrinks debate each other over theories at workshops. Victims compare wounds in therapy groups. Psychotherapist Irving Yalom shared that one of his most vicious groups of clients were abuse survivors who battled each other over the severity of their stories. I wonder if monks in monasteries compete over how long they can meditate in silence? Does anyone know?

I’m over 60, the age when you’ve already become rather invisible unless you’ve got some kind of “it” factor.  And you’re expected not to make waves, or the threat of being labeled bitter is at your heels. Aunt Mathilda told you that you’d get more out of being sweet than the vinegar-spiced sarcastic reply. She was right, but she was wrong. Betty White and Carole Burnett can tell you all about how to age gracefully and be funny. There is  a certain freedom that comes with age.  There is less time to waste and more pack to the punch.

And to the most awesome people out there-all you young writers and artists, stay with it.

Do the rewrite.

And always have spare dishes around…




Journal prompt: write about rejection. What are your responses? Don’t be polite. What do you find helps you get back on track with your projects? After you have written about rejection, write about a success. It can be from childhood. What is your favorite antidote for rejection? At the end of your journal entry, write: YOU ARE ACCEPTED. This is important.

Always add something positive for yourself. Write a congratulations note to yourself.


Posted in journal prompts, journaling, memoir, poetry, self improvement, social commentary

Mmmm, yeah

Covering five areas:



1) Her voice on the other end of the line is soothing
someone I can really talk to.
She understands if you can’t quite make it on a certain day and she knows you
will try.
With some people you learn to read between the lines
because it’s just too hard to talk about it.
I can hear the mowers in the background in my imagination.
Smell the green colors the earth of little feet and generations

who tell me I did belong somewhere once upon a time,

adorned with hyacinth and lilac.
They’re bringing in the wheat
they had to dig some new lines for the well this weekend.
calendar with tent copy.jpg for blog











2) I love every new month because I have this thing for calendars.

There’s one in every room and I plan ahead each year to find just the right ones.




I analyze and gaze, taking in the composition, savoring the feeling of the colors, the blocks for the days, I look at the numbers,




The times in between the dream and the paint.

Satisfied I organize. I print out my morning pages.

That is the beauty of each new month.


I may not have aced the approval codes the first time

where my little eyes crept towards walls of shame

would Daddy still love me and would I be good enough?

Would I get to be good enough? Would Mama come out from her shell?
but I did

I did when I came back
and attacked it with a vengeance.
I laid it out with their A’s and
with all the self-worth I could conjure for the second time.

to add with honors

And this time I cared. So I sent a picture and went back to work.

I may not have slam-dunked the algebra, but  I climbed your ladder to display the thing.
I never got into debt.
And didn’t spend more than I made.
And I never depended on a man for my sustenance.


When I said I hauled all the water we used
for the babies
and at that time when he left
and I had to do it all myself,
I was long and lean and strong
I did make it from sunrise to dusk


my story is true.
when Grandfather told me about laying 80 miles of barbed wire for fencing that year
his story was true.
and there was a time when the barn burned down.
that was a bad year.
He had to wait another  two years to be able to buy a new overcoat.

3) It’s cliché to wonder where it all went.
How could I not remember that I ran for president of elementary school….
I did?
Yes, you did.
I don’t remember that.
I was your campaign manager.

So memory seems to stick to the bad stuff
and trauma but I’m in a different mode now so I
create miracles, co-create and all that

you know
because this aging is not for wimps.

Maybe it was the year before Mom got sick.
Why wouldn’t I remember that?
What happened that shattered my confidence?
It never left, it just tagged along with Rip Van Winkle
believing some garbage about domestication,
that one’s worth-a woman’s worth  is measured by your waistline,
by your marriage qualities,

the checkbook and
cooking skills-not by the trouble you’d fled or avoided

but they forgot that wanderers, artists, music-makers and dancers, plus
shy people

and gypsies had to pull their carts
just another mile. But I quickly
set down roots and set ’em deep
and quietly buried the afterbirths in a special location

no I freaking did not eat it-get off me-
the old way
they told me
to do this
the ones who didn’t know English , CrowDogs
from South Dakota, the grandmother  said”you know that way,”
so when your children grow up-they will always have a place to go
if they get confused once in a while
or are in  a dark night, kinda blue
or just need to think,
to call on Spirit,
they would know where the tree is
and they could go there and gather themselves.

I did that for my children
so they would know
they always have a home near the tree.



You just tap in and access your pin number to Creator.


the work shed window
4) Spiritual competition stinks worse than crap,
religious wars and power struggles
make people act worse than the lowest animals.



A man took an assault rifle to the airport this week.It was a man with a smirk, a sneer, or was that an over-educated  glare of  contempt?

He went to the coffee shop in the Starbucks of a major busy airport… but he claims he was  just shifting the weapon

when it was aimed at a woman and her 17-year-old daughter. They were frightened-of course. Ignorance is quite frightening!

The man, a “top researcher” with a PhD in neuroscience wanted to make a statement about the right to bear arms. In the news report they claimed he didn’t treat patients at the institute.

Hmmmm, yeah.

At the airport with an assault rifle?  Oh Lord.

Jesus, hold my hand.

No ethnic, as in  professional black person  would have the cojones to do that, and I’m sure as hell you wouldn’t find an Hispanic man in sheriff Joe’s territory trying to support weapons rights by walking up to Starbucks at Sky Harbor with a rifle. Nada.

He didn’t hear about LAX? He hadn’t heard about Sandy Hook?  or even Columbine?

You want to own a gun, you leave that phallic toy at home.


And what about that other guy-the football player.  Ray. Ray, you got to get together and learn to do it right. Don’t waste your life or hurt anyone else. Dr. PHIL!

What is UP with these people lately?


You want to be mad at your wife or fiancé, you take a nice walk and talk it out, fool. Or go talk to your coach or some older dudes who have SENSE as in a BRAIN with working brain cells. You do not hit a woman. No can do.



huh ahuh



unh mmmm






Journal prompt: Try telling a story using poetry or free writing without proper punctuation or grammar rules and spelling etc.  Just get it  written down on paper or put  in the computer. Start in the present and share an event. If you find your mind is wandering, or your conversation diverts, don’t fight it just  now…. let it go where it will…and as you begin to remember other things (association) keep writing. Use short phrases in you need to.

I am using this method to work on my memoir and may do the whole book as a series of poems. I find the poetry method much more intimate and personal when I want to evoke a mood. It is a battle of sorts if you are into poetry and prose.

Discussion: What is your experience of memory? Of course most of us will not remember everything about our lives. Some theorists claim we remember the traumatic stuff more easily or readily. How does not remembering affect you? Does it bother you when that happens?  If you are in a younger age group do you notice things about your aging relatives? What are your thoughts, if any, on aging?