High Notes

Image Lately I’ve been going through the grind of querying agents only to get the standard rejection letter, when the agent bothers to reply at all. In an effort to divert myself I’ve turned to flash fiction, just to try a new genre and return to the short story form I studied in college long ago. It’s been hard to boil my stories down to the bones, yet leave enough meat to make them resound meaning, if only to me. But it’s also an excellent way to hone your writing. I’ve also begun working on a novel in a totally new genre for me: fantasy. It involves building a totally new world, and because I am a visual person I have to draw the characters and map out the world before I even begin. Still, there have been many times I’ve felt Iike Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. Yet, I have also been very fortunate to have a teenage daughter who also wants to write (and is more than halfway through her first novel). She is relentless, pushy, and and the worst taskmaster I’ve ever met. I adore her. Last night after receiving a spate of rejections she wrote me a letter (Mary has always written me little handwritten notes usually to get herself out of trouble). It wasn’t epic. It was tough love. In essence she said, “Don’t give up. You’d tell me to fight for what I want. So you have to set the example. Don’t wimp out. I love you.” Today I sent out ten more letters. What else can a writer do?