Me Again, Dear Editor

Heh, heh — I don’t want to distract anyone from the previous post with my tomfoolery, so if you haven’t read “Thin Walls” yet, click up there on those blue words and read my Christmas recollections. But if you’ve been there and done that, here’s a silly little something that I found — quite literally — at the back of my closet. Today I was putting away my late autumn jacket, since its days of usefulness are gone for another year. (I’m now into my Totally Serious Winter Coat.) And at the back of my closet, behind the hanging shirts . . . no, there was no lamppost, no entrance to Narnia . . . but there was an old corkboard from my previous apartment. And still pinned to the corkboard was this sonnet that I wrote several years ago.

Now, who can tell me what sort of sonnet this is? Is it Petrarchan or Shakespearian? Is it Italian or English? Do they still teach such things in school? The first person to ring in with the right answer gets the privilege of making a request or suggestion for the next posting on this blog — which I may well use, if I in my megalomaniacal dictatorship of this blog see it fit to use. And maybe I’ll knight you.

Anyway, here it is, and it’s a tribute to all of us who collect rejection slips from editors:

“Me Again, Dear Editor”

My novel didn’t grab you by the throat,

Nor did my memoir meet your present needs;

You’ve sent back every story, and I quote:

My articles are “inept from the ledes.”

To place a piece with you seems quite a stunt.

My poetry’s not potent, and I swear

This endless fretting over what you want

Has got me pulling out my thinning hair.

But (lucky you!) my newest work’s complete!

My critics say it’s lacking in suspense,

And characters and story, yet replete

With details that appeal to every sense.

It doesn’t have a strong protagonist,

But find enclosed my latest grocery list.


Heh, heh, heh! Well, is this the Third Day of Christmas? May you enjoy talking to the three French hens your true love sent to you. Personally, I’m glad I got my electric carpet out of storage, vacuumed it, and spread it here under my desk. It’s warming my feet as I write these words. And now it’s back to my expansion of “The Star Shard” into a novel to be called The Star Shard. (Notice how I did that with the italics? That’s how to make a novel out of a short story. In case you ever need to know.)


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3 Responses to “Me Again, Dear Editor”

  1. Daylily Says:

    The sonnet is English, also known as Shakespearian. So did your grocery list get published? 🙂 I suggest a Twelve Days of Christmas game, an additive rewriting of this poem by your readers. The gifts need some sort of unifying theme. Something to do with the reading or writing of fantasy fiction would be good. Gifts found in our favorite stories? Items we’ve read about in fiction that we’d love to own? Or maybe the gift one wanted as a child and never got? I always wanted a pony or a horse . . .

  2. fsdthreshold Says:

    All right, Daylily, you’re clearly the first! And of course you’re right. For anyone who’s wondering, what makes this sonnet English or Shakespearian is that its rhyme scheme goes:
    ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. My dear old literature prof in college, every time he explained the form, said the ending was a French girl named “Jiji”….
    So–give me a couple days, Daylily, and I’ll come up with a posting based on your suggestion. And thanks for ringing in! (Everyone got it? Don’t start responding to Daylily’s idea here–I’ll launch it in an actual new post.)

  3. mileposter Says:

    Brilliant poem! And now I know the easy way to turn my short stories into novels! And one of them will be about how to go flying on an electric carpet. (Hint–the secret lies in the reverse power of the vacuum cleaner!) 🙂

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