Saturday, 21 January 2012

Rejections, Vouchers, Crises and Cute Kittens

Hmm. Well, that didn't last long, did it? So much for January being my favourite month, raring to get on with my writing etc etc. I was only back at my desk for one day before I began to feel ill and although I struggled on for the rest of the week, I felt too lousy to work at all last week which was why there was no new post, so apologies for that. (I did toy with the idea of posting "Melissa Lawrence is unwell" but decided it sounded a bit too pretentious.)

Anyway, here I am again and although by no means firing on all cylinders (am I ever?) I think I'm on the way up again which is good.

Probably because my brain is still in fuzzy felt land, I don't have a definite theme for this post so apologies (again) if it is a bit rambly, if there is such a word.

First of all, what is it about rejections that they always seem to come when you're already at a low ebb? I finally managed to get my teenage/young adult novel Cracking Up (an apt title if ever there was one) out to another publisher after a major rewrite and a lot of procrastination on my part. I was very pleased with myself and looking forward to a few months of not having to worry about it and getting on with another book. My covering letter was dated 4 January and the rejection letter dated 10 January. Something of a record for a novel, especially as the last publisher I submitted to took two years to turn me down. Fortunately, I'd put a second class stamp on the SAE, otherwise the rejection would have arrived on my birthday!

On the good news front, I was pleased to receive a £6 voucher from The New Writer ( for my review of Sue Johnson's book Creative Alchemy which I blogged about recently, especially as the magazine told me that they don't normally pay for reviews. I don't think I'll be able to exchange it in Sainsburys though. And talking of Sue Johnson, I was recently shortlisted in her flash fiction 'Secrets' competition which was a great boost but more of that in a future post.

This week has also seen me having a fairly major crisis about my 'portfolio career' probably not helped by being ill and the "time of the month". It may well be that by this time next week, I no longer have a 'portfolio career' which should mean I get a lot more writing done but even less money, if that's possible.

Anyway, I'm going to stop writing now before I dig a big hole for myself and fall into it with a packet of jaffa cakes and a week's supply of craft magazines. I'll just finish by sharing a brilliant website I came across this week. It's and if you hate writing and love cats (not the other way round) you'll find it a godsend. Just specify how many words you want to write (200, 500, 1000 etc) and when you've typed in your quota, up comes a picture of a really cute kitten! Well, it worked for me even though I'm more of a dog person. You can save your work too. All I'd like to know though is, who comes up with these ideas and why can't I? Answers...well, I think you know the rest.


  1. Sorry to hear you've been unwell and hope you now feel much better. And isn't it just typical that rejections always come when you're at your lowest ebb? Good news about being shortlisted for the flash comp, though (I'm in real fallow territory with my fiction right now) and I look forward to hearing more about that.

  2. Hi Vanessa. Thanks, I'm getting better I think and already deciding who to send my teen novel to next. What a difference a week makes! Thanks for the comp compliment. Hope to blog on that this week. I do sympathise with the fiction problems which is why I'm doing more flash fiction than longer stories at the moment. Just remind yourself of that great winning story you did for Writing Mag. If you did it once, I'm sure you can do it again!