Apr 5, 2007, 1:13 AM
Post #3143 of 6279
Re: [PamukisGreat] Rejection Day
[In reply to]
I've come to make peace with you, my old self. You unashamedly called attention to this ugly Turk, and I'll be damned...the secretive Nobel committee agreed with you.
Last year, you didn't get into the five programs you applied to, and rightly, you told them to fuck off. So, here we are, ten rejections and five acceptances later. All is not so bad. Others learn...try again next year.
Tonight, we went to Angela Pneuman's reading at Stanford. Angela Pneuman, you'll remember, is an alum of a program you're considering.
Guess who decides to sit beside us in the back row? Who, but the famous Tom Kealey. Yes, the same Kealey of The Creative Writing Handbook and Kealey Scale. The reading is good. Pneuman has talent. Kealey slouches in his chair, folds his arms and stretches out his legs through much of it. He checks his cell phone during the reading of his fellow Stegnerian. He is, you discover, quite human. There are Stegnerians, like aliens from another planet, all around us.
We ask an audience question of Angela in the Q&A. "How has your writing changed since you started writing and the present?" She points out that her MFA program was too prescriptive and that the story she read was written after the program, when she "got back to jesus" in a sense and rediscovered her writing. We wonder if her program, or any MFA program, is right for us. The Q&A ends. Applause.
We introduce ourselves to Tom. We say, "Thanks for writing The Creative Writing Handbook." We say, "I've corresponded with you before."
Tom becomes wide-eyed, makes a goofy smile and says, "You're not Seth, are you?"
At this point, we decide one of two courses of action. We either laugh out loud or politely say no, either way disappointing our author of the famous book whose looks forward to the possibility of meeting his most devoted fan. I take the harder course and politely say I'm Fear&Loathing. We see his brain working. "Who the hell is this?" he must be thinking.
Anyway, he's a nice guy, all the same. He's writing. The Stegnerians are stick-together bunch. There's Tobias Wolff and someone L'Heureux...others in the crowd.
What do we say to all of them? Fuck them all. Sure, why not. The hard work is only starting.
My first reaction to rejections from UMASS & IOWA:
FUCK THEM! FUCK THEM ALL!
But now I am feeling much better.