"Loyalty to oneself and ethical ideals are at the heart of this brilliant and surprising novel. Environment, red tape, crime, capitalism, and survival are topics ably fielded alongside of faithful stewardship, friendship, and what makes a family. If you're looking for a thoughtful, fast-paced, mad-cap, entertaining novel which will delight you, pick this up. You will not be disappointed, and you'll come away thinking—which is never a bad thing. Res upp! Life is GOOD!" —Tanita Davis, Finding Wonderland



Please do not email me for real estate on this website: ad space, reviews, or giveaways. I don't do that, and never will, so don't ask. To the wholly unconnected marketing machine: consider this the snarling dogs on my front porch. To everyone else: a smile.

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in receipt

Your work is lovely. Nevertheless, we are unable to offer you publication at this time, due to commitments made into 2015. We are a small independent publisher with little room on our list for new original work in any given season, and we are already committed to a number of authors and illustrators whose work we will continue to publish. We urge you, however, to continue to submit your work to other publishing houses, with larger lists perhaps, for we have found your work to be both promising and engaging...

Beautiful publishers say beautiful things and then We're sorry, but no... and then more beautiful things. It's a shit sandwich with branston pickle and melted gouda.

I read it out loud to the kids. If it were on paper I'd stick it to the fridge with the others. Some writers do that because it turns their crank to have a Wall of Publishers Who Passed And Will Someday Regret It. I don't. Each one is, really and truly, a gift. We look at them and the boys and I talk about rejection, all kinds of it. Creative, karmic, romantic. Nothing works out until something does.

We eat mac and cheese and chat about what to do next. They dip neatly in ketchup and drink fizzy pear and I stare at them, two babies, and here we are. Evan has his legs crossed like a guy in a cafe. He waves his fork in the air. Maybe you should make it longer. Maybe you should make it shorter. Maybe there should be zombies. Fair enough. An exchange like that—of asking for something really special and not getting it, at least not for now—brings you into the most honourable brotherhood of trying and continuing to try. Nothing comes of stamping off in a huff unless you're three years old and face not only literary rejection but also an interrupted nap and only two cheese strings instead of a thousand million plus a pony.

Doing anything cool is an unending practice in receiving rejection and figuring out what comes after it. Three little frogs sit patiently, off to the side in a patch of grass, sliding resin back and forth on bows and buckling backpacks and tuning, listening. I poke my head around a tree to let them know: not yet. They smile at me.

Reader Comments (17)

i love this. i need to hear this. preferably daily. just in case you wanna, y'know, come by. xo.
February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBon

i love your words ... i love the image of you and your littles.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkolleen
Love your link to "Dumb and Dumber"! lol! I giggled.
Oh Kate. How I miss you so much. I cannot even begin to tell you how good your writing is. I know, that is the obvious reaction that may normally follow your post.
But it's never easy to be "rejected"! Ugh.
But please know that people like me, who are nowhere near as good a writer as you, someone like me on the "outside" who reads your stuff almost daily...I love reading your blogs and posts. Makes me smile and I can "escape" from my day to day grind...don't ever stop.
Thanks for your awesome words.

Kelly xo
February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
"Nothing works out until something does." You may not be printing this out for constant reference, but I am printing out that sentence (oh, I'll put your name, stop making that face.) I need this sentence. I need it daily: every morning, random afternoons, most evenings.
February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArnebya
Sweet lemonade from lemons.

And a marvelous lesson in patience, life, & coping with what it brings it for your littles.

Clever talented admirably zen you.
February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEarnestGirl
Just caught this today:

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." -Thoreau

Kids are naturals at continuing-to-try; I'm glad you read that letter to yours.
February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
hi kate,

i found your captivating blog during a tea break of respite from my master's thesis 'reconstruction' last year. thank you.

nothing works out until something does.
a lovely tolkein idea!

o rejection at doing anything cool. same goes here and after a frequent dusting off, i continue on, trying to do what i love. like publishers, sigh, we just submitted a big proposal to photograph a national museum collection in the persian gulf next year, ha. on the day we finished writing, a tiny unmistakable heart-shaped crust of sugar formed perfectly on the bottom my coffee cup.

shall i pick you up an antique sailmaker's chest?
take care,
February 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhilary
loving your attitude. and hey, at least they respond and sandwich the shit....
February 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteronsanity
and by the way, this phrase "Doing anything cool is an unending practice in receiving rejection and figuring out what comes after it." is f#*king priceless
February 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteronsanity
You're saying you don't raise the swords and yell "Rapscallions!" when you get a rejection?
February 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Arkison
Oh I miss you too Kelly.... both/all of you. I want to get to Vancouver again soon. Pesky geography.
Hilary, that sounds to me like a good omen. Good and sugary. the best kind. Cheryl—no, I didn't say that. :)
March 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkate inglis
Your Great!
Five feet of snow in the last five weeks. Tired legs and too many turns and not enough work mean rejection might be around my corner and more certainly I have secured myself many long nights of catch up. I won a contest to start a business-woop woop! They gave me money, advisors, an office, check back in 4 months for results! I have a chat with an illustrator for my dream book tomorrow. Yes the source of all this is me but the kick in the ass is all you! You inspire me and I dream of writing like you. To think of all the writers who never submit, never get rejected, and never get chosen. You have been and you will be chosen again. And in honor of Dr Seuss's birthday today..........I believe old Theodore had over 300 rejections. "Oh the places you will go........"
xx, Lara
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLara
Lara, that's great. Great and so very true!
March 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkate inglis
I love this. We've all been there, in one way or another. I just sent this on to my husband, who's there now, in his way, with an illustration and animation career. Still working on it, still waiting for it to really work. (Also shared on my FB wall because, shit, more people need to read this and not give up just to do something they don't love until they die.) Here's to moving steadily toward whatever it is that we want, and to being happy exactly where we are.
March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlt-Mama
Oh and ps. I believe (and studies have shown) that there is infinite value in sharing our rejections and failures (and of course the calm figuring out that comes after) with our children. Welcome to life on Earth; this here is how it's done.
March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlt-Mama
That's so cool, alt-mama. Well put, and good on your husband. I think so too.
March 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkate inglis
Rejection is a not a good thing but when you can share it in that way then it becomes a good thing. There is no harm in t whatsoever it only makes us stronger and more dedicated to succeed. But Kate you are very talented and so you will have no problem
April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTulisa

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