Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sylvia Rejoices In Ridiculous Rotten Rejection

By Anne Sullivan

Sylvia sulked all week due to what she termed her rejection no matter how hard I tried to convince her that it was her book, not her, that had been rejected by the first publisher she sent
it to. I spent hours – well, a good 20 minutes – trying to tell her not to take it personally, but to no avail. She refused to believe I knew how she felt, and she appeared to enjoy basking in her rejection.
For one day, and one day only, she wouldn’t even eat despite my entreaties, turning a deaf ear to all words of comfort.
Her appetite returned slowly and by Monday she was eating more and doing less until I could stand it no longer.
“Sylvia!” I went out on the porch and called, attempting to wake her from her all-day nap, ”Have you written your column for the paper yet?”
Sylvia raised her drooping head from her bed long enough to say, “I’m never going to write again.”
“Yes, you are,” I insisted. “You have an obligation to write your column every week. Plus it’ll be good for you, like getting back on the horse after you’ve been thrown off.”
“I’ve always thought that was an extremely foolish thing to do,” she said.
“Has it occurred to you that if you don’t write a column you won’t get paid? And if you don’t get paid, you won’t be able to reimburse me for the postage money I advanced you so you could get your manuscript back.”
Sylvia grunted and turned over in her bed so that her back was to me.
Life was not good in Swingle Canyon. As for me, I was worried I’d have to write Sylvia’s column all by myself. Sylvia took out her aggressions against the A&B Publishing Company by barking all night long. She and I were both exhausted.
Groggy and grouchy from lack of sleep, I kicked Sylvia’s bed to rouse her. “Up, Sylvia. Get up this minute.”
“Whaah,” she mumbled. “Leave me alone. I’m tired.”
“Tough. You made your bed. Now get up from it. Get into The Computer Room and write your column. I have spoken.”
“I can’t. I can’t write,” she wailed. “Inspiration won’t come.”
“Breakfast won’t come until you’ve finished your column. It’s due tomorrow.”
“I don’t feel like it. I’m sick at heart.”
“That’s as may be but keep in mind I don’t feel like feeding you until you finish your
Without stretching, Sylvia oozed out of her bed and followed me into the house, all the while muttering, “Nobody, but nobody, can be expected to work without sustenance and no one should be forced to work.”
“Sylvia, in this economy, millions would be glad to have any job at all.”
“I know, I know. I have to eat. I’ll write my column. But my heart’s not in it. My heart is shattered. Shattered into tiny bits by the heartless behavior of the publishing industry. I shall never recover,” she turned to say as she blundered into The Computer Room and turned on The Computer.
“Sylvia, you may not believe this but you will recover, and you will be stronger than you’ve ever been before.”
The Computer was grinding out its early morning noises and Sylvia had started to type when she turned her head to say, “Stronger maybe, but hungrier definitely.”

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