Monday, November 30, 2015

Seth Godin's THE DIP and Sylvia Plath's Love of Rejection Slips

The Dip

Seth Godin's The Dip may be a helpful principle for writer's to follow to deal effectively with rejection. In general, the principle is that it's naive to think that one will have a linear rise to reaching the New York Times Bestseller list. 

Realistically, a writer may have to experience The Dip where rejection will be the norm; however, the longer one writes the better the chance that he will be published.  In general, one will (eventually) see a direct correlation between effort and returns; however, like Ben Fountainit may take up to 18 years. 

Here are some quotes from writers that may help you get through The Dip: 

Sylvia Plath, "I love my rejection slips. They show me I try."

F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Work like hell! I had 122 rejection slips before I sold a story."

Isaac Asimov, "Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil — but there is no way around them."

Monday, November 2, 2015


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I recently submitted five poems via snail mail to The Paris Review . (Surprisingly, the editors don't accept online submissions.) And I received a rejection "letter" today. The "letter" is a bit disingenuous, because I doubt that the editors at the prestigious literary journal "regret" not being able to publish my verse. 

Kathryn A. Higgins, who interned at the journal, shared, "The Paris Review gets many unsolicited manuscripts every day and publishes I believe about one each year.

Depressing and yet encouraging — the work is definitely read, although not published."

However, I'm proud to join the likes of other poets such as Charles Bukowski whom were never published in the The Paris Review. Here's one of the poems that I submitted:

by Mo Ibrahim

Chaplin had a crush on 
12-year-old Maybelle Fournier before 
he met Mildred Harris at 14 
and at 16 his child she bore.

And he was smitten with Hetty Kelly 
and fertilized Lillita when they were 15,
after Casanova took the virginity 
of Nanetta and Marta; a true libertine. 

Seidel wrote in Ooga-Booga 
about maidens and Ducatis; only the best.
“But this woman is young. 
We kiss. It’s almost incest.”  

The Pretty Little Liars were dressed 
in minis and panties that they flashed
at the “fortysomething guy” 
before he hastily left the mall abashed.

Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany’s 
13-year-old Holiday Golightly 
married [a much] older man 
and no one opined she was crazy.

At 15 she lived with a college jock 
whose eyes could have been blue.
 At 18 she said, “I can’t get excited by a man 
until he’s at least forty-two.”

Californication’s Frank Moody had sex 
with his step-daughter who was 16.
 Bored to Death’s Ray was sad as the writer 
didn't sodomize the coed who was 16.

While On the Road Neal Cassady 
of the 15-year-old Marylou said, 
“ sweet, so young, hmm, ahh.” 
But it was Dean who took her to bed.

In The Dark Side of Camelot  
Kennedy Sr. had sex with his 17-year-old caddie, 
while his wife, LBJ and Lady Bird 
listened to the action [over tea].

Frank Sinatra had the confidence 
to beseech an affair with 14-year-old Tuesday Weld 
who turned down the role of Kubrick’s Lolita 
before her meltdown that was uncompelled.

And what did the 16-year-old write on her FB wall?
It was her New Year’s resolution.
 “I’m going to fuck my history teacher!” 
At least she wasn't a damn freshman.

Gossip Girl’s Dan asked, 
“Who doesn’t like school girls?” 
Case in point, take the homeless man,
who whistled at the Catholic school girls.

That was on the Grand Central platform.
All the while,
the Pope approves of the length of their skirts 
that are enticing to an ephebophile