pizza

Rejections and Reactions

If you’re a writer, you should keep this word in the back of your head at all times: Grace.

If you’re a reader, the writers who don’t understand the definition of that word will be very easy to spot.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about how people respond and react to rejections. Because whether you’ve published one story or one hundred stories, there’s never a reason to not be professional. To have grace.

You see, there are those who write, and then there are those who submit. That first group is quite content to scribble volumes for their own eyes and never ever become published. And then there are those of us who are mildly sadistic at best and may actually enjoy torture at worst. We submit our words and then pace, while waiting to hear back from an opinion we purposely asked for.

Are we always happy with that opinion? No. Should we have a tantrum, whine, bitch, piss and moan? No. The golden rule of rejections? You absolutely should not, under any circumstances, ever ever do either of these two things:
1. respond to the rejection
2. whine about it publicly

That first faux pas? Responding? No. Just no. Why would you? You do nothing to change the mind of the editor who sent you the rejection (and keep in mind, on some level you should be thankful for receiving one in the first place, since many publications only contact you if you’re accepted). The editor had to read a lot more than just your story. If you respond, even to say thank you, you are wasting their valuable time. And if you think they won’t remember that, you’re wrong. If you think they won’t tell their editing and publishing friends, you’re wrong. Slowly, for those in the back, do not—do (period) not (period)—respond to a rejection.

And that second one? Seriously? Let me just remind all of you of one tiny, very very important fact: the Internet is forever. Don’t believe me? Waybackmachine.com. But also, and more immediately, screenshots have become the law of the land.

Recently, there was an amazingly bizarre call for submissions. You may have heard about it—they were asking for pizza stories. I saw the guidelines and I giggled, and then a little voice in the back of my head said, “Heyyyyy, don’t you actually have a story about pizza. You put it in the trunk because, well, pizza.” I did indeed. I had written it several years before and never ever thought I would publish it, so I literally trunked it without submitting. (Not something I would necessarily suggest anyone do.)

I hemmed and hawed for all of twelve seconds and then got curious. It had been a while since I’d seen it. What the heck, I thought, and I pulled out the story.

I read it. I read it again, out loud. I even read it to my daughter (you should know, she’ll be the first person to tell me something sucks… well, right after my mom gets done telling me why it sucks). And I thought, huh, this isn’t bad. The language was a little out of date, and you could tell it was an older story by my archaic style and voice, but with a little polishing… who knows, right?

I polished it. Sent it to my prereaders. Edited it a final time. Submitted it. And waited.

And it got rejected.

Why? It was a form rejection, so I’m not sure. Truthfully, I’d be willing to bet the stories they kept leaned toward blood-fest, scary, or more “traditional” horror veins, rather than my normally quiet, chilling or unnerving style. Nothing wrong with that. It just didn’t work for them. It doesn’t mean I can’t write. Remember, a rejection isn’t a statement on you as a person—it just means that one story, at that one point in time, didn’t work. It doesn’t even necessarily mean the story sucked. And it certainly didn’t mean I should do either of the items above: respond or react.

But others out there were either never told, or they outright chose to ignore the golden rules. Suddenly there were people posting online, openly, angrily, about how they were going to make their own pizza anthology out of their rejected submissions from this one.

Re-read that. Slower.

Yeahhhhh… you read that right. And the editor responded beautifully—telling them to feel free to do so, as it will be the worst thing no one’s ever read. I laughed. Oh my god, did I laugh. I mean, I gasped at the balls and willingness to knowingly damage their own careers. But then I laughed, because wow. Then I went to KillerCon and hung out with said editor for a good chunk of the weekend. We laughed and laughed about all those souls having little hissy fits online.

Once more, for those in the back: the Internet is forever.

And what else? Do you remember? Yes, those you annoy with less-than-professional behavior will tell others, sharing your foibles with all their editing and publishing friends. As I write this, there are currently three different threads on my various social medias discussing someone who reacted poorly in public. Three. Today. And that’s just in my little corner.

This world we call a genre is a small little island of misfits. It’s not a family, though parts can feel like it. The circles can be tight, but most are welcoming. And at the end of the day, it’s far too small a community to think you can do anything remotely close to responding or reacting, and not have it become a scary lesson whispered to newbies—to frighten them as they’re tucked in at night.

Grace, people.

Find it. Hold it tight. Never let it go.

If you are rejected, look at why. If they sent a form letter, it may simply be that it didn’t fit the theme or feel or gore factor or whatever other thread there was connecting the accepted stories. If they were kind enough to tell you why and there’s a critique or suggestion, look at it, consider it heavily, and then adjust and/or edit as you need. Either way, with or without comments, your job at this point is not to say thank you, it’s not to whine on your social media, it’s to resubmit the story. Get it out the door. No rejected story should ever spend the night. They are not welcome company, but rather relatives who don’t know when to leave.

Except when they need to be grounded. This particular piece needed to stay home. Not because it was crap, but because it was very specific. Pizza. And I know what happens to the market after an overly specific anthology sends out their rejections—because once upon a time, many of us giggled and some gasped in horror, as every open submission call out there received rejected stories about “pirate cats from outer space.”

No, specific themes need to sit for a bit—maybe forever. Some can be reshaped into something more generic, some cannot. Either way, I had a pizza story and it got rejected. What did I do? I didn’t respond. And I didn’t react.

Dallas (Jack Ketchum) once told me the most important words ever when it comes to a rejection, “Move on. They have.” Wise wise words, from a wise wise man.

For those who need it, maybe put a post-it note on your screen, keyboard, wall, whatever—wherever you’ll see it and remember. You can write his words if you want. Or you can write “don’t respond, don’t react.” Or you could even write “be professional.” Or you can reduce it to just that one really important word. Say it with me… Grace.

 

Signing Off | Buttercup of Doom 2.11



The end of a (short) era. The finale of the Buttercup of Doom podcast was taped live at Scares That Care charity weekend 5 because a bunch of lovely humans donated funds during the Horror Show with Brian Keene telethon and decreed it to be. And so it was.

We performed without a net—no notes, no plan—winging it with whomever showed up. It was a free-for-all Q&A, which included the famous “f*ck, marry, kill” question, pizza toppings, group sing-alongs, many other topics, insanity, giggles, and a reminder of rule number one: Don’t Be A Dick (oh, that should be my campaign slogan: Buttercup 2020)

Many many thanks to those who donated to make it happen, to those who attended the taping, and to those who have listened over the years. Not sure what kept your attention, but I’m humbled to have had it. Thank you, and good-night…

Available FREE (until Sept 1 only!!) on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunes • I♥Radio  •  StitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast … and then POOF, gone. Unless you’re a patreon, then you can get access to these and anything new I may record. It’s only a buck. A single lonely dollar. $1.00 in the grand scheme of things. Go on then… be a patreon!

Sponsors: my new novel TEETH (not your mom’s vampires) and my ABCs coloring book for adults, The Atrocious Alphabet with illustrations by Chris Enterline

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Those in attendance who were given the opportunity to shout-out their wares… I think I have hunted them all down. Other podcasts representedNecrocasticonCosmic ShenanigansInk Stains •  Horror Show with Brian Keene. Peeps with goodsMary SanGiovanniWesley SouthardJohn UrbancikShawn ChesserPocket Change ProductionsPinups by IndiVictoria Zera Timpanaro

Merchandise (last chance! I imagine these will disappear when the episodes do!): pillowssockstees, tanks, hoodies, coffee mug or stickerbeach towelphone case

Hashtag Hell: #stc #scaresthatcare #clivebarker #stephenking #deadkoontz #pizza #werewolfgame #suitcaseguy #barefoot #nerds #geeks #QandA #emotionalsupportpets #hamsters #animals #dogs #cats #corn #genre #vampires #TEETH #ABC #coloringbook #coffeetalk #garagetalk #gypsywisdom #fuckmarrykill #vacation #NSFW #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: nada. nuttin. zip. zero. ziltch. Thanks for playing… (want more? become a patreon)

 

Potpourri | Buttercup of Doom ep 58

bodep58-potpourri

This week I answer, have opinions, and generally babble on about some topics you’ve tossed my way (via the form or social media) that just weren’t enough for a full episode on their own, but together, they are a potpourri of variety! From food to jewelry to tarot readings and much more… prepare to be randomized!

Available FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors: Kelli on WATTPAD |  Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)| Project iRadio’s Patreon | Kelli’s Patreon page

Suggestions/Requests: Nathan, Robin, Amber3, Kayleigh, Bill, Alan, Sammy, and TJ — thanks guys! (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Kelli’s Amazon (leave a review!) • Kealan Patrick Burke • Poopourri (the funny) • Miss Cleo • It Cooks • 13 o’clock podcast • Tina’s Mary Kay

Hashtag Hell: #review #tarot #pizza #sheep #mandelaeffect #boho #wisconsin #pennsylvania #makeup #80s #gypsy #amywinehouse #oreo #apple #marykay #deadpool #vote #realitytv #drama #water #patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #horrormovies #paranormal #ghosthunting #halloween …and your suggestions

This Week’s Rating: PG13 (language) buttercup ratings system info here

AMA | Buttercup of Doom ep 41

BODep41-amaAvailable FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In
and now available on Google Play Music

I said, Ask Me Anything… they did. And I answered. From questions on raising a family to my opinions on extreme horror, from why podcasting to what I really think of The Horror Show with Brian Keene, from blood on the page to vices to con stories… and even the never spoken of political views of a wayward Buttercup. They asked. I answered. You get to listen to it! And remember, this is the edited version. The uncut, unedited, full-disclosure version is available only to my patreons. Become my patreon, support my crazy, get rewards and perks.

Sponsors: Project iRadio’s Patreon Page | Kelli Owen Patreon Page | Harry Strange Radio Drama

Suggestions/Requests: Questions asked by: Russell, Chris (x15!), Alan, Amber, Armand, Chad, Chuck, Michael, Josh, Mary, and Nathan (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Buttercup of Doom on facebook | The Horror Show w/ Brian Keene | Ed Lee | Wrath James White | Jeff Burk | Carlton Mellick III | Jeremy Robert Johnson | Harlan Wilson | Arm & Toof | Brian Keene’s column in Cemetery Dance | George Takei FB | James Moore | Jack Ketchum | Bob Ford & No Lipstick in Avalon

Hashtag Hell: #DeanKoontz #GoneGirl #BreakingBenjamin #SixxAM #LinkinPark #5FingerDeathPunch #ChrisCornell #TommyLee #NikkiSixx #GunsnRoses #Aerosmith #Tool #Schism #8tracks #JoshPenrod #HWSNBN #horror-web #horrorwench #WHC #JeffStrand #writersblock #horror #bizarro #frankenstein #maryshelley #tomojoe #joebranson #abortion #deathpenalty #marijuana #prostitution #guns #gaymarriage #healthcare #globalwarming #terrorism #deficit #republicans #democrats #deadpool #spiders #dessert #pizza #starwars #startrek #captainkirk #picard #sulu #roku #patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #moviesVSbooks #graffiti #opinions

This Week’s Rating: R (language) buttercup ratings system info here 

*note: the Left for Dead blood alluded to is not what you might think, my dad is awesome!

Subscribe for Updates

*New Release*


click cover to buy on Amazon

Travel Plans

—· Scares that Care ·—
August 2-4, 2019

—· Killer Con ·—
tba 2019

—· Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival ·—
tba 2019

Archives