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Please welcome Elizabeth Inglee-Richards (aka bodgei): Writer, storyteller and winner of this year's Meager Puddle of Limelight Award for Best Short Story Title

A Rainbow in the Dark

If you are going to write you are also going to be rejected. It’s just part and parcel of the process. Sure it’s an unpleasant part of the process but still important.

The thing I’ve noticed among my writing friends is that a lot of people don’t handle rejection, or even stiff critique well, while I always feel like I want to write back to the rejecting editors for more critique.

Lately, I have been getting a lot of what
[info]writertracy calls 'The Miss Congeniality' rejections ('We really like this story but it doesn’t really fit with our anthology’). It’s hard to know how to improve with critique like that. I do get frustrated by those MCRs, but I find that some of my friends cry over theirs for weeks. It got me wondering why we handle things so differently.

The only thing I came up with was past experience.

As I mentioned in
my interview here last month, I have a learning disability. I’m on the Sequencing Disability side of things, not the Attention Disability side of things. Basically, I can’t spell, my grammar is atrocious and I can’t get numbers in the correct order. In today’s modern world most of my issues can be dealt with by spell check, calculators and my address book, but back in the scholastic world of the 70’s and 80’s, well there wasn’t much they could do for me.

I was mainstreamed from Special Education, into an odd combination of ‘normal’ remedial, average and honors classes in 7th grade. I’ll be honest, it didn’t go all that well. Teachers didn’t know what to do with someone who was different. There was no catering to my disability in the least. I didn’t really expect to be catered to, but I did expect my teachers to protect me.

It didn’t work out that way.

A lot of teachers didn’t protect me from insults hurled at me. A lot of teachers joined in - Lest you think that things like that don’t happen anymore, last year a teacher was suspended for writing the word “loser” on the top of a student’s paper.

My personal favorite insult was the chorus to the Dio song, Rainbow in the Dark

There's no sign of the morning coming.
There's no sight of the day.
You've been left on your own
like a Rainbow in the Dark.

I did badly in Junior High and High School, I could pour my heart and soul into a project and still fail. Often I would get comments along the lines of the work being very good, but they couldn’t pass me because of spelling or grammar. Sometimes they were nice sometimes they were unpleasant. I’ve never expected to be liked or accepted by teachers, and by extension editors. But the funny thing is, each rejection makes me try harder. No editor has ever been as harsh as the teachers I had in school. I doubt they could be if they tried.

I have never gotten accustomed to success, not like my other writing friends. I doubt those teachers thought they were helping me to be a better writer, but they were. You see, we don’t move forward on our successes, we move forward from our failures. The trick is to take the emotional part of being rejected away. Each writer has to learn that in their own way. Once the emotional baggage of rejection is gone, each rejection moves you forward.

I had to learn that in school. Most writers have to learn that as adults. When I hear Rainbow in the Dark these days I hear this part:

When there's lightning - it always brings me down
‘cause it's free and I see that it's me
who's lost and never found.
Feel the magic - feel it dancing in the air
But it's fear - and you'll hear
it calling you beware

The trick is to Feel the magic and not hear the fear.

Elizabeth Inglee-Richards aka [info]bodgei, writes fiction and fan-fiction (mostly supernatural). You can find some links to her work on her Live Journal account.  Aside from LJ, she can also be found on Facebook.



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( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
I am constantly amazed by the number of authors and publishers that I know who have dyslexia. Most of them have a similar story, that they learned to work around the condition on their own, without the help of a teacher, because they were interested in reading as a pastime.

Jun. 9th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
Amazing and inspiring :)

Excellent post, Elizabeth. I'm proud to know you :)
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
Reading was very important in my family. I learned early and I read quickly.

It's alwayas bugged me that I can't look back at school with any posititve feelings - or at least very few.
Jun. 9th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
Very inspiring, Elizabeth.
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
thank you
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Yeah I miss him too.

I think that is more commen then the schools finding it.
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
Jun. 9th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Inspiring post!
Jun. 9th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
LAZY--how many times did I hear that word used against my son? That's an easy word to use when you just don't know how to deal with a kid who not only doesn't think like the rest of the kids, but doesn't see words the same way either. I'd like to see the teachers pass a test when the words dance around on a page, inducing a panic attack that brings them to tears, and then be called a baby for them.

And this wasn't all that long ago. He's now 24. His learning disabilities were only diagnosed once he went to college, and started blacking out because he no longer cried those panicked tears, but held them back. Body's defense, shut down. Yeah, not good.

YOU, Elizabeth, are a courageous woman. Brilliant and brave and completely extraordinary.
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
it's funny when I worked for the Girl Scouts we had to take a sensitivity corse that involved things like writting while looking in a mirror and looking through glasses that distorted things.

I was lucky because my Mom also has learning disablitys so she knew what to look for.
Jun. 10th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Awesome post. I went through my own special sort of hell in junior hell and high school, so I know where you're coming from.
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
I think we all go through our own hells at that age.
Jun. 10th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you for sharing. Very Inspiring. *pushes up sleeves and gets back to writing*
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
thank you very much!
Jun. 10th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
Feel the Magic and not the Fear.
Those are words to live by. Thanks for your post.
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Feel the Magic and not the Fear.
thank you for reading it.
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
I always feel like I want to write back to the rejecting editors for more critique.

I never understand this. Some editors even for small mags are sorting through hundreds or thousands of incoming pieces looking for three or four or twelve or twenty they like.

An editor's brainspace is already being used up finding what works, without "owing" it to hundreds of "didn't works" to explain why or why not.
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
And I say this as a regular submittor of fiction myself, you understand.
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
It's not like I ever have asked for additional comments, there is a long way between wanting something and asking for something. Plus it was just an example, not the point of the post.
Jun. 10th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
The trick is to Feel the magic and not hear the fear.
very inspiring and awesome!
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
thank you *hugs*
Jun. 11th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
you're welcome. =)
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Really liked what you had to say.
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Rejection
thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 11th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
I think talking about this side of things was what was so hard for me...

Thank you.
Jun. 13th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Oh wow.

This is something I definitely needed to hear. I sort of had the opposite experience in childhood and so now I'm all perfectionist and take rejection very personally.

Thank you for writing and sharing this.
Jun. 13th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
most of my writing freinds are on the perfectionist taking rejection personaly side of things.

I can't decide what would be harder to overcome,expecting the rejection or not expecting the rejection.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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