From Alretha

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If I had a dollar for every rejection letter I‘ve received since I started my venture to become a published author more than a decade ago, I’d be able to quit my day job. I’ve actually become inure to rejection. But that wasn’t the case when I initially made my foray into the business. I would hold my breath and sweat boulders each time I opened an email or letter from an agent or publisher. It was beyond nerve wracking. “It didn’t grab me.” “I’m not taking on any new clients at this time.” “You need someone who’ll get behind your story, and I’m not the one.” “The writing didn’t draw me in.” “I’m no longer in the business and am launching my own novel.” “You have a great concept and your writing is strong, but I just don’t feel I can sell this one.” And so on. Now when I receive a rejection letter, I barely read it. If it starts off “Dear Author,” I know it’s a bust. What has taken me aback lately is this new style of rejection, not only in the publishing industry but in all areas of life, particularly with matters relating to entertainment. I have to give c...
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Posted by on in Married in the Nick of Nine
  For the past twelve years, I’ve commuted from Covina to Century City and back. When I add it all up, I’ve driven 218,880 miles and have sat in traffic for 420 days—that’s more than a year. I’m LMBO right now. It’s amazing to me that I’ve covered that much ground and that I’ve sat in traffic for over a year! By the way, I’m on my third car. The first two were used and my latest is new. It’s the first new car I’ve ever owned in my life, and now that I’ve gotten a taste of what it feels like to drive new, I’ll never go back to a hooptie. Back to the numbers! At 218,880 miles, I could have driven around the world 8 times, gone to Lagos, Nigeria and back 14 times, and traveled from Los Angeles to New York and back 39 times. Did you know that there are approximately 218,000 miles of railroad track in the U.S? Yep, your girl has been on the road. I know crazy, huh. Look, I was just like you. Never in my wildest nightmares did I think I could drive that far to and from work. When I’d hear about it taking someone two and three hours to get home, I’d shake my ...
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  I can barely breathe with all these guys and gals sitting on top of me. Together they must weight a ton. I heard two women the other day chatting over Lattes, and if my memory serves me well, the one at the top’s almost five hundred pages long. Shoot, that’s almost a ream. The taller of the two women said it was really too long and that she’d only agreed to read it because someone called Senior Editor asked her to. She’s gonna be a senior by the time she gets through readin’ that tome. I’d wish she’d go ahead and pull him, because I don’t think I’m going to survive the night. Well at least I’m not in that pile by the window. It’s gotta be ten feet tall and rumor has it, that bunch’s called the slush pile. From what I gather, they crashed the joint. Nobody invited them and from the looks of things, nobody wants them either. Poor things. Lucky me, I’m in what’s called the agented pile. We’re the elite. We were requested. Yep! The people at this here publishing house got wind of our greatness via a one page letter that’s called a query and asked us to ...
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Posted by on in Married in the Nick of Nine
 I met Alice twenty-seven years ago, and like the Alice in the 1865 novel, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” she was beautiful inside and out, with blonde hair and crystal blue eyes and a spirit that lit up a room. Over the years, Alice and her husband Mike have been my biggest fans—attending my numerous plays when I was pursuing acting and more recently, when I was producing and directing. When I discovered my purpose and passion—novel writing, they cheered me on and have never doubted once that I’d be successful. When I met my husband, I couldn’t wait to introduce him to Alice and Mike. I’ll never forget the look on Alice’s face when my husband walked into their house. She held her head back and peered up at his six-foot, three-inch frame and he looked down at her barely four-feet, eleven-inch frame and they both curled over in riotous laughter. “My you’re tall!” Alice who never failed to speak her mind, proclaimed. I couldn’t help but think that Alice had drank the same potion Alice in Wonderland drank that made her small and that my husband had e...
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Posted by on in Married in the Nick of Nine
  Yesterday I decided to do my grocery shopping in the morning so I’d have the remainder of the day to fulfill other commitments. I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and headed over to Whole Foods Market in Pasadena. It’s about a twenty minute drive west of my house. I usually shop in the afternoon because that’s when the hot food bar is stocked with dinner items. Trust me, when an opportunity arises to get a night off from cooking, I jump at it. Anyway, there was a huge upside to getting out early—the store was relatively empty. In the afternoons, it’s like the 405 freeway, with people bumping into each other with their shopping carts and battles over ripe fruit raging in the produce section. I worked my way down my list and the aisles, filling my cart with my family’s favorite foods.  In less than an hour, my cart was full. While I approached the check stand, I gave the goodies staring at me from my basket the once over—organic apples, a half a pound of salmon, cheese popcorn, my to-die-for trail mix, my hubby’s Quinoa and almond milk, an a...
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