Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rocket Kids and Other Fictional Matters

A funny thing: I started this blog to promote what my agent hoped would soon be my forthcoming memoir, Rocket Lessons. On the way to the publishers (many), I discovered I am primarily a poet with a bad fiction habit.

Like any addict, I don't know how I found myself again working on a novel that's been hidden in my trunk for a few sober years. I suppose it was the Austen Influence -- perhaps my 13th re-reading of Northanger Abbey (my book club made me do it). That novel reads like a series of gossipy letters, fascinatingly detailed gossip with wit and a rather dry wisdom about the follies and fantasies of youth. It gave me ideas.

Of course I also pulled out my short stories and began to send them around. This is just to garner nice quotes from people who don't want to publish my fiction. I think it's rather like an Austen drawing room: editors sometimes like to amuse themselves by their excessively inventive wit in civil rejection.

I do have some short story publishing credits. But what should I do with them? They're like mismatched socks. You hate to throw them away, in case the mate shows up.

Do any of you poets have a secret fiction life? Do you sneak away from the seriousness of po-biz to slip unorthodox prose to editors who have no idea what level of Emerging Poet you might be? To be again just an over-the-transom sub with delightful delusions of fame and fortune, hearing in every contest entry the strike of literary lightning? Sadly, I cannot claim the excuse of youth.


  1. Hi Rachel

    First, thanks for your book. I look forward to studying it.

    Second, Happy Thanksgiving. I am poised and ready to stuff and push the bird into the oven tomorrow.

    Third, my secret desire is not fiction but one-act play writing. I've written two, had one
    returned with the comment "when you re-write it into a play" send it back, but that's all. so much for that.

    Enjoy your holiday.

    Joyce Nower

  2. Some of my favorite writers (Mark Doty and Margaret Atwood come to mind) write in multiple genres. I like the idea of not limiting oneself.