The Rejectionist Book; With Apologies to Sei Shōnagon

Annoying Things

One is eating cereal when the telephone rings. It is an editor with whom one's employer does not wish to speak. One must convey the inability of the employer to come to the phone with one's mouth full.

Someone has sent a query addressed to "Agent," "Sir/Madam," "Gatekeeper," or "Do u Want To Make A Lot of Monie??? Then write back now I also have a Screenplay".

Someone has sent four queries for four different books, one after another. This person replies to each of his form rejections with invective.

Things That Cannot Be Compared

Paranormal romances and Eat, Pray, Love. Paranormal romances and Dan Brown. Zombies and Eat, Pray, Love. Faulkner and paranormal romances. A paranormal romance and Twilight, the film Titanic, Harry Potter, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

Squalid Things

Memoirs of persons recovering from an addiction to intimate relations. Celebrity biographies. Extended accounts of narcotic abuse. The Microsoft Office platform.

People Who Seem To Suffer

Teenage girls. Persons of unexpected demonic lineage. Midwestern gentlemen of a certain age. Married couples of a certain age. Young men of intellect. Angels, cast down from heaven, who find themselves entering high school in order to protect teenage girls of unexpected demonic lineage.

A Handsome Young Gentleman

A handsome young gentleman has been employed by the coffee shop one frequents. He often fills one's travel mug gratis. One cannot help but find this satisfactory.

Awkward Things

One has made a great effort to compose the gentlest of rejection letters for an evidently fragile soul whose manuscript one requested, but one's purpose is misinterpreted; the author sends a number of other novels anon; one must subsequently be more firm.

An agent who is not one's employer asks one's opinion of a particularly unattractive cover; when one replies in a disparaging manner, it is revealed that the cover is a source of great joy to the agent and his client, and one's remarks create an atmosphere of dolor.

One delivers a form rejection with the wrong name; the rejected author replies, and one must confirm the rejection was meant for her, but one was rather distracted by one's gchat and confused her name with another's.

Things That Should Be Short

Synopses. Follow-up emails. Conversations with one's employer regarding one's cavalier method of taking phone messages.

Things That Should Be Large

A writer's capacity to recover from disappointment.

Pleasing Things

Toward the end of a long and dreary day one receives a query of great charm; one requests the manuscript, and the author responds with alacrity. Witty banter is exchanged. It is discovered that one shares with the author a: taste for obscure children's books/high opinion of the film Times Square/mildly obsessive passion for fonts. The author makes comments of a flattering nature regarding one's intellect. One departs the office with a feeling of accomplishment. At home, there is whiskey.