Rejection Sucks (a poem)

Sometimes I write poems and chicken out of sharing them online, but I’m pretty sure most of my writing comrades can relate to this one: Rejection Sucks. (Perhaps I’d better call it Rejection Sucks Part 1, as I have a LOT more to say on the subject that I couldn’t possibly squeeze into one poem…)

Rejection Sucks

 

You’ve written a novel and it’s taken you forever

It’s like you just climbed Everest – a momentous endeavour

You’ve researched agents and you’re ready to press send

Now here comes the bit that’ll drive you round the bend

“I just don’t love it enough” is what you’ll often hear

“There isn’t a market for this” – a legitimate fear

“It’s not the right fit for us” – bang – head – wall

No response, just SILENCE – the most torturous of all

The rejections sting, your confidence is sapped

Was your novel really such an utter load of crap?

Should you scrap that idea, start on something new?

Is repeating this experience what you really want to do?

OF COURSE IT IS! Because you bloody love writing

The rejections feel harsh, but they make you keep fighting

With every manuscript, your skills will grow stronger

So buckle up for the ride – cos it could take a bit longer

Creative Brighton

Last week Design Week asked a group of creative directors from around the UK why their location was a good place for a creative agency to be. My husband and co-director at Harrison Agency, Chris, suggested I respond with a poem about Brighton. Never one to turn a fun piece of creative writing down, I got stuck right in. Here’s my answer below. (And if you’re looking to relocate to somewhere with creative work in mind, the full article is worth a read.)

 

You might think you’ve got Brighton sussed

A town built on weekends of lust

With hipsters and greens

Mods, rockers and queens

The odd bit of new agey crust

 

Yet bold ideas are key to this place:

Its royal palace once deemed a disgrace

But a prince with a vision

Ignored all derision

The result? An iconic ace

 

This city gets under your nails

Its freedom puts wind in your sails

Be creative, be a freak

Brighton loves what’s unique

By contrast elsewhere simply pales

Is Santa real? A Christmas poem

photo

This festive poem was inspired by a conversation I had with my 8-year-old daughter recently. As her questions about Father Christmas grew ever more searching, I was finding it harder and harder to make up convincing explanations to keep the magic going. Luckily, after demanding the truth, she took the news quite well.

Now the truth is out I feel quite relieved! However, now I’m faced with another challenge – keeping the magic alive for my youngest daughter while persuading the eldest to keep schtum. My eldest is pretty smart, so it won’t be long till she works out I’m now in an easily blackmailable position: “You want me to keep your dirty secret? That’ll be an iPad please. AND a puppy.”

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my dubious poem about how that conversation could have gone…

Santa’s days are numbered
The truth’s as good as out
My daughter’s asking questions
And I’ve only fuelled her doubts

It started with the wrapping paper
Should’ve bought a variation
I said Santa had to borrow mine
Not the greatest explanation

“How does he fit down the chimney, Mum?
And what if our fire was lit?”
“Santa wears extra padding,” I said
“Beneath it, he’s actually quite fit.”

“Wouldn’t he burn his feet though?”
She asks, increasingly thoughtful
I said, “His boots are fire-proof
And anyway, he’s immortal.”

“But how can he get round the world
In just one little night?”
“Well, Santa’s reindeer are magical –
Faster than the speed of light.”

“So will Santa get me an iPad, then?
It’s top of my Christmas list.”
“Um, he may have just run out of those,
Best choose a back-up gift.”

“An X-box then, or a puppy – please?
I’ve made a good impression.”
So I tell her, Santa’s just like us
Struggling with the recession

Then one day she comes out with it
“Mum, I don’t think Santa exists
I was looking through your make-up draw,
And found my old Christmas lists

“I also found my baby teeth
Rattling inside a pot
I wasn’t sure about the tooth fairy
So that would explain a lot

“Tell me, Mum, I’m right, aren’t I?”
Tears well up in her eyes
I hesitate, what should I do?
I’m caught in a web of lies

I tell my daughter, “Yes you’re right,
But cheer up – it’s not tragic
There are lots of other things to enjoy
That are filled with Christmas magic

“Like opening your advent calendar
Singing carols by candlelight
Decorating the Christmas tree
A family snowball fight

“I’ll miss him though,” my daughter sobs
I regret my revelation
“We could…” I say, “pretend that we…
Never had this conversation?”

“Let’s pretend that I just banged my head
And now I’ve got concussion.”
My daughter grins and we conspire
To forget this whole discussion

“Is Santa real? Tell me, Mum!”
She repeats the momentous question
“Of course he is!” I squeeze her tight
“What a ridiculous suggestion.”