Sunday Scribblings used to post writing prompts on Thursday so participants could have the whole weekend to wade in words and come up on Sunday clutching a fresh story. At least that’s how I saw it from my sporadic spot at the computer. But then Thursday turned into Friday and Friday to Saturday and Saturday to so late on Sunday that Italian calendars had already flipped to Monday… and nobody wants to read Sunday Scribblings on a Monday. However, when this week’s prompt nodded its tardy hello from my feed reader, I knew exactly what I wanted to post.
The prompt was food; the essay I had in mind was written two years ago and never published, though not for lack of trying. In fact, it won me my first honest-to-goodness rejection letter. “Thanks so much,” the magazine editor wrote, “but we don’t have a spot for this.” Cordial and blessedly succinct but rejection all the same. I’ve since realized that I employ two different ways of coping with rejection: one is to cry while plunging into a creative funk and the other is to repress while plunging into a creative funk. In this instance, I repressed. I buried the letter, typed “Rejected” at the top of my essay, and then got busy forgetting either one ever existed.
Today’s Sunday Scribblings’ prompt brought the essay back to mind though, and I decided hey, if it’s not good enough for publication, I can at least use it on my blog. No rejection letters this time, guaranteed. However, as I read over my concoction of words I had shoved to the back of the fridge two years ago, I realized it was good. Age hadn’t diluted any of its original flavor. It still brimmed with the succulence that had inspired me to submit it in the first place, and the corresponding rejection note felt as insignificant as a fly to be brushed away.
Which explains why I spent the girls’ naptime researching literary journals and why, instead of an essay on food, you now get a photograph of a dark-chocolate-salted-caramel cupcake waiting to be devoured by an overly sensitive writer.
I call it Food for Rethought.