This Week in Rejection!: Playboy

You know… I wish I had something a little more exciting to show you for my rejection letter from Playboy (received at some point during my college years, as I recall). I was hoping for an acceptance letter, obviously, but even in lieu of that, I certainly didn’t expect this utterly bland rejection, mailed on a quarter-sheet of paper.

Still, you have to look at it from the editorial perspective: Anything less than bland could be seen as encouraging people to send them more of the same unpublishable crap. So maybe Playboy has/had the right idea. If you’d like, compare their rejection letter to the giggler from Hustler, here. Which one would you rather get in the mail?

Playboy letter


Wednesday Warren – Detox Mansion

If there’s one thing Zevon knew, it was rehab. So “Detox Mansion,” his send-up of celebrity rehabbing from the album Sentimental Hygiene, is spot-on, of course:

Well, it’s tough to be somebody
And it’s hard not to fall apart
Up here on Rehab Mountain
We gonna learn these things by heart

Memory Monday – Sandman!

Most Memory Monday posts are just cool/fun/nostalgic panels from the comics of my youth. But this week’s is a little more. There’s an actual story here…

I love mythology in all its forms, so it’s no surprise that I loved Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. And the storyline “Season of Mists” kicked off when I was in college, intensively studying some of the same mythologies he was playing with. So. Cool.

The panel below really caught my attention. It appears during a dream banquet for the gods, and the two humans are dreamers who’ve been “hijacked” to serve as waitstaff (click to enlarge):


Sandman panel 1


And later, we get this moment between them:


Sandman panel 2


I’m not sure why, but I became obsessed with these two people! To the point that I actually came up with a story about the guy waking up, unable to forget this woman he’d met in his dreams…and deciding to find her in the waking world, no matter what. A few years later, out of college and working in the comic book industry, I actually had the chance to pitch that story to an editor at Vertigo.

Needless to say, I did a lousy job pitching it. And even if I had done a masterful job, who knows if they would have been interested? But in any event, I still look at these panels and think to myself, “Whatever happened to those two…?”

(From Sandman #26, May 1991. Story by Neil Gaiman, art by Kelley Jones and George Pratt.)

This Week in Rejection!: Writers of the Future

Hey, this one has a date on it, so I can peg my growth as a writer! Based on the timing of it, I would have been a senior in high school, and the story referenced here — “Everything Dies (Atlantic City)” — was a weird sort of fantasy story that incorporated resurrection, reincarnation, and alternate universes. It was inspired very loosely by the lyric “Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact/But maybe everything that dies some day comes back” in the Springsteen song “Atlantic City.”

Very loosely.

Anyway, nothing exciting or anger-inducing or even all that interesting in this week’s letter…except take note of the judges. At least I was being rejected by a truly awesome class of writers!




Wednesday Warren – Splendid Isolation

Not many rockers can pull off a Georgia O’Keeffe reference. Few even try. But that’s Warren for you. And here he is now, with “Splendid Isolation” from his (IMHO) underrated album, Transverse City.

I want to live all alone in the desert
I want to be like Georgia O’Keeffe
I want to live on the Upper East Side
And never go down in the streets

iTunes album link: