Whenever I wax gloomy about the prospects of being published, I often hear the legendary tale of Dr. Seuss' first book being rejected 27 times before being published. The tale is meant to encourage the forlorn artist to keep the faith.
Yet, I can't help thinking about other lessor known persons of note who suffered the slings and arrows of rejection before achieving some modicum of fame. Here are a few:
|Norge Polar Expedition|
Born in 1870, as a boy Captain Norge hated the water and the snow. He got motion-sickness every time his family went climbing in the mountains above icy fjords. As a young naval officer, Lt. Norge suffered from home-sickness every time his ship left port. His first Arctic Expedition failed due to a leaky boat and contaminated food tins. His second Arctic Expedition failed due to a bad case of gout. It was only in 1919, that his ship The Moose plowed through the summer ice fields and placed Captain Norge within 100 miles of the North Pole. Of course, Admiral Peary had reached the North Pole ten years earlier, but who's quibbling. Captain Norge heroic expedition sealed his name forever in the annuals of guys who voyaged to the North Pole after the first guy.
|Thedore M. Heimline|
In 1973, Heimline invented a method to stop hiccups by having the afflicted bark into a paper bag. His son suffered from chronic hiccuping and Heimline trying all manner of remedies to stop the hiccuping, including suspending a bag of water over his son's head and slapping the boy's feet with a cod fish. His great breakthrough of using a paper lunch bag had the potential of catapulting Heimline to great medical fame. Unfortunately, in 1974, Dr. Henry Heimlich perfected the Heimlich Maneuver to great acclaim and Heimline, due to the spelling of his last name, was accused of poaching Dr. Heimlich's success. Heimline intended to change his name, but the great Cootie Outbreak of 1973 at his son's school drained Heimline's finances as his son was accused of having being a Cootie Monster.
Class of 2011, Russell Marquez began an anonymous blog called "Guide to Girls", explaining to shy and uninitiated freshman how high school girls behave. His blog achieved great success with boys and great notoriety with girls. When a publishing house - who shall remain nameless - approached Russell, still an anonymous blogger, with a book deal consisting of his various blog posts, Russell announced the news on Guide to Girls and revealed his identity. The ensuing legal action by outraged parents, the FCC, the CDC and the PTA scared off the publishing house and Russell was forced to close down his blog as part of a legal settlement. Snippets of his "Guide to Girls" still can be heard in faint whispers among clashing hallway locker and read in code embedded in unicorn images appearing in a random Google search.
- Mimi Lee Menagerie, circa 1954, creator of the literary genre Southern Punk with the obscure novel "I Got a Case of the Vapors."
- Rattinus L. Finkius aka Joe Pietra, circa 1929, inventor of the "step car" known today to airline travelers as the step ladder used to disembark passengers on airport tarmacs.
- Ms. Beatrice Conroy Deveer, circa 1996, technician at Bell Laboratories perfected a device known as the IVD which is implanted into a adolescent female nether regions and administers an electric shock of 20 milliampers at the introduction of the adolescent male verpa. Patent pending.
So the next time I feel pessimistic about my writing career, I ponder the problems of software engineer, Mona "Bumpers" Quintana, who is actively shopping her memoir about her love affair with Sam, a cyber voice service. Ms. Quintana is currently serving 5 to 10 years in Chino State Correction Facility for Women for assault and battery on a Trademark. Ms. Quintana claimed Sam was "stepping out on me with that bitch Siri."