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Thursday, August 3, 2017

(4) MOM USED TO SAY SHE COULD PAPER A WALL WITH HER REJECTION SLIPS.

To Paige 
rhapsodyenbleuclair.blogspot.com
May 25, 2015
     You, my dear Paige, have not only a gift for writing but also a gift for making a friend feel like she's dancing along on air with no need for her walker.
     News re activity books based on Mom's poems: The first two, Poetry with a Purpose and Rhyme Time can be bought on Amazon for pennies, but the the third, Read Me a Rhyme, Please, is a different story. Between the years 1993 to 2004, I submitted to it to 60 different publishers. Many of the rejection letters spoke warmly of Ernestine Beyer’s talents as a poet and invited me to try them again. I did this so often that my submissions neared a total of a hundred. I saw my local post office clerk oftener that I saw my children. I recalled how my mom used to say she could paper a wall with her rejection slips. 

     But now, with the publication of Read Me a Rhyme, Please on my blog, I've discovered that Amazon has been charging approximately $30 a copy, which means the supply is limited.  Teachers and parents hung on to their copies.
     In 1928, Mom wrote a discouraged letter to my out-of-town father.
     "All my poems are coming back and back. Each time it is like a kick in the stomach. I know just how Dempsey felt when Tunney pummeled his bad eye! I wish it didn't affect me that way. I almost think I'll have to give it up, I get so blue. I have to lecture myself to keep going . . . perhaps lecturing should be my vocation. It is sad to think yourself a skylark and find you are only a mud one!"
     Oh, how I empathized with my mother 75 years later. Every time I saw my address on a returned manila envelope -- oof! It was like a punch in the solar plexus.
     In December of 2004, I had given up and nearly forgotten my quest, when I received a call from Gary Wilson of Humanics Learning. "We are going to publish your book,” he announced. I almost had to grab my desk to keep from falling off my chair. Read Me a Rhyme, Please appeared in bookstores, schools, and libraries in September, 2006 and was a runaway success..
     We’ve come a long way, Mom. Couldn’t have done it without you.

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