Metaphors, Metaphors Everywhere (And Not a Drop to Drink)

I sent out nearly twenty queries mid-March. I’ve gotten four rejections so far.

Having a rejection is nicely concrete, actually.

I recognize that I’m not always the best at self-marketing. I have moments of ramped-up energy, where my fingers spill like lava across the keyboard and smears of magma come away from the computer screen. Everything is hot to the touch and steaming with motivation. Until my burst of inspiration cools down, just like this metaphor, and I simply can’t be buggered.

Those rejections, despite how they spark sharp across my skin, a rolling blend of disappointment and saw-this-coming, are fully formed and realized. It’s the waiting, the wavering, the lack of pings in my inbox that sit like stones in my gut. Without those confirmations of my inadequacy, I remain in stasis, waiting in a cocoon of cotton hoping to metamorphose into actual success. It’s a tale Kafka would be despair of, the quivering arthropod beneath this pink and fleshy skin.

I pile up all my rejections, reading them like tea leaves to determine my fortune, hoping to parse out grains of hope amid over-steeped mulch. Until then, I remain within my exoskeleton, and I wait.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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