Christmas Rejections

As a writer, I’m used to rejection. But some hurt more than others, especially when the piece is based on something personal. A couple of years ago I entered my “Lost in Venice” essay in the Honolulu Advertiser’s Christmas story contest. It wasn’t one of the finalists, so I shrugged it off and shelved it.

Then last year I resurrected it for my Sunday Star-Bulletin Addicted to Life column. The theme of “wrong turns” and being lost had taken on more meaning in the wake of a tragic car accident that took the life of a beloved local playwright. I revised and reworked it until I felt it was good enough to send to the S-B editorial page editor. She read it and told me she cried because it moved her.

I looked forward to seeing it in the Sunday paper just before Christmas. But when I checked the editorial section, it wasn’t there. Since the next Sunday paper would be too late to run the Christmas piece, I was heartbroken. I asked the editor what happened. She said they didn’t have space for it — however, she was going to run it on Christmas instead, which was even better since the column would be the main attraction on the op-ed page that day. (The editor later confessed she left it out of the Sunday paper by mistake, and her idea to run it on Christmas was a spur of the moment decision!)

My wife, family, friends and thousands of other people read it on the day it was meant for… an essay that had been rejected, then accidentally left out… a story that was about mistakes and wrong turns in life that can lead to special moments, now had its own happy ending. The earlier rejection made me work harder on that piece, and it made the story better. Stronger.

Here’s the link to that column. Hope you like it. Please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below.

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2 Comments on “Christmas Rejections”

  1. richfigel Says:

    And now for something completely different, an interesting Wikipedia post on Festivus — the “real” made-up holiday that became a classic Seinfeld sitcom episode:

  2. richfigel Says:

    Funny Christmas-related “news” article:


    BLOOMINGTON, IN — The FBI arrested 34 people and seized $157 in small, tasteful presents Monday in what is believed to be the largest bust of a Secret Santa ring in U.S. history…

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