Doghouse Tails

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useless hound by Amy Ant

Letter to a Publisher

Dear PP MD Publishing company

Apologies for the discourteous title but could not make out the name so deftly scrawled at the bottom of your letter. Suspect therefore you are possibly 'handwritingly challenged' and would probably excel in an alternative medical career. Not bitter merely observant.

Though crushed by your cruel letter, on the positive side, this 'as yet unpublished' author's rejection slip collage moves on apace and could one day be entered for the Turner prize.

Whilst accepting that the enchanting manuscript of children's stories together with the CD including beautifully crafted and painstakingly drawn graphics may 'at this present time' not be suitable for your portfolio, I was somewhat disappointed that the CD was not returned. The manuscript arrived, barely creased…how thoughtful.
Your letter stated that Manuscripts and enclosures can only be returned to you if you supply a stamped address envelope and the correct postage'

According to the local post office, where the envelope containing both the manuscript and the CD were recorded, the return envelope had enough postage on it to relieve the third world famine single handedly by airmail. So when the morning post arrived I was somewhat surprised not to hear the resounding thud that generally accompanies its landing. (The definitive herald of the latest collage material). In fact my heart briefly flirted with the idea of going through the motions of the 'almost missing a beat' game in case it was in fact a delighted letter of acceptance.

Eyeing the ominous self addressed multi stamped envelope I noted it was extremely slim. 'Mmmmmmmmm worrying. On the other hand maybe not,' (eternal optimist). 'Just maybe they are a publishing company that sends its acceptance letters back in the SAE provided. They could be into recycling.'

Made tea. Picked up envelope again. 'Perhaps a little heavy for the first acceptance level. Do they put contracts in at this stage?' Opened envelope in normal couldn't care less but butterflies swarming mode... dead butterflies everywhere.

Yet again the, oh so familiar, 'Dear writer, thank you but no thank you'. Like the letterhead though, it will look great on the top left-hand corner of the collage, angled slightly of course.
Scratching around in the bottom of the now obviously empty envelope confirmed my suspicions, no CD.

Now you dear 'PP MD publishing company' may not think that a one pound CD is worth returning, but this severely bruised JK Rawlings of the future does. Having spent last month's salary on stamps she now has nothing in the kitty for her niece's Easter presents.

One option would have been to give them a copy of the CD. Talulah and Jemima find the stories utterly absorbing (they obviously lack any kind of literary appreciation). The walk to their home in Sussex would have been excellent for my London Marathon training programme and the unbridled joy on their faces at the sight of Aunty Easter Bunny delivering their presents by hand would, I'm sure, have been a moment to treasure in my rich tapestry of life.

If you really cannot afford the postage for the return of the CD, and yes times are hard, please could you advise me so that I may beg my superiors for a sub? I shall then send you another envelope with even more stamps on, and walk back from Sussex as well.

Your desperately wounded, emotionally scarred but still optimistic author.


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