"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Man In Black

I just realized that a true protest singer of the sixties, one who often collaborated with Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, was none other than the Man In Black, one I never thought of as a protest singer. After listening to an NPR special on American Roots, I know why Johnny Cash dressed in black. And sadly the reasons are still true today. This, from one of his songs,

I dress in black for all the downtrodden, for those who are serving time past the time their time is up because of the times.

I just wanted to throw that out there because I thought maybe some of you didn't know that either.

And for the downtrodden writer on the query quest, how about a different way of looking at rejection. With so much talk out there about rejection, how to handle it like a big girl and plod ahead without drowning yourself in drink or giving up the game to pursue something you don’t like as much, like waiting tables or nine-to-fiveing it, I like what Holly Root had to say recently on her blog.

"With so much talk about “rejection” on the internet, I sometimes wish that we could talk in terms of “decline” rather than “reject.” There’s no moral judgment here, just an opportunity I won’t be part of."

I like that. How about you?

14 comments:

Olivia J. Herrell said...

I didn't know that was why Johnny wore black, but I'm not surprised. He fought for the little man.

I like decline.

Great post, that rebel, Olivia

Judy Croome said...

Now I know why I like Johnny Cash.

And I like "decline" too. A lot less emotive than "reject"

Judy

Yvonne Osborne said...

Olivia,
Thanks so much. He did. I wish I had appreciated that more when he was alive. Thanks for commenting.

Judy,
I thought the same when I heard that about him. And yes, decline is a much nicer word isn't it?

Jemi Fraser said...

I like that too! A much more pleasant image :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
Thanks. I certainly liked it!

Suzanne Casamento said...

True, "decline" is a much softer word than "reject." But both of them are still less than pleasant.

All we can do is keep doing what we're doing.

C. N. Nevets said...

On the receiving end decline sounds more condescending to me. lol Funny how connotations vary from person to person.

I'd love to wear a rainbow every day, and tell the world that everything's OK, but I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back. 'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Suzanne,
Yes, stil less than pleasant. But what we're doing is more than pleasant.

C.N. Nevets,
Hi! On the receiving end, I guess it still sucks. Oh! I love the last lines of that Johnny Cash song. Thank you thank you thank you.

C. N. Nevets said...

I think a lot of my writing falls in tone and theme between Man in Black and Folsom Prison Blues. haha

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Yvonne. I don't know about you but I've been so anxious about the contest I'm almost in adrenaline let down now. lol I'm such a dork.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Nevets,
Yes, adreneline let down. I think that's why I have a headache. Oh, that plus receiving an agent's rejection tonight kinda dampened my spirits as well. Drats. Writerly types are often considered dorks, don't ya know?

C. N. Nevets said...

Yvonne, sorry to hear about the agent. That's a process I hope to start in December or January. I'm looking forward to it but also dreading it. I know intellectually it's matter of persistence and finding the right match, but I know that about magazines too and every one of those rejections has killed me a little. *sigh*

Keep on keepin' on, Yvonne! If you love it, it's worth it!

foldingfields said...

Johnny Cash...he's too cool. Decline sounds better, but honestly rejection makes my face flush with determination. Decline gives me opportunity to accept defeat.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Sarah,
That's an interesting point. Decline gives us an opportunity to accept defeat....? Well, hell. None of us are doing that!

Jackee said...

Johnny Cash would have known what he was talking about! :o)

I don't like the word rejection either. Time to change... at least in our own minds. :o)