Throwing a Tantrum

Combine a hissy fit with a fit of pique and what do you get? A full-blown tantrum, that's what. And in a 58 year old woman whose emotional temperature is generally so cheerful as to be annoying, it was not a pretty sight.



Hissy fit. Yep. I've done it again. The last time it was the second metatarsal. This time it's the third. Back to the Aircast for a month.


We are honored that you have given us the opportunity to consider your work. Though we are unable to use your submission at this time, we encourage you to keep writing and to submit again.

Fit of pique.  Four in one day: a record. A fit of pique differs from a hissy fit in that wounded pride is the proximal cause.


I sulled like an old possum. I clomped around the house muttering dark oaths and curses. Poor Buck and Maggie gave me wide berth. I lay down on the floor, arms over my head, and stared at the ceiling, questioning almost everything I thought I knew. I huffed. I puffed.

Finally, I got up, splashed cold water on my face, pulled a sock and then a jogging shoe on my left foot and headed out to the garage.

I found that, while I can't walk the woods or treadmill for a month, I can use the old Schwinn Air-Dyne exercise bike with the movable arms, prop my right foot up on a metal rung, and get a pretty decent workout.

Next, I pulled on my old weight-lifting gloves and found there are many moves I can safely make on the weight bench without affecting my foot. I've been using advancing osteoarthritis in my hands as an excuse to avoid weights for awhile, but you know what? They feel better today, despite, or perhaps because of, yesterday afternoon's workout.

Finally, last night before bed, tired of sulking and swearing "I'll never write another word," I went into the study, unplugged the old laptop I keep in there and put it in a cabinet, cleared off all the extraneous reading material on top of the desk, dusted the surface, rearranged the lamp so it casts light instead of shadow, and put the three short stories I am working on in a neat stack to the left and a fresh legal pad and pen in the middle, turned off the light and went to greet Buck and Maggie in the boudoir.

I gave them both the "all clear" signal and we shared a group hug.


9 thoughts on “Throwing a Tantrum

  1. How the heck did you break a metatarsal? Did you drop/throw the laptop on your foot? Ouch!
    As for the rejection letters, clearly you’ve submitted to some real jerks ( I could use stronger language, but won’t) who aren’t worth the postage or bandwidth. Forget them. If they don’t get it now, they never will.
    Here’s Dr. Paula’s Rx for what ails you:
    Print this line out in 20 pt Arial and post it on your mirror.
    I am a superb writer.
    You know it’s true. All you have to do is look around. Actually, you’re a poet disguised as a short story writer, like so many of the best.
    Please don’t let your writing muscles atrophy as a result of this setback. Gotta get out whatever weigths you’ve got out there in the garage to keep your writing chops toned, everyday.
    If that doesn’t work, call me in the morning.


  2. Hey Paula — thanks for the vote of confidence — but I have to say that in this case they are definitely not jerks, but are hard-working editors who have written me personal notes of encouragement with tips to help turn my work into complete stories. Remember the classic quote from former President Harry Truman? “I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s hell.” Well, that’s the way of it here. Rejections really are part of the growth process for a writer, and the upset feelings can lead to better writing if they don’t kill you!


  3. Ouch! Must be painful….be careful, ok?
    One reason I will never try to be a writer…can’t handle rejection…lol
    Having a sister who is a budding writer, I can relate best to Buck and Maggie!
    I just love the way you turned your feelings around. Sometimes getting ready to make a fresh start is more important than the actual fresh start….^-^
    We all know you will keep going.


  4. As you know, I am not a writer, so must this a common form of writer’s cramp I didn’t know about? Thought it only affected the hands! Seriously, not good news. Hope your healing is fast!


  5. Hmmm…. Broken foot. Maybe you should have stayed in Walgreen’s the other day.
    On the other hand, now that you are glued to a chair for the foreseeable future, I hope we can look forward to some more stories being posted here.
    Heal well and true, my friend.


  6. So sorry about the foot. I’m glad you could find a way to work out. My treadmill is the best defense against angst after rejection, and I’m needing it today! (I’ve learned the word “honored” in an editor’s response usually signals danger.) But it’s definitely all part of the process, as you commented above, and you’ll receive plenty more acceptances in the future, I’m sure. Take care.


  7. Oh noooo….cried Bill, as he fell from the roof, lemon missives falling around him. I don’t want no more stinkin’ lemonade!
    You’re a trooper.
    And you probably know that the short story is the hardest form–it’s so concentrated that every drop has to be perfect.
    I’m wanting your novel about the crazy Southerners…and the book of hedgehog stories. Don’t wait until my niece is grown for that one, please.


  8. I’ve never heard of anyone getting so pique off that they broke their own foot. I should go back to submitting stories instead of taking the easy way out by blogging. You are at least leading the brave life, and suffering the wounds.
    There’s a lot of reasons for rejecting stories other than they are bad. I hope you send your stories right back out to new markets.
    By the way, you said you had four in one day. Were those four fit of piques, or rejection letters?


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