Secret Ingredient

“A small sampling of my mss rejections. From 2016-2020 I’ll have published four full-length poetry collections, two chapbooks, and two novels. Eight books. […] I’ve also received something close to two hundred rejections for my mss alone. Maybe a thousand in this time period if I count all the rejected poems, stories, and essays as well. And yet, I persist.” – from a Facebook post by poeta Jenn Givhan.

Funny how persistence in reaching a goal looks like magic to those looking on from the outside…instead of the work it is.



Secret Ingredient


I choose my ruby slippers
their sanguine glimmer
fits because every day is the day
my writing ship comes in  

I stride into the room
outfitted with only first editions
and a desk made from the wood
of Shakespeare’s mother’s house

No computers for me, only
a fountain pen, French ruled paper
and my sign à la Dorothy Parker
No fresh hells allowed

Then, as is my custom,
I write, revise, write, revise
until that day is finished. 
Then do the same the next.


Curious to see more of my writing?  Visit me – Brenda Joyce Patterson – on Facebook, Twitter, and my website.

Want to be in a poem?  Send me an email with the subject line “Poetry Star” and tell me what you want your poem to be about for a chance at winning free writing swag.

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