Category Archives: Books and Libraries

Five Rejected Books that Survived and Thrived

Thoughts of Labor Day merge with the idea that writing is hard work. Some writers found rejection too hard to handle and quit. Others kept going, believing in their talent. Thank goodness they did; otherwise we might have missed these stories that not only survived, but thrived:


carrie-book-cover-650x1024Stephen King had his first book Carrie rejected 30 times until Doubleday offered him a $2500 advance. Carrie launched King’s career and, like many of his novels, it was made into a feature film.


Have you seen the film “The Help” based on Kathryn Stockett’s book?  Before it became the popular film that movie goers flocked to see, The Help received 60 rejections. After Amy Einhorn Books bought it, Stockett’s novel made the New York Times bestseller list, stayed there for 100 weeks and, so far, has sold over 7million copies.

mashWhen you hear the word “MASH” you likely associate it with the popular television series. The original M*A*S*H, the book written by Richard Hooker, was rejected 21 times. Finally, after many revisions and help from journalist W.C. Heinz, Hooker’s book was published, and four years later MASH showed up on TV screens all across America—the rest is history.


Another languishing manuscript that became famous is the bestselling science fiction novel, Dune. Frank Herbert‘s story received 23 rejections before Chilton Books (a company best known for publishing automotive manuals) picked it up. Dune has sold more than 20 million copies, won numerous literary awards and, of course, made it to the big screen.

wrinkleMadeleine L’Engle‘s A Wrinkle in Time was turned down by 26 publishers who decided the story was too deep for young readers. Farrar, Straus & Giroux finally published the story as a young adult novel, not certain if it belonged there or as a book for adults. Not to worry, both children and adults loved the book! Since then, more than 10 million copies have sold. A Wrinkle in Time won the coveted Newbery Medal and most recently the story was released as a feature film starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.

So, on this Labor Day when your thoughts turn to work and a well deserved rest remember this:

Don’t rest too long!
Don’t allow your work in progress languish,
and most important NEVER give up.

Yours might be the next novel to one day make it to the big screen.


I’m taking a couple weeks off from blogging to relax, enjoy the lake and the north woods, and recharge my idea bank. I wish you all a restful Labor Day, and I’ll see you back here soon.


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Filed under Aspiring Writers, Books and Libraries, Dealing With Rejection, Encouragement, Inspiration, Labor Day, motivation, Uncategorized

My Little Free Library Has Gone To The Dogs!

[A Little Free Library Update]

Milk Bones. Crunchy. Irresistible. A sneaky way to get reluctant readers excited about literature . . .

What!? That’s right, my friends. Milk Bones get reluctant readers to read, and I can prove it.

doggietreatsAbout six months ago, I added a new feature to my Little Free Library—dog treats. I put a small plastic jar filled with Milk Bones among the books and a little sign on the window: Doggie Treats Inside. Canine noses smelled those Milk Bones from a mile away—well, okay, I’m exaggerating, but dogs knew that something wonderful, other than books, was in there. They firmly planted their little puppy butts on the sidewalk and refused to move until their owners opened up the library’s door and got them a treat.

And when they opened that door—


They found an amazing assortment of books: fiction, nonfiction, DIYs . . . you name it. And while the dog ate its treat, its person perused the books and maybe even borrowed one.

There is the elderly man who had walked his ancient dog past the library almost every day, never showing any interest in books until his dog sensed those Milk Bones. He’s become one of my most faithful, everyday patrons. He enjoys old war stories and action/adventure novels.

And there’s the odd, little woman who walks two white poodles dressed in odd, little sweaters. Oddly enough, she doesn’t like to be noticed. Her daily visits are stealth and quick. Two Milk Bones shoved into her pocket, for later. She likes Debbie Macomber novels and Lilian Jackson Braun’s “The Cat Who” mysteries.

dog_readingHad it not been for Milk Bones, these reluctant readers, and others, might never have stopped at my library or picked up a book. So . . . there you go . . . proof that Milk Bones get reluctant readers to read.

Yes, friends, my Little Free Library has gone to the dogs—and I wouldn’t have it any other way!


*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.


Filed under Books and Libraries, Creativity, Fun, Inspiration, Little Free Library

Little Free Libraries! What a Great Idea.

Oh, friends, I have the most wonderful idea to share with you this week—Little Free Libraries. Have you heard of them? These are small, wooden mini-libraries, little “houses” that can be mounted on a fencepost anywhere! Take a book, leave a book. The possibilities are endless.

 The idea of Little Free Libraries began with Wisconsinite Todd Bol. He teamed up with his friend, Rick Brooks, to form the non-profit group Little Free Libraries. The concept is simple. You make or buy a Little Free Library and install it near your house or business. Stock it with books to share, and spread the word. Neighbors and friends are welcome to take a book and either return it or replace it with a different book. What a great way to promote reading and especially to provide books for the neighborhood kids. Take a look at this video, and read more about it here.

Little Free Libraries are popping up everywhere, and you can have one, too. The Little Free Library web page has plans for building and links to where you can buy one. Be aware, though, that buying one can be pricey.

Are there any carpenters out there willing to barter with me? I’ll do some writing/editing work for you if you’ll build a Little Free Library for me. Can you tell that I REALLY want one?!

This week’s question: If you had a Little Free Library, what would you do with it and which books would you put inside?

BONUS–FREE PODCAST: Listen to a free Podcast interview with Rick Brooks and Todd Bol on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Here on Earth” show. The show host, Jean Feraca is one of my favorites. Check out her other show topics in the “Here on Earth” archives.

And don’t forget to “like” Little Free Library on Facebook.


Filed under Books and Libraries