How We All Feel, From Time to Time


I happened to be flipping through Larry Brown’s magnificent Big Bad Love last night. I’ve read the stories in this collection dozens of times but it’s always an unexpected pleasure when you thumb through a book, quickly flipping the pages, and a line just grabs your attention, as though written in neon, as though flaming on the page. It’s a line you’ve read many times before but something about the timing and your mood just makes it scream.

This particular line is meaningful because it reflects Larry’s own experiences and his determination. And it’s certainly something we all feel as we try to build a writing career. In the context of the story, 92 Days, and in the context of our literary struggles, it’s just a damn good line. After expecting to receive a rejection slip for his latest short story, Leon Barlow remarks:

“I was knocking, had been knocking for years, but it was taking a long time for them to let me in.”

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