By Erica Buist

Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World’s Death Festivals

Friday, 4 January 2019

100 rejections and other updates

Hello, Happy New Year, and I hope you enjoyed the Nepal chapter. Here are a couple of updates from me, your friendly neighbourhood death-festival-visitor:

New Years Resolution: 100 rejections
My friend Anita Gill told me about an excellent idea that I've taken on as a New Years Resolution: to aim for 100 rejections in 2019. Article pitches, book ideas, essays, short stories, fellowships, residencies, speaking gigs – there are SO MANY WAYS to be rejected. The idea is if you shoot for a volume of rejections, you'll likely get more acceptances. Since I have a tendency to become mildly obsessed with numbers (ah, just imagine how well I'm dealing with crowdfunding a book) my husband has cautioned me not to pitch deliberately hideous ideas just to get my rejection tally up. Wise advice, indeed.

I'm not suggesting it's easy to get there. You'd need to get rejected twice a week, meaning it's smart to send out around 12 pigeons a month. Which is a lot. But I'll see what I can do. Is anyone else trying this? Tell me how it's going/ how it went!

How's the book going?
Because of the nature of writing a book that's centred around festivals, the dates of which the countries refuse to bring forward no matter how impatient I am waiting for them, I get to really polish chapters in between festivals.

The next one is in April – Qingming, a Chinese death festival I'll be celebrating in Thailand with my half-Thai, half-Chinese stepmother and my father (who, until he pledges, has no idea what I'm writing about him. I might give him a squeaky voice like Mickey Mouse until he does. Mwahaha).

(You know what? I'm not even sure I'm kidding. If when you read my book my father is described as having a squeaky voice, you'll know exactly why. It'll be our private joke, and none of the Johnny-come-lately readers ever have to know. I repeat: mwahaha.)

"We won't text back when we're dead" the headline of a piece I just wrote for Medium, which is a cheeky extract of the book repurposed for the site. Check it out. Or, if you're feeling lazy, click play on the audio above and I'll read it TO you.

Happy New Year, lovelies. Thanks for joining on this weird ride.

Erica. x

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