For some reason Charlie had always imagined he’d be a successful novelist. Such a dream was surely about to come true. His first novel had been accepted by a major publishing company. For over a year the manuscript had been edited, honed, changed, amended, corrected, revised, rewritten, modified, improved, refined, sharpened, perfected, enhanced, polished, altered, transformed, adjusted, brushed up, gone over, read aloud, examined microscopically, and had removed from its pages all possible accusations of racism, sexism, and xenophobia. In fact, Charles reckoned he could hardly recognize the original.
He didn’t like the finished product much. It had had the stuffing knocked out of it.
On his final visit to the publisher Charlie was told that the novel lacked panache and it was no longer going to be published. It simply wouldn’t sell. Charlie told them to shove it. He went home and wrote a poem.