Thursday, January 27
The hugs that sustain us
The first story I ever submitted was to Redbook magazine back in the day when they still published fiction. It was about a man who is enchanted by the mermaid who seduced his father away from his family. Not sure why I chose to sub to Redbook, probably because they took fiction. Unbelievably, I received a postcard saying that it had been recommended for further consideration.
A few months passed and every day I checked the mail, I held my breath. And finally a big yellow envelope appeared. Yeah, not a good sign. I tore into the envelope and a short, terse note fell out with the rejected manuscript. But on the bottom of the form rejection, someone had scribbled a personal note, "This was well written, but ultimately didn't seem right for us." It was like a little word hug from an anonymous fan.
Let me tell you, that note sustained me for many a rejection. Even if everyone else rejected me, someone at Redbook felt I warranted a special note.
There have been many a rejections and a few additional special notes that lesson the sting along the way. One way I've avoided rejection is not to finish anything worth submitting. That's about to change, I hope, with my current work-in-progress. Hopefully, by the end of Spring, I'll have a submittable project and I'll be putting myself back into the line of fire.
After a three year hiatus, I say bring it on, the good, the bad, the ugly. If it eventually leads to the published, I'm in. And the encouragement I get from my crit-mates have become the word hugs that sustain me. We're all on this road to being published together and its so great to have someone to hold hands with when the going gets tough.