I returned from work this morning, fell into bed after arranging things I would need in the afternoon so as to avoid any avoidance behaviors, and slept. So far, so good, my intentions and actions were of the purest, and 20k words seemed an attainable goal for the weekend. I woke, I rose, I woke the computer and checked my email just prior to unplugging from the internet and moving away from the jack — no temptation, that way.
Top of my inbox, a rejection letter.
Now, I know some things. I know that RL’s are part of the Writing Life, and have received them before without trauma. I know that the story I submitted was shallow and painfully obvious; it was written with an artificially short timeline and an artificially small word count permitted. I knew these things. I also know that there are other professional markets, there are semi-pro markets, hell, there are amateur markets that will get me a writing credit.
I kept telling me these things.
And I could feel the air escaping from my spine, could sense my skin growing slack, sagging and folding, and beginning to pool at my feet.
Grief, the editor, bless ‘er heart, even added a couple of lines to the rejection, telling specifically what she felt was wrong with it — and, it matched what I knew up front, that the story was predictable.
And the evening slipped away with the air from my punctured hopes, hopes that I wasn’t aware I was carrying around. Maybe that’s why this blind-sided me; I hadn’t looked in my pockets, noticed that I had some specific hope on me, and that I had invested it with need.
Balls. I’m going to bed, and will be a new person in the morning.