So I received my first rejection yesterday. Upstreet Magazine declined my short story Sally’s Pigeons. And no, it’s not an avian resource guide. According to my plan, that’s one down, 199 to go—if I’m in the same league as Louis L’Amour, 139 if I’m side-by-side with Jack Canfield, or 21 years, 12 months, and 24 days if I compare myself to Gertrude Stein.
According to my plan I’m also supposed to be gleeful:
"This game is called Please Reject Me, and the winner is determined by the most rejections received prior to publication. And no, self-flagellation doesn't count. And yes, I will be the winner since I am the only one playing this game."
Well, maybe not gleeful exactly, but it says right there in the rules “self-flagellation doesn’t count.” I think the hard part is this—being so transparent about it. I really don’t like people to see anything other than the friendly, cheerful mask I carefully strap to my face each morning. If I hurt, if I cry, if I snap, it means I’m human, goddamit.
I found this on the world wide web today:
Which, as far as I interpret it, means: be gleeful! Don’t sulk in my rejections. Don’t immediately go to that place of “this ALWAYS happens to me” or “I’ll NEVER get published.” That’s why it’s important to make this a game, to have fun with it—so I can maintain that sense of joy and hope and adventure to match the reality I want.
By the way, yesterday I saw my acupuncturist who, after I couldn’t stop flinching and trembling when he inserted a microscopic needle into my skin, put one of these babies in each ear which triggered the release of endorphins, causing me to laugh uncontrollably. Methinks I should hire him to show up at my place each morning and turn my head into a pincushion just before and after I send off a new submission. On a positive note, he’s going to open-mic night at the Laugh Factory this weekend and planting me in the audience with needles in my ears.
Moving right along…
Also yesterday I sent out Highland Games to Crimson Romance, a publisher, based on the recommendation of my fellow romance writer and editor extraordinaire, Amy. They advertise themselves as an e-book publisher, but I got this response when I asked them about that:
"Since we’re an e-book publisher, our focus is on releasing and promoting excellent romances in e-book formats. But we know that some people still prefer to read books in print, so to answer your question, we do eventually put all of our e-books into POD. This process generally takes a few months after the release of the e-book."
So today I submitted a short story called One More Time—about a man who wishes so desperately to see his freshly broken-up girlfriend one last time that she suddenly appears in his apartment—to literary magazine Story/Houston.
And the big news of the day...
Today I received a response from Crimson requesting my full manuscript!! It ain’t no guarantee (especially if I write like that) but it sure beats the hell out of a rejection!