Maybe this is how I know I’m a writer. I can’t even seem to make it through the moment I am in without taking time to write and reflect about the moment itself. Probably not the best plan, probably shouldn’t reflect on a moment that isn’t even finished yet. However, I seem to have lost the ability to process things unless my fingers are moving across the keyboard.
I got home fifteen minutes ago or so after watching a chick flick with some of my favorite chicks. There was a huge package on my porch. At first, excitement went through me—What did I get? Did he send me something? Then fear—Did I preorder something a long time ago when I thought I had money and then forgot to cancel it once I woke up and saw reality? Then I saw the return address and I was so glad I had decided to wait until next week to write the inquiring email. Kensington Publishing.
I’ve never had any contact with a publishing company before, but even I know that if my manuscript is sittin’ on the porch, it ain’t a good thang.
“Dear Mr. Witt,
Thanks for letting me have a look at your novel, THE SHATTERED DOOR. After having had a chance to read it, I’m sorry to say I will be passing. While the writing here was good, I’m afraid I wasn’t as involved with the story and characters as I needed to be. Hopefully another publisher will feel differently. You may want to check with [...] at Alyson Publishing.
Thanks again for the look and best of luck with your writing.
I wasn’t surprised. I’m surprised I didn’t cry. However, I don’t cry when I buy a lotto ticket and it turns out to be Not A Winner. This would be like winning the lotto, just a lot more work. A lot more work. It’s hard to hear someone say they aren’t involved in characters that I love so much, but again, not surprised.
My only real regret? I wish I’d gotten this last week. Before the year ended. Stupidly enough, the only time I’ve had real hope about this was this past week, because it’s 2010 now. 2009 is over! Only good things in 2010. Right.
I knew what it said before I opened it. I sat it on the coffee table and bent down to pet the pups, why rush to rip open a Christmas present when you know what’s inside you’d rather return?
I opened it. Read the letter twice. I waited for the tears to come, really. They didn’t. Still haven’t. Kinda close now, but that’s more about what I’m getting ready to write than the book. It just made me feel really tired.
It was rather a numb sensation reading the letter. The only stab was when I accidentally said out loud, “huh, rejected again.” Didn’t even realize that was coming out, until it reached my ears. Kinda put it in perspective. This was just a book I wrote and spent a lot of time on. And it was just my dream editor/publisher rejecting. He doesn’t know me or care about me or wish me any harm. He just didn’t like my book, which is completely okay and understandable. This is absolutely nothing compared to the other rejection I had.
Sickeningly, my first reaction was to text him to tell him about what I found out about the book. Then I realized what I was thinking, scolded myself, and went to brush my teeth. You don’t text the person who rejected everything you are to flaunt about someone else who merely rejected your self-proclaimed, self-important talent.
The next thought I had was, “I wish I hadn’t told anybody that I was submitting it—or writing at all.” There are so many people out there who are genuinely so excited to hear what the publisher has to say. A testament to what wonderful people I have in my life. I hate to let them down. I hate to be one of those people who always talk about what they are working on, what they are writing, and nothing ever comes of it. I tried to shake this off as well, after all, these same people have seen me rejected by the man most of them thought would build his life with me, so this is nothing. However, I’m having a hard time shaking this feeling. So what do I do? Immediately write about it—can’t learn for trying.
So, do I stop? No. I knew I wouldn’t, but I thought I’d consider it. Thought I might see it as a wakeup call and quit living in fantasyland. I didn’t when they signs were there before the other rejection, why would I now? It’s not like I even have a choice. Published or never published. I have to write. The fingers have to take solace in the keyboard. I have to vomit everything I think, feel, experience, and dream up. It’s not a choice any longer.
So, I’ve experience a love few get to ever feel. I’ve experience writing a book (books at this point) and few people get to feel that. I’ve made it through the last year and into a new decade. While titled way before my world was shattered, The Shattered Door turned out to be an ominous omen. And while I may not be whole and intact as I once was, while I may still be licking my wounds, and trying to re-discover my heart, unlike my book, I am not shattered. Not yet. While there are several doors this past year that have slammed in my face and I have not been able to shatter them so that I could get back in, I am not shattered.
Now, to fall asleep with pups, then wake to be just one more reject author/lover, I will work out, give massages so I can afford to eat, go on a date in an effort to rediscover my humanity and heart, and then return home to fall asleep with the pups once more. Not shattered.