While You're At It...

Our house has become Rejection Central in the past ten days or so. I am receiving rejections from places I'd forgotten I submitted work to.

I did wonder, because writers have that kind of ego, whether I am the target of pre-emptive rejections. Maybe word got around all of North America that I've been submitting, and the lit mags have taken a proactive approach.

You know: "The Journal of Really Good Writing is desperately searching for new, fresh voices. We publish new writers, seasoned writers, breathing writers, dead ones--in fact, anyone writing in any genre. Except you, Marion Agnew. No, not the one who lives in Ottawa. You there, in Thunder Bay. Don't even think about it."

However, I keep a spreadsheet. So I have, in fact, submitted to these places who saw fit to reject my work.

As they have said somewhere but apparently taken off their submissions page, The Fiddlehead does indeed send really great rejection notes.

In fact, their notes are so great that they made me take a hard look at the rest of my life. Suddenly, it felt lackluster. Listless. Tired and sad. So I decided to write back.

Dear Fiddlehead,

Thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words about my manuscript, which you are still not going to publish in spite of the many stellar qualities about which you wax so eloquent. As long as you are saying fabulous things about the quality of my writing, this sample of which you are definitely, oh-so-definitely not going to publish, how about mixing in nice things in a few other areas? Like could you mention how svelte I am looking lately, and how I don't look a day over 30, even though you are still not publishing my writing and I will likely die with a filing cabinet full of unpublished manuscripts, and too many cats? Thanks.

In all seriousness, I do appreciate receiving rejections if the alternative is silence. As I have written about before, specifically, here. And I really appreciate kind words and encouragement.

But another acceptance, sometime soon...well, that would be, you know, BETTER. Which means it's time to look up email submission processes, or in rare cases, get out the stamps and manila envelopes.

Discipline. Uh-huh.