Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Turn that frown upside down...dealing with rejection

I'm fully aware that as a newbie author, I've been incredibly lucky. I spent months trolling internet discussion boards, blogs, and publishing resource sites trying to pump myself up for that first submission, armed with all of the publishing horror stories about how many rejections it takes before you finally get that successful bite. When I did take the plunge and submit to a publisher, the surge of nervous anticipation right after hitting send felt like every birthday-Christmas-night-before-the-tooth-fairy eve I've ever had. (I'll be honest, I've sent off four more since that first one, and the feeling is the same every time.)

My first three submissions were accepted, which I'm over the moon about. Every time I send something off, I feel like a small part of me holds its breath until I hear back. (For my upcoming novella, The Buyout, that wait was six weeks. That's not a really long submission lead-time in the publishing world, but damn, that first full breath after its acceptance was a nice one!)

This time, though, the much-awaited email was a rejection. My submission for an anthology didn't quite fit the bill, and I'll admit I had that heart-crushing moment of self-pity. But the editor was compassionate and professional, so the self-pity didn't last long. The rejection was sandwiched between a "I really liked it, but..." and a "You could try to re-write it and submit it as a novella," so I decided to turn that frown upside down and make it a smile. Or rather, turn that short upside down, add a few thousands words, and make it a novella. There's no guarantee that it'll go over better this time, but at least I've tried. And I love these characters, so spending a little more time in their world is a pleasure, not a hardship.

Connor and Jake have been together since college and their relationship has fallen into the rut that many longterm relationships do. They take each other for granted. They work overtime, they miss dinners. They slide into bed at night and keep to their own side because they're so damn tired that all they want to do is sleep. To make matters worse, they have a roommate, so their love life lacks the spontaneity of kitchen sex or even just the wanton thrill of being as loud as they want to be when they do find time for sex. When Connor becomes secretive and pulls away even more, Jake starts to worry that their relationship is in trouble. He even begins to suspect that Connor's having an affair. Just as Jake is sure that Connor is pulling the rug out from under him and sending their stable relationship crashing to the ground, though, Connor surprises him with a romantic weekend that puts all his fears to rest.

(See? Would you be sad about having to spend more time writing with these guys? With all this angst-turned-sweetness, my rejection frown is definitely turned upside down now!)

I'll be finishing the novella up this week and sending it off, so think happy thoughts for me. I'm also waiting for the submission editors to review my first full-length novel, Island House, so I'm a big ball of nervous angst right now. And while that's bad for my blood pressure, it's great for my house. I'm an anxiety-cleaner, so things are looking pretty spotless around here right now. (It makes up for how neglected things get as I finish up a manuscript!) *g*

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