So, three editorial responses in two days. The first was a no thanks — along the lines of “well-written, but not for us.” Those rejections don’t sting as much as some of the others, because at least it makes me feel like I’m doing the work, moving on the right path, accomplishing something. But they still knock me back. I’m sure they always will. It’s part of being a writer, of being a creative person of any sort, of being a risk taker. The ‘ouch’ of a rejection never really goes away, I don’t think. Instead, you just learn to deal with them as ‘business as usual’ and figure out what to do to take the edge of when you get them (my technique varies, depending on the rejection, from moping to ice-creaming to decided I’ll never write a good word again to reading everyone else’s work, at first with jealous hatred and then with inspiration).
The other two responses were both acceptances. One for a piece of lesbian erotica that I really liked, so I’m very glad it found a good home. The other is for a piece that’s a completely new turn for me. It’s called “Unsound,” and it’s a coming-of-age fantasy story with horses and teenagers and a magical realism type setting. I really enjoyed the challenge of writing it, in lots of ways, and my first readers gave me fantastic feedback on their once-over of the draft. I sent it off assuming it would get rejected, mainly due to the unusual theme/take and also due to my lack of experience in this genre.
Instead, I got a fantastic acceptance letters from the editors, who said they, “both greatly enjoyed your submission “Unsound”. It was a strong, fascinating fantasy of a type we’ve rarely seen, and never seen done so well. The voice of the main character(s) was consistent throughout, and her struggles, both in the merging of self and their version of “boy troubles”, were compelling and felt very real.”
Which, of course, makes me all glowy and happy and I have a big, fat grin. It’s also a reminder to practice what I preach. I tell my students all the time — make the best story you can, and send it out. Don’t let fear or uncertainty stop you. But I forget to follow that advice sometimes myself, especially when I’m pushing my boundaries or I’m nervous about a story.
“Unbound” will be available free to read online in early September I believe, and I’ll let you know when it appears so you can have a read and see what you think of it.
Now, I’m off to read all twenty-two books that I borrowed from the local library this month, and then to sleep. Perchance to dream and all of that.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth publishing, to find honest men to publish it–and to get sensible men to read it.” ~Charles Caleb Cotton