Somewhere Between No and Yes

Lovely grey day here in New York’s capitol region. Lots of clouds, but no rain in the immediate forecast. Laundry is done, candle is lit, tea is made, and I am settled into my office chair, blanket in my lap and pillow I the small of my back. The new pens that came home over the weekend are close at hand, for when I turn off the computer and put pen to paper. Real Life Romance Hero is wrangling domestic tornado tasks, and it’s me, the blog, and my imaginary friends. It’s Monday, the start of a new week.

Right now, the office is quiet. No music yet, but there is the sound of traffic outside, the occasional squeak of door hinges and floorboards as RLRH goes about his business, and miscellaneous kitty sounds from my  office buddy, pictured below.


Skye O’Malley, the kitty, not the book

I’m writing this entry later in the day than I’d originally planned, and even thought about saving it for tomorrow, when I’d maybe have a more concrete idea of what I wanted to write about than I do today, but carrying two back entries at one time is more than this particular writer is willing to carry, so this is what you get. Later tonight, Melva and I will talk via Skype, to discuss the proposed changes to Chasing Prince Charming, for the resubmission to The Wild Rose Press. I’ll have a better bead, tomorrow, on what we’re doing, but this is Monday, and not writing the Monday post would bother me.

Long ago, in what seems like another life, I submitted my first ever partial manuscript. It was not good. I soon received my first ever rejection letter, which was, in retrospect, good, as rejection letters go. Though the editor did let me know, in a gentle but straightforward fashion, that nothing actually happened in my first three chapters, she did also ask me to send something else. At the time, I skipped right over that send something else part and focused, instead, on the nothing actually happened part. Would thing have been any different if I’d shifted my focus and written something else, instead of believing this was proof positive that no was it for me?

Probably so. There have been more rejections since. My favorite is the first page of my manuscript sent back to me,  in my SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) with the word, “no,” scrawled on it in pencil. I don’t think I have the actual paper anymore, but the memory remains. Also in that category are the small magazines that bought or said they would like to buy my stories and them promptly shut their doors. A once upon a time friend and I used to joke about how I could probably start a side business taking out hits on such publications (this never came to fruition, but did provide some good natured entertainment.) There have been pitch sessions that went down in flames (never pitch after being up  for seventy-two hours straight, and never, never pitch a book that is not actually finished. Seriously. Don’t.)

There have also been sales, one of which I do not remember making, because of the domestic tornadoes that whipped through my life at the time, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that things like that are the exception. The not remembering, not the actual selling of books; new books do come out with great frequency, which is a very good thing for us writer types, and for reader types as well. Somewhere in the middle lies the request to revise and resubmit. It may not be as common as the other two, more definitive outcomes of a submission, but it’s an exciting one.

As soon as I read Melva’s email, that she’d heard back, I was prepared for a thanks but no thanks, and, instead, got a rare opportunity. We got the chance to make a good thing even better, which is its own sort of adventure. Not really the same as that sale I did not remember making, with the manuscript that had vanished and had to be Frankenstein-ed together with hardcopies from my then-critique group (of which Melva was a member) but some of the feelings are similar.

There’s the “eee, this is exciting” feeling. There’s the “egads, this is going to be a lot of work” feeling. There’s the “at least I’m not doing this on my own” feeling, which I will take, any day, over sitting cross-legged on an itchy carpet, surrounded by piles of paper, trying to put the puzzle together. Not entirely by myself, because one panicked message to said critique parnters brought in a flood of aforementioned papers, and, in the end, it all fit together, and became Orphans in the Storm.

Chasing Prince Charming, the story that began because Melva and I were early to breakfast at a conference, and only wanted to kill time, is going to have  its own hero’s journey, as we take it apart and put it back together. Tonight, over Skype, Melva and I will Throw the beach ball around once again, put ideas out there, and see where our imaginary friends want to take things to the next level.  I’m looking forward to the trip.


2 thoughts on “Somewhere Between No and Yes

  1. Sorry I’m a little behind reading yoyr posts. But congrats on the request for revisionsnd resubmit! That’s awesome news. And probably old news to everyone but me, as I am still crawling out from under several tornadoes

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