Tag Archives: rejection

It’s Hot As…

Fill in the blank because honestly, I can’t think of what it’s as hot as.

Yesterday I was away from the interwebz, which made me an unhappy camper. To start off, I had a morning meeting which lasted until lunch. Oh sure, lunch was good. Grilled tuna steak that I didn’t have to pay for, but if I had known what I was being buttered up for, I’d have passed on food and slept.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my day job before, but I’m an environmental assistant. Glamorous sounding, huh? Not. I keep track of air permits and limits, water sampling (which means dragging my sorry ass into the rain with a bottle attached to a pole), hazardous waste pick-ups, and environmental audits. When we have inspections, I have to bring whoever wants to look over the facilities out into the yard (no matter what time of day or weather) and let them poke around.

That’s what happened yesterday. First, let me point out that I was dressed…well, not dressed-up, but I was wearing nice clothes and sandals. Luckily for me, my new blouse was very thin because I was sweating the minute I stepped outside. Of course, I had to trade the cute sandals for my steel-toes, but that’s for safety so I won’t complain.

From about 12:45 p.m. to 4:45, I toured our three Louisiana facilities with our environmental consultants. Yes, we had golf carts for each yard, but that doesn’t matter when you stop every minute to look this over, or to take a picture of that. Then if someone happens to see you, they want to know what’s going on (it makes people nervous when they see someone walking around with a camera and a clipboard). Add in the fact that we were three women in yards filled with men and I started to feel like Captain Kirk on an alien planet.

By the time we ended for the day, three well-dressed, well-groomed ladies were sweaty, sunburned, dusty, and exhausted. When I waved them off and got back to my office at nearly 5, I looked at my weather station which gives me the temperature and heat index. Want to know what it said? 115 degree heat index. At nearly 5 p.m.!! Is it any wonder I felt as though I’d been left on a deserted island for weeks? I was dehydrated and, yup, you guessed it: smelly. You already know my feelings on this issue.

I was so exhausted last night, all I managed to eat for supper was a packet of pop-tarts and a glass of milk. Today I’m feeling better, though still tired and so, so glad that this is my last day of work this week. Yup, I’m off tomorrow which means my Fantasy Man Friday will be awesome!

Oh, and on top of the energy-happiness-draining heat, I got a rejection letter yesterday. But I’m not calling it a rejection letter anymore. I’m calling it a not-quite-there letter because it was the best letter declining to represent me I’ve ever had. The agent was, of course, brutally honest about the faults in my manuscript and why she was rejecting it, but she also made me feel hope. She…well, I think she may have liked the story! So okay, yesterday wasn’t a complete bust. Yay!

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Filed under humor

Writing is Like the NFL

Brace yourselves, this is a long one, but I think you’ll enjoy it 🙂

It should be no surprise by now that I’m a major NFL fan. I wait for football season like some kids wait for Christmas. To be more precise, I wait for the Saints to play.

I’ve been a Saints fan since I was a child. I grew up with this team and while I spent most of my youth with no idea what the team colors were, or what our emblem looked like (you have to realize, our games were ALWAYS blacked out), I knew that this was my team. Bobby Hebert, the Cajun Cannon. Pat Swilling, Dalton Hilliard, Reggie Jackson, Sam Mills. These were names bandied about through my developing years.

So, you’re probably asking yourself ‘Is she ever going to get to the point of this post she tricked me into reading?’. Why, yes. I am 🙂

After all of these years as a football fan, I’m now writing and suffering through all the ups and downs writers go through. There’s the normal hair-pulling-my-characters-are-driving-me-crazy-and-I-can’t-sleep phase of writing the manuscript. This is what I would compare to training camp. This is when all of your players show up and start doing their thing, building a strong team for the upcoming season.

Then there’s the oh-my-God-I-finished-I-finished!-what-do-you-mean-I-have-to-edit-it? phase when the manuscript is complete. This is comparable to preseason. You’re putting your players out there for the world to see and critiquing them on their performance. If they suck, you cut them. The same with editing/critiquing your manuscript. You’re weeding out what doesn’t work and finding replacements for what does.

Followed by the what-the-blue-blazes-do-you-mean-I-have-to-send-it-to-someone? phase which is when your manuscript is ready for submission to an agent/editor. This, of course, is after the I-have-an-agent-pitch-and-I-think-I’m-going-to-puke stage, but that passes relatively quick since most pitches are no more than 15 minutes. To me, these two stages are the regular ups and downs of the NFL season. Your team is out there, they’re doing their best to win and they suffer through growing pains. They’re losing one week, winning the next. Just like the pitches you’re tossing out to the editors and agents you meet with. Then comes the win! Someone wants to read a partial or a full of your manuscript. It’s scary, it’s exhilarating.

After all of these stages of writing, editing, editing some more, pitching, and submitting, then it’s time for the waiting phase. You wait and pray. Wait and pray that those agents or editors will like what you’ve read. Finally, this is followed by one of two outcomes: you get either the we’re-sorry-but-this-doesn’t-fit-our-needs rejection, or you get the holy-hell-you’re-so-getting-published acceptance. I personally haven’t reached the second stage yet, but that’s okay. It’s a process. So this final phase I’m going to compare to the Superbowl. *cracks her knuckles*

On one hand you’ve got your manuscript. On the other, you’ve got your agent/editor. These are the opposing teams. Your manuscript has battled its way through rejection after rejection. It’s bloody from all the editing you’ve done. It’s bruised around the edges from scenes that have been tweaked so many times it really should be on injured reserve. The day is here. The editor/agent is looking over your work. The outcome has you sick with nerves, edgy with anticipation. You want it so badly you can almost taste it. And then-

Well, I don’t know what happens in your own Superbowl. I just know that whatever the outcome, you’ll either feel depressed or jubilant. The point is, the teams who go to the Superbowl play the next season. They can’t give up and neither can you. Writing is a sport. It’s a sport with one person against many and only through diligence, training, and lots of bruises can you get to the top.

So, did I totally lose you, or did the analogy work? I loved it myself, but then I’m sometimes called strange.

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Filed under Football, Inspiration, publishing, rejection, Writing