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A rejection isn’t always a rejection.

Here’s why I don’t burn bridges…or throw my candy in the sand…or whatever cliché analogy for getting pissed over a rejection or being mad at an editor for rejecting a piece that you may want to insert here…there’s always hope for a story. You may place it elsewhere, an editor may come back later and ask you for it for the very same project or another one down the line…and I’ve done this…quite recently. Or! That editor may recommend it or you to another editor or publisher that’s a better fit. In any case, a rejection is not always the end of the line.

Luckily, I’ve been in the (biz? game?) long enough to pretty much know the ins and outs. Starting out, when I wrote that one story that a classmate or my cousin or someone told me was great and I shopped it around everywhere, not checking the market, not really paying attention to the theme, word count requirements, etc. and was pissed all the way off when it got rejected again and again, I was finally lucky enough to receive a few words from an editor who took the time out to tell me what I was doing wrong.

But more than that, I realized that I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. And I’ve written this blog post before, more than once, but it’s worth repeating.

I’ve received rejection letters that were so informative, warm and helpful that I wanted to frame them. And I’ve received simple “I can’t use it” or the worst of them all, rejection by way of no response. But, I move on. I move on simply because (and just as I approach life stresses), if I let it all get to me, I would be just a shell of who I am. It would eat away at me and I would question everything and probably tuck tail and quit. And I wouldn’t want that for anyone, for any reason.

I really came here to say that a story of mine that wasn’t accepted a while back (so long ago that I forgot I even wrote the story) was just requested to be included in an upcoming anthology. I hadn’t done anything else with the piece because, like I said, I had forgotten all about it, so I happily said yes.

And I know, my breaking of this news went kind of left what with me having just wrapped up my own anthology and really wanting to just say in general (even though over 100 authors took the news awesomely), chin up. This ain’t the end.

“If it ain’t nasty, it ain’t right…”

Very little people in my life (who aren’t immediately related or really close friends) know that I write, and especially what I write. When people learn this information, be it hearing it from someone else or (Gasp!) opening a book and seeing my name and bio, they always seem surprised. I could venture to guess the reason why this sort of news would shock them – I’m a quiet wife who works nine to five, loves to cook and dotes on her two children – but I never ask why.

It’s so funny, though, when I actually engage in the conversation, and even better when I offer to bring the person something of mine to read. It happened today because of this new tattoo:

teni

The person asked what it meant and if it was personal, and people who know me of course realize that it’s self explanatory, so I told him that I’m a writer not thinking we’d need to elaborate on that, but then he added, “Oh, yeah. I heard that. I heard about you a long time ago as a matter of fact. You’re a porno writer.”

It was all I could do not to fall out laughing, but we were at work and I kept it together. Then he said, “I like to read, too, you know. You ought to show me your stuff.”

Long story short, I’m bringing him an antho or two tomorrow so that he can get a sample of my “porno” writing because he told me he has just one rule:

“It it ain’t nasty, it ain’t right.”

I’ll let you know soon if it’s right or wrong.

What Am I Fighting For?

Much of the time, I am extremely happy. I recognize and truly appreciate the many great things and people in my life and I am (for the most part) content where I am. It hasn’t always been this way for me, and it didn’t come easy. At different times over the last several years, I’ve found myself struggling and fighting for my happiness.

It can make you feel resentful, and, rather bitter having to fight for what should be rightfully yours. After all, we generally come from a place of happy, don’t we? We’re bright-eyed, bubbly little children. We’re innocent, carefree and seemingly invincible. But, where does it all go wrong?

I could try and pinpoint exactly where it might have happened in my life, but it would require many pins, and even years later I’m not so sure I’m ready or willing to face down the many demons that have been in my life for so very long.

All I know is that shortly after my children were born, I went on a personal quest to be happy. Their birth brought great clarification in choices that I had made and how happy I truly wasn’t at that time. And I knew that to be a proper mother to them, and to gain peace of mine for myself, I had to do something. That “something” involved sacrifice and tears and doing things I really didn’t want to do, and it was actually chronicled here on this very blog. But I did it, and just a couple of years later, it seemed that my efforts hadn’t been for naught.

But we always recognize that old familiar feeling. It’s reappeared here over the last few years and, admittedly, I ignored it. I tried to convince myself that I was happy enough, that maybe I was simply asking for too much…but no.

I fought and I fought hard. And I did it for a reason. And this…what I’m living right now…this isn’t the reason.

While I’m still fighting, I’ve realized more and more that I’m fighting to get someone to see me for the person that I truly am, when I exposed that very person years ago, and didn’t change a thing. I’m actually changing things now to make things better, make it better, make him feel better, but I’m altering myself. If that’s the person I have to be, the person he would be happy with, then I can’t make him happy…not if I’m not.

I’ve offered him several times an alternative to being with me, but he believes that this makes me a cold-hearted bitch. I’m really not. I simply want for him what I want for us all, happiness and I’m not naïve enough to believe that I’m solely responsible for giving him this.

He blames “love” for keeping him trapped in a place where he is (apparently) miserable and I’m supposed to bear the load. I refuse to do it anymore, and I said it out loud.

I wish I wasn’t so up, down, and all over the place. I wish that you could read this and nod along and really “get” where I’m coming from. But… I don’t chronicle everything, every time or at any particular time, so this blog, like my life, can be quite confusing.

All I can say is look for change, because…it’s gonna come.