Wait, what…but you said…
When I was in the fourth grade there was a girl that was sort of in my group of friends, but not really. She was the cool girl that knew one of my friends because I think their brothers knew each other? I can’t remember and it’s not important.
She, the popular cool girl, was having a birthday party. She invited the girl in my friend group and told me, in passing, that she would also invite me. She would bring the invitation to school.
The next day we all chatted at lunch, but no mention of the invitation. The following day, she walked past, pulled the friend we had in common aside, and they chatted, no invitation. At this point I’m not sure what’s going on, but it doesn’t feel good. The day after that was Friday and the party was on Saturday.
Birthday girl sat with us at lunch and as she was leaving the table she said, “See you tomorrow,” to the friend we had in common. She smiled at me, but her eyes were shifty in that, “if I smile and ignore it, maybe it will go away” way. I walked home that afternoon and I was sad. Not really because I wasn’t invited to the party, but because she brought it up and then I anticipated. I guess I expected something fun and that made the let down a little more harsh.
Yesterday Montlake/Amazon, after well over a year of back and forth, finally officially rejected my second manuscript, Premiere. As of right now, it is not coming out in June, it will not be published.
The email from Montlake politely telling me it wasn’t going to work out felt…well, it was yucky. Rejection isn’t fun, but it is part of life. I have a rejection collection at this point, but this one felt like the girl that never invited me to her party. I think the expectation, the dangling carrot, adds to the sting of disappointment.
I have often said that having my first novel published was a blessing and a curse. Catalina Kiss wasn’t a great book and yet somehow it was published. Manuscripts I’ve written since are better work and it seems harder to get them out there. I suppose that’s irony, which I usually enjoy, but not right now.
The Monday after the popular girl’s party she was talking about her gifts and the movies they watched until midnight. The friend we had in common leaned over to me and whispered, “You didn’t miss much.” I looked at her, she rolled her eyes, and I laughed.
In the next few weeks, I will query other publishers. There will be many more rejections, but maybe one will lean over and get me, understand my story. If not, that’s how it goes. Pick up, dust off, try again.
My thoughts from the laundry room. No Reading Tonight.