Friday, December 3, 2010

Jo's Pink Ribbon

I'm thinking about Jo March tonight. Do you remember in Little Women when Jo first took her manuscript to a magazine editor in New York? Didn't she lovingly wrap her pages in a pink ribbon? I'm fairly sure a ribbon was involved. And I'm fairly sure the whole bundle hit the bottom of a wire trash bin before she had a chance to pull her skirts from the quickly-closing door.

I know. It's so common. The bundle of papers on the editor's floor. Mine joined them again this week and I know this is part of the journey but I couldn't help but wish oh please let this be the right person and I know.

Rejection slip in the mail today, my friends. I'm squinching my nose up as I type because I know the story probably wasn't ready. My March mini-NaNo could use months--years?-- of ripening. However, I met an editor at an SCBWI luncheon last spring, and she had a deadline for us to send one manuscript this fall. I sent it and crossed every finger and toe. But my story wasn't a good fit for her, and I can't help but think that I'm still so new and naive and I wonder when WHEN will my writing not wear a pink ribbon.

That ribbon is naivite, isn't it? It's too much hope, maybe. It's green-apple newness, and not-readiness, and not quite good enough to publish-i-ness.

And although it's best to shake it, shake myself a stiff martini, and get on with making my apple-green story much, much better, I can't help but take tonight to just sniff and sigh. Tonight I'm just sad.

What do you do with rejections? Stick 'em on a nail, like Stephen King? :) I keep them in a binder. Jay hates binders, but I figure binders make everything better. They organize and store and somehow keep old things relevant by having them perch, upright, on the edge of a shelf. My green binder is fat with four unmarked chapters and one new, thin form letter. Blech.

Tomorrow I fill the well, as my friend Sophia so eloquently reminds us. I'm sure cinnamon toast and Santa Claus will clear the blues.

How do you overcome the not-a-good-fit-for-us-best-wishes blues?