A few years ago, I dressed as rejection for Halloween. I pinned all of my rejection letters to my jacket and a red, paper, broken heart to my jacket’s lapel. I wrote “No!” and “Go away!” on the palms of my hands. I took my son’s toy collapsable knife and pretended every so often to plunge it into my chest.
“What are you?” a few people asked.
“Rejection!” I’d stick out a hand. “Because rejection is scary!”
Most people laughed. A few people looked at me with pity. “That’s sad,” these people would say. “Are you sure you should make fun of that?”
I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.
But now I have a publisher and my novel will be published soon. Wow. October 12th! That’s scary too.
And it certainly won’t stop the rejection. Some friends may not like the book. You can’t please everyone, right? And some family may be quite indifferent. (Some are already indifferent. I see no reason for that to change.)
But the book will be out there. The novel I spent hours (years) working and reworking, the characters I spent so much time with and tried to understand, they will leave me and go out into the world.
I remember one afternoon years ago when I was walking across a parking lot and had just finished a scene I was especially happy with. The characters and their actions that I had finally figured out were spinning about in my head. I was so happy with them!
A woman walked by me in that parking lot and said, “Look at you smiling,” she said. “Something good must be on your mind.”
I laughed. “Yes, it is!” I called after her.
And now the novel is done. Really done. And I am happy about that.