Yesterday I received a very pleasant email from "Agent A"
in which she politely rejected my manuscript, SEEDS.
my pitch, and she was glad to find it did not share the bleakness of Cormac McCarthy's novel THE ROAD.
The problem was that my story was "still a little too post-apocalyptic" for her tastes.
I think she had her hopes up that my story would be THE post-apocalyptic she would
like as a non-post-apocalyptic-loving reader. Alas it was not.
And there was much rejoicing.
"Because," I say. And since I'm not nine years old, I don't leave it at that. "Because I want people who like post-apocalyptics to like my story. If this very knowledgeable, well-respected literary agent who doesn't typically like post-apocalyptics does not like my story because it's too post-apocalyptic, then I must be on the right track."
I'm not saying I'm not a little disappointed that Agent A didn't go crazy for my manuscript. Just that the disappointment does not warrant a demon, at least not in this case, mostly because the rejection from Agent A was a "good one" -- it was personal, complimentary, and provided some criticism I can use to improve. Agent A even said that if I don't land an agent this time around, she'd be interested in seeing my next project.
That's far from disappointing. I'd call that downright encouraging, and I'm going to let it fuel my fire, refill my mojo, and propel me forward. (Because I, too, can be a little melodramatic.)
You see, not only are Bonnie and I both in the same rejection club, Bonnie also has a personal writing demon -- Spike.
(Not everyone is "lucky" enough to have an army of demons like I do.) Spike sits on Bonnie's shoulder while she writes, and she has a hard time shutting him up. If his mouth is open it's because he's telling her she can't write worth beans. He scoffs at her efforts and says her writing is beyond terrible. That it will never be any good no matter how much she studies or how hard she tries. That she should be embarrassed to ever allow her work to see the light of day.
But for some reason Spike is nowhere in sight while Bonnie and I celebrate....
Maybe Spike and Aunt Fay are out having a cuppa.
I got really, really close to meeting my goal: I finished 4.5 chapters. With the week I had, I'll take that as success!
For the coming week I set an even higher goal. I still have house guests, more birthday parties to throw, and a host of partridges in my pear tree, but I'm going big and setting my goal at six chapters. Why? "Because you're nuts," you say.
"No," I say. "It's because they're the last six chapters of the book and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
I'm like a horse heading for the barn. Each step closer makes me want to go faster. The tunnel spurs me on. The end is beckoning me, and I'm heeding her call. Can you hear it? "The End is near."
If you don't need your fingers to type, please cross them for me this week. Send some anti-demon powder, and perhaps a little birdseed for the partridges, and wish me luck. Then check back here next week to see if I made it.