The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, April 20, 2013

With a Little Hindrance From My Friends

          This week we had our writing critique meeting. The meeting of five wild women wielding pens. The WWWPs.

          Three of us had submitted to the same anthology. Two of us had not heard (or so I thought) . Privately, a couple of weeks ago, I had told the more brazen of the other two of the submitters that I had already heard. I heard the next day--the day after I had submitted my story. Seeing the name of the anthology on an email that quickly was definitely surprising.

photo by mbgrigby

         The other writer-friend I didn't tell, until I knew she had sent hers in, as she is sometimes of the thinking, 'Well, they'll take yours and hers...why would they want mine?' But on Wednesday I discovered that my shy friend had indeed sent in her piece.

         It was then that I admitted that I had already heard. "They emailed me the next day. 'No,' they said. It stunk so bad, they had to burn rubber getting away from the stench--that's why they answered so quickly."

        When the shy submitter said she hadn't heard, I replied, "Well, that's a good sign, because apparently if they don't like it they move fast." Then I looked at the other one, and she had her hand over her mouth and had her head ducked she was trying to hide from me.

          She had heard as well. They were considering her story. She said, "I didn't want to say anything because I knew you'd be mad."

          I wasn't mad, although I did shout out my favorite phrase in mock ticked-offness. But that was all a façade. I wasn't angry with her. Instead, I felt bad.

          Talking wryly about my rejections is something I do, right along with celebrating the times I get a "yes." And when my friends get their work accepted, I'm thrilled. If it's a publisher/editor that I failed at, I might throw a colorful phrase at the friend, but I'm never serious about it. Rarely am I emotionally invested in a piece to the point that I get furious when I hear "no" because I know that at some point, I'll change the piece and regurgitate it and then submit it to another publisher.

         So if you have any shouting-from-the-rooftop to do, let me know. My writing friends help me so much--either in person or via the blogosphere--and I never want to hinder or inhibit any of them.