I think of my submissions as little ships, sent out bravely into the shark-filled waters. Once out of sight of shore they float for days, weeks, months. Often they limp home, bruised and battered, emblazoned with the words "not right for us at this time" (Does that mean that on a full moon Tuesday, perhaps, they might be right? Hmm..). Other times they do not return at all, captured by pirates perhaps, sunk by uncharted rocks. Only occasionally do they reach a destination and arrive at a fabled literary shore, if I dare take this flimsy metaphor any farther.
Today I had two pieces of news. My firefighting memoir, the one I have wrestled with in the late hours of the night, punching it down, re-shaping it, ruthlessly cutting... was rejected, though with a lovely letter from the agent (Janet Reid, she has a great blog, google & check it out). Dismay! Heartbreak! Postponement of retirement! Mini tantrum!
Another email brought the surprising news that a short story about Steens Mountain that I dashed off in about five minutes and submitted to an online Oregon celebration site is going to be in an anthology! That makes two anthologies this year for a stunning monetary gain of $100! Guess I can't afford that cabin at the lake just yet. However, it is still something. Happiness! Elation! Shirking of work to celebrate!
Well, I guess I will slog back to my writers group and ask for advice. I'm not ready to give up just yet. Perhaps with an overhaul back at the yard, a new mast, something to make it seaworthy, my little manuscript can sail forth once again. Watch out agents!