Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rejection 9

Last night I received another rejection email. Narrative does a great job of letting a writer know that her work hasn't been selected:

Thank you for entering “The Ring” in our Spring Story Contest. We were grateful for the opportunity to read and consider your work, and we regret that your entry was not one of our winners or finalists this time.

We continue to look for engaging new works to publish, and we hope you will keep
Narrative in mind for your writing in the future.

Again, thank you for your entry, and please accept our kind wishes.


The Editors 
Narrative is a responsive publication, which is a much-appreciated-trait by writers. But it also charges $25 per submission. The cost finances the prize money, which is great, but it also adds up, so I'm going to take a break from submitting work there. I have other work under consideration at other publications, so I have a few more opportunities for publication or to add to the rejection list. Of course, I will keep 300 rejections updated.

I will have blogged twice in the month of August. It's been a month with Charlottesville and Hurricane Harvey. I needed the quiet to ponder all the feelings that these events churned in me. Plus, nothing I had to say seemed to hold enough importance in light of these events. I don't want to be tone deaf, so I opted for some reflection time. 

August has also become a month of grief anniversaries, and I needed time to chew on these. I lost my grandmothers in the same week of August a few years apart. My marriage heaved its last breath in August. Then I had a health scare. This time last year, my Nissan Pathfinder began a four-month long repair escapade that set me back thousands of dollars when those dollars were already scarce.

I've been honoring my word of the year—Quiet—by pondering all of these things away from my blog. What I have marveled at in all this quiet contemplation is how very different I feel two years after I started writing with honesty and vulnerability about these events. I am strong and resilient. I have rested and no longer feel the soul-sucking exhaustion that had seeped deep into my bones. The practices of observing rather than reacting, living in the moment, letting the future greet me as the days peel away have had their way with me. I not only feel different, I am different. I have done the hard work that makes living easier even while life remains messy, complicated, and rocky. I'm not afraid of life's ups and downs like I was in the past. I'm also not afraid of the unknown—on a regular basis. That doesn't mean that I don't stumble into momentary freak outs when I have little grasp of what's to come. When those moments strike, I yoga breathe and calm my fears with mantras that soothe and smooth out my wrinkled brow.

Despite all of this, I have been writing. I've picked my theme for this October's write31days series, and have written the first eight days' worth. I also prepared a grant application that supports creatives who are raising children. In answering the application questions, I was reminded that I have been working at this craft for a long time—even when I had a five-month-old baby, was nursing exclusively, and working full time. I broadened my definition of being published, and was happy to realize how many times my work has made it into print over the past decade. 
I look forward to hearing the decision of that award. I should know something by mid-to-late November. As far as waiting for decisions go, November is only a few calendar page flips away.
I have no idea how much I will write in September, but you can be assured you'll find my words here every day of October. I'd love to meet you back here then. Thank you for your kindness, generosity, and willingness to read my words.

PS: I also bought a clearance pair of "Old lady strappy/sassy" heels;

made this delicious pie twice and ate a bunch of it by myself, YUMMO;

Instituted a new afterschool responsibility program in my home with glowing, well-folded-towel results;

And got my first trim after the big chop in May.

A month of ups and downs. Exactly as life is designed to be.


  1. Rejections are always hard,but there have been other great writers who were rejected a lot at first, like Madeleine L'Engle. Just keep writing and submitting. :) I love your hairstyle and that pie looks amazing!

    Blessings to you!

  2. What a great newsy update! Sorry for the rejection letter but I agree with Gayl! (And your hair is super cute!) I spent time with my OneWord this summer as well --in good and hard ways! (My word is Dwell!)

  3. I'm very proud of you in a Mom kind of way!

    1. I am very appreciative of your support in a daughter kind of way!!!