Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slinging Arrows

"Hey, kids," I said while sitting at the dinner table last night. "I received another rejection letter."

"Another one?" Talia asked. "For which book?"

"For my fairy tale," I said, and then was interrupted by Aaron, who forgets to be polite most of the moments of his life. We're working on that concept.

"What's a rejection letter?" Aaron looked interested in knowing, so I told him.

"It's a letter that says that the agent to which you sent your manuscript doesn't want it. Basically, this person didn't want my story."

Aaron nodded his head as if he understood and went on shoveling lentils and rice into his small mouth as he looked over at Zoe. He could tell she had something to say.

"No one wants your story, Mom." The words fell out of her mouth in such a matter-of-fact way, as if she'd been ruminating on them for a long time.

My first instinct could have been to feel hurt by Zoe's words, although I know she didn't really mean for them to wound me. But instead I laughed at what she said. No one? Really? Based on the fact that I have sent out less than twenty query letters, I don't think we can accurately state that no one wants my story. So I told Zoe as much.

She shrugged her shoulders and we moved on to a different conversation. Even though I didn't belabor the point, I hope the kids will someday look back on that dinner-time talk and realize that their mother, the one who sometimes lacks confidence and has trouble finding her way in life, completely walked past a moment to wallow in self-doubt. To be honest, I don't think they will. But they'll have me to dredge up the memory when the time is right.

Now, I'm moving on to perfect that query letter. I know that someone out there will appreciate this not-so-standard fairy tale that I have to share.


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