For three years I’ve attended the Long Island Romance Writer’s Luncheon, where I’ve sat quietly, watched, listened and ate decadent chocolate mousse. But this year I was hitting the floor. I finally had something to pitch. Armed with my trusty index cards I approached editor after editor, agent after agent, touting my manuscript, THE TOUCH OF A LIE.
I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t the smoothest out there. My nerves being what they were, I forgot what I practiced saying (that’s where the index cards came in handy), I couldn’t find my pen and had to borrow one from Jozelle Dyer, an editor for Tor, and when it was over, I realized I missed two people I wanted to talk to. But I did receive some positive feedback and a few said, “Send it.”
The following days I sent my baby out into the world where I hoped she could find a good home and would grow to maturity. Hearing it could take six months to a year to get a response, I pushed my submissions to the back of my mind while I worked on other things.
Imagine my surprise and partial dismay when I received one of my self-addressed envelopes less than three weeks after I mailed everything. I dropped it on the table unopened and walked away. I made myself a cup of tea and lit a cigarette. Now I was ready. Tearing away the flap, I pulled out the letter and read. Yep, it was a rejection from Liza Schwartz of New American Library. She was very kind and offered a few suggestions. She will go down in my chronicles as being my first.
Even though I knew my manuscript wouldn’t take shape there, I didn’t feel disheartened. I was kind of elated. It hit me at that moment, and thank goodness it did, that this rejection was a testimony to how far I’d come. I thought how many people are out there sitting at home, thinking of writing a story or writing that piece but never sending it out. Must be thousands, thousands upon thousands.
Yet I did it. I pushed myself to finish my idea, timidly placed it before others to critique it and forced myself to go past my comfort zone to pitch it. That’s no mean feat.
So I rejoice in the arrival of this letter because it tells me how much I’ve grown in four years. With this rejection in front of me I can honestly say I am a writer.