Rejection, Goals and Reasons NOT to Facepunch Bears

So, I was doing that thing that they tell new writers not to do. I had this great manuscript, perfect for a category romance line–it semi-finaled in a contest, got requests on fulls from the very first three agents I queried, great editor feedback… so I submitted it. And then I obsessed over it. For like way too long. I had this whole scenario all built up in my head: I sketched out ideas for the next two books, turning it into a series, spent imaginary advance money on all kinds of stuff…

And then I got the rejection yesterday.

It wasn’t super-devastating and I actually had this little blip of premonition before I even opened my email that my rejection would be sitting there. I read it without much surprise or sadness (they did have nice things to say, which was cool) and, overall, I’m okay with the fact that I didn’t make it with this one.

Why? Because this whole thing was yet one more new writer mistake in a series of them. You know how, when you start writing, you’re like “Ohemgee, I would never do something like that!” Yeah, I’m doing all the dumbs. Here are my lessons-learned:

  1. My barely-out-of-rough-draft novel was not the greatest thing since sliced bread. Hey, it’s a fun story! Maybe, with proper editing, it could be good, but right now it’s so not perfect.
  2. If more than one professional points out an area or two in which your novel is weak… it probably is.
  3. Don’t hit Submit and then completely focus a disproportionate amount of your mental energy on imagining what’s happening to your manuscript on the other end of the internet. Especially for more than six months.
  4. KEEP WRITING. Focus on getting the next book done. And then the next and the next.
  5. Maybe the most important thing: if your style doesn’t really fit category lines, don’t try to fake it. This particular book is definitely salvageable, but after a rewrite, it’s so not going to be a good fit for that publisher. But it’ll be in my real voice, more quirky and less formulaic, and probably be a good fit somewhere.

So, like I posted on my Facebook status today, I’m done feeling sorry for myself and am ready to facepunch bears. In a good way. As in, ain’t nothin’ gonna stop me now.

(I do not literally condone facepunching bears. Someone actually shared my post, saying something about how liberals shouldn’t punch bears and I think they missed the whole point. A. I’m not actually politically-oriented, and B. Facepunching a bear would be a great way to go if one of your life goals was to get eaten by an apex predator.)

#Mens Fashion

Image Credit: Awesome Etsy t-shirt HERE. It’s available in a shower curtain, too.

Which brings me to more ROW80 goals:

Finish rough draft of PL&M by August 31.  

Post ROW80 Wednesday updates and visit 10 other ROW80ers.

Work out initial anthology details.

Outline short story by Sunday (30K words).

Plan out cookbook project next steps. 

(Shelving those last three for now, though the anthology will be percolating hard, as that’s the next big project. Right now, though, Peace, Love and Murder takes priority.)

What’s your favorite way of dealing with rejection? How do you feel about assaulting mammals bigger than you are for no reason? Do you participate with ROW80? Want to? Join us here!


Tackling Stuff: Project List


That’s right, Batman. Simplify. I’ve been waiting forever to use that graphic. Also, if it’s yours, let me know and I’ll credit you, because I saved it so long ago I forgot where I found it.

I took the ROW80 goals I posted Sunday and am hitting things one at a time. First on the list was writing daily, but I’ve skipped real quick to evaluating my project list. I need to write daily, but I need to use my time effectively and I’ve got a few things sitting out there that are demanding my attention. First step is to see where I’m at with each so I can plan my attack.

His Sweet Pretender (formerly Small Town Love), Briarfield Brides #1

This one’s currently out for consideration with the Harlequin Special Edition line. It was rejected by Harlequin’s American line (they’re now focusing on just ranchers and cowboys, fyi) and the very sweet editor over there called it a “feel-good love story” and recommended I try Special Edition. I’ve just passed my three-month marker and moved, changing all contact info but my email, so it’s time to follow up and also update my address and phone number. If I’m going to get “the call” (think positive!) I don’t want it to be to a disconnected phone number.

Status: 57,858 words. 100% complete. Out for consideration and requiring follow up. Continue reading

You know you haven’t blogged in a while when…

…you see that your last post was “Happy Thanksgiving.” And tomorrow is Christmas Eve.

It’s been a hectic month, but a good one. The tree’s up and trimmed, gifts are all bought and wrapped, an 11-day stretch of time off of work is looming large and sparkly on the horizon: all good things. The baking isn’t done yet (tomorrow, there will be flour) but I made up some extra sugar cookie dough last week and froze it to save some time and the rest of the sweets recipes I chose are pretty simple. Plus, I almost got hit by a car yesterday but didn’t, so the fact that I’m alive is undeniably awesome. I really have no complaints.

This is my favorite time of year and not just because presents. I love January 1. A whole 365 days, all shiny and full of promise and fresh starts. So far, it looks like 2015 will be an interesting year, for lots of reasons: Continue reading

It’s true, co-workers. I write books. Some with sexytimes in them.

I’m way overdue for a WIPpet and ROW80 update, but I’ve been all kinds of busy. I won’t list out my lame reasons, but I promise I’m jumping back into the nightly writing sessions tonight! My current focus is to finish Peace, Love and Murder, and I’m sitting at just under 31,000 words. (NaNo hasn’t worked for me this time around, but that doesn’t mean I should sit back and use it as an excuse to slack off for the rest of the month!) So: Continue reading

More nail biting…

I’m a little late for any ROW80 updates or WIPpet Wednesday, but a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks! Last Wednesday, I had a post all ready to go about how I got these goals done: Continue reading

Flippin’ the Script (ROW80/WIPpet Wednesday)

It’s a writer’s prerogative to change her mind, I guess. I burst out of the gate with all kinds of goals for this 80-day round of writing, and I’m still keeping them, but I’m changing up the order a bit.

I got some fantastic feedback from my friend and critique partner, Diane Flannery (if you read historical romance, remember this name – she’s going to be big!) on my finished book, SMALL TOWN LOVE. It was so incisive and inspiring and most of all, RIGHT, that I’m bumping up number six and seven on my list to number one and two: Continue reading

Best clerical error EVER. (#ROW80 #WIPpet update)

I’m late still, as per my week so far, but hey, one day is better than two. I’m catching up! I didn’t get a whole lot done, so I’m going to skip the recap of my goals for last week and go straight to this week’s, but first, I’m just bursting to share some news.

Continue reading