I’m back from my vacation with the Sisters, which was very nice. I got to see Son and DIL and even spend time with Lily, my granddog. I tasted a lot of good wine; ate at several great restaurants, including Federicos Tapas and Wine Bar, where I learned about ceviche, sea bass, and other wonderful tidbits. I went to a play at Cal Shakes; and I got to lay around a pool and read for pleasure, which was delicious! But now, I’m back home and back to work.
While I was on vacation, I got a rejection on my first novel–the one that is my heart. (Note to self, don’t check email while on vacation.) Much to my sisters’ chagrin, the rejection, which was pretty much a “this book sucks as it is” type of pass, hit me hard. I’ve been rejected before, but this one cut me to the quick. It was as if someone had told me my baby was ugly. Yes, it was just one woman’s opinion and yes, I have a wonderful agent who believes in me and a terrific crit partner who listened and sympathized as I wept on the phone to her, but this one really hurt!
I tried not to let it ruin the rest of my vacation, but it was there, like a little gray cloud over my head the whole time. Now, it’s been a week and I can read the criticism with a little bit more objectivity. Today, I reread the comments and reminded myself that this was no form rejection. This editor took time to tell me exactly what she believed was wrong with the novel. I may not have agreed with all she said, but it’s actually pretty cool that she took the time to tell me what she thought. I’m taking that to mean that I shouldn’t give up…I’m a writer worth having a discussion with and that’s not a bad thing at all.
So, tonight I worked over the first few chapters of the book, tried creating more tension between my characters, and punching up the conflict some. I just sent the chapters over to my crit partner for review. Writing is more than hard work. It’s also a constant learning and growing experience, sometimes painful, but always valuable. A week ago, I was devastated, but now, I’m back in the saddle…writing, revising, editing, creating…because (here it comes…) I am a great writer!