I recieved a hopeful rejection last night in my email box. I know, I know...hopeful rejection is an oxymoron, right? It was from Vestal Review and after the normal rejection that always goes something like "although we enjoyed reading your submission, due to the godzillion other fantastic entries we received, we will be passing...la la la da da da." But then, after the signature there was a little note: PS- Your story was a near miss.
Wow. Just wow. A near miss! Do you know what that means? It means these editors aren't actually laughing at me, wondering why I didn't try dentistry or something equally as painful as my writing is. Which is always in the back of your mind during the submission/rejection process. How bad were they laughing, right?
It kind of reminded me of a Loverboy concert I attended as a teen. We were in the third or fourth row, because this was before I was self-aware enough to know I was claustrophobic. We were all screaming as the guitarist prowled the front of the stage when suddenly he actually made eye contact with me! Then he pointed and threw his pick to me. Some guy in front of me wrenched it out of my hand, so I didn't get to keep it-- but, that didn't matter because the point was--he noticed me. I existed to him for a moment.
So, for a moment, I existed to Vestal Review. My story was alive in someone else's mind and they found it compelling enough to consider.
In this very subjective business, almost-good-enough is almost...well, good enough.