Thursday, April 26, 2007

Near Miss

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 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.


Anonymous said...

That's awesome! It's nice to see a sign along the road every once in awhile to know that you're not completely and totally lost. Woo hoo!

Shannon said...

Good point, this is such an isolating obsession...ahem, I mean business. :-) Gracias.

Joe Moore said...


We all live for those near-misses in hopes that one day we’ll hit the target. They mean more to the recipient than the giver ever imagines. For Vestal Review to include that extra note amounts to a shot of adrenaline, a badge of accomplishment, a small but meaningful validation. There’s an old saying that every rejection gets you closer to acceptance. Sometimes it can be painful to grasp that concept. But I believe it’s true—especially in writing. Enjoy the fact that you’re making progress. Don’t give up. You’re closer than ever. Good luck.


Shannon said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Joe. Publishing...getting there one rejection at a time. :-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

That's a pretty cool note they gave you. I'm so used to form rejections, anything else just blows me away. Like the day an agent actually bothered to cross of the author in 'Dear Author' and hand wrote my name. It was still a form rejection, but they took the time to personalize it.

Shannon said...

Hey, thanks for stopping in b.e.--yeah, it's amazing what we will hold on to.