Monday, November 10, 2008

Very first rejection

The e-mail was relegated to my junk folder from some unknown user named "Fiction Editor." My heart started pounding, blood thudding in my skull. This was it, why I had been checking my inbox for every day for more than two months. I was suddenly scared to open the message, but I did anyway. The anticipation was too much to bear.

It said exactly what I both expected and feared it would: Your story has been rejected. It was, however, a personalized rejection not a form letter, which I appreciate.

I'm disappointed yes, but I'm not so naive as to think my first story submission ever would end in a purchase and publication. So, it's back to the drawing board. I'm going to go through the story to see whether any improvements can be made, then send it out again. I could put it away in a drawer for a year or two and then give it another go, but if I did that, this story would collect dust for all time. I think it can be good enough for publication, so I'm not going to give up on it just yet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

The lines at the polling place for me and my husband weren't too scary today. In fact, we were able to walk right in and get our ballots. That surprised me. I expected people lined up out the doors. So, yes, I did my civic duty, although I'm keeping my choices to myself. All journalists should be publicly unbias; it's too bad that so many don't bother.

And, on a side note, we must be doing something right with how we're raising our children. I asked my 4-year-old this morning who was running for president and he said, without a second of hesitation, "John McCain and Barack Obama." I'm such a proud mommy. But then he asked me what Barackobama's last name was. Heheh.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The internal editor

My internal editor is always switched on. I suppose that's a hazard of my profession as a copy editor. I edit not only at work but also in the "real world." If a book I'm reading for pleasure is poorly edited, I have to put it down because I'm too distracted by the desire to mark it up with a red pen. I also mentally edit e-mails, billboards, menus. The whole world is one big mess of misused punctuation and poor grammar in need of fixing.

Because my editor never shuts off, I also edit my own writing as I'm writing. I'm starting to see what a detriment that is. I can't continue with my train of thought until I have fixed the commas in the previous sentence. My editor says find a better word, tighten that wording, that sentence sucks and you must drop everything and fix it right now! So I do. Then I wonder why I managed to write only 500 words when I had been aiming for 1,000.

I don't think I can turn my editor off, however. Not after 10 years of constant companionship. Maybe I can ignore him (yes my editor is a him, I don't know why). Or better yet, I can write so fast that I outrun him. I'll give that a try, and maybe I'll finish my current rewrite by the Nov. 7 deadline for my critique group.