Whew! Sorry, I have to watch those meds.
"But seriously"the rejection letter from Ms. X was not a form letter, and was therefore far, far more insidious. Ms. X was an intelligent, sensitive, articulate reader who liked many things about the book. Of course this made her analysis of its shortcomings all the more cutting, especially when I called her to discuss it further. It's one thing to think you've written a quiet, slow-paced book that will have a hard time selling; it's another to think that it might have potential, except for a basketful of glaring flaws that you hadn't noticed. The Ms. X Affair depressed me horribly for the past two days, until I realized that it completely contradicted Ms. Y's letter from earlier in the summer, which identified a completely different set of successes and failures.
I've been out of workshop too long. I forgot about the rampant subjectivity. I forgot how many bad, bad books get published weekly. Most important, I forgot that almost all books, even the good ones, come with their trademark flaws, and that if the book is good, its flaws are a necessary converse of its strengths. I can't rewrite the damn thing every time some nice lady sends me a letter. It's what I wanted it to be, and I'm satisfied with it, even if the world isn't.
So, thirteen more lucky envelopes into the mail.
And the anthology with Peyton's story is out!