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The Thing I'm Not Talking About

As children, most of us fear the monster in the closet. Or under the bed. The one under the bed really scared me. My parents tried to tell me we left all the monsters behind in Oklahoma when we moved. I'm fairly certain that is a lie. If it isn't, I'd like to issue an apology to the people of my generation and those who follow after. There are an abundance of monsters left for you. Put something heavy in front of your closet door and pull the covers up to your ears.

Wow, childhood fears. What a hoot. Let's move on to adult fears. I'm not talking about slow metabolisms or wrinkles. Car insurance or how are we going to pay for Timmy's college? No, something even more frightful than that. The thing every writer is talking about. Rejection. *shudder*

The thing I'm not talking about, which is the thing every writer is talking about, is my rejection. No, no, no. Not every writer is talking about my rejection. God, that would be humiliating. It went a little something like this:

Me: *Thinking* Push send. Just push it. You're not going to spontaniously combust if you push send. You're not going to die. It's just a little e-mail. Push it. *Pushes send. Still thinking* There, that wasn't so bad. *pause* Oh, God, why did I do that? Can I get it back? Can I send that agent an e-mail that says please ignore the previous e-mail, I temporarily lost my mind? @#%$, $@#%!

Five minutes later...

*Thinking* Okay, now to get some work done. *Work, work, work, work, etc* *Pushes Inbox*

Inbox: No new messages.

Me: *Thinking* Whew. Made it five minutes without a rejection. Awesome. *Repeat X20*

An hour later...

Me: *Thinking* I think I'll check my e-mail.

Inbox: 1 new message.

Me: *Thinking* What?

Inbox: Dear Author, Fortunately for you we are much too busy to say just how bad your query sucked. Your "project" doesn't suit our needs. Because your query sucked. Thank you for allowing us the time to review your "project". Even though your query sucked. Good luck in finding someone who doesn't think your query sucked. I don't even have time to sign my name to this form letter, but here's the company name.

Me: *Thinking* But--but--but you didn't even have time to read it. If you're so busy and important then it should be on the bottom of a pile somewhere. You shouldn't be sending thank-you-for-annoying-me-with-your-pathetic-literary-attempts letters.

I was joking when I said it would probably be rejected out of hand. Joking. You know, funny ha-ha. So as I stared at that letter which started with Dear Author, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Or both. Sometimes when I get started laughing, well, it escalates into a @#$% storm of crying.

I went back to work. The cheerful little Don't-Let-It-Get-You-Down voice was being held under a pool of water by the Shoulder Devil and Evil Editor who were singing the I Was Right song (which goes a little something like this: I was right and you were wrong, I'm gonna sing the I Was Right Song. I was right and you were wrong so nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!)

Common Sense was saying, look, it was to be expected. Chill. It's not like you died or anything. Heart beating - check. Air coming in and out of lungs - check. Brain circuits circuiting - check. Sun shining - check. Earth turning - check. You're good.

I thought and I thought. I wracked my brain for the possible error I made that caused immediate rejection (notice how it's bold. Terrifying, isn't it?) I decided it's my query letter. Or possibly something to do with the agent really isn't interested in the genre puzzle I presented. I still don't know what to call it. But wait, so this agent rejected me. I didn't just push the send button once, oh, no. I pushed it three times. And I didn't get three rejections. Which means my queries are sitting on the bottom of two piles. I can live with that.

The Thing I'm Not Talking About is out there. Now you know. It's hugely embarrassing to me because I failed. But then again, I'm hugely used to hugely embarrassing myself, so heck. Why not tell the world? I got rejected. How 'bout you?