This is the epitome of Wisconsin autumn–the huge old maple trees out front are acting like chameleons shuffling color while we sleep, temperatures flit near freezing, and left over campfire scents follow the lowering sun.
I left my children to their pj’s and art projects in order to clean out and tuck away untouched corners piling with gardening books and histories of waning wildlife.
A blue glass bottle in the kitchen window reminds me of the dust.
The dust reminds me of writing.
Yesterday I received a rejection. Cross that one off the list, only 982 more to go until my work starts to pay off. I only wish I had a running tally or a score card or maybe notches in a bed post, but the only thing that’s really going to help is working harder, writing more.
Overall, the rejection isn’t a big thing, the story is still there, the rights are still mine, the words haven’t suddenly started rearranging themselves behind my back and jumping out from blind corners in the dark just to get a rise out of me.
A rejection is simply this: an invitation to start fresh.
It’s a suggestion to look at your work like a stranger might see it, to read it thoroughly and critically as you would the work of a colleague or an excited poet-in-waiting, to brush it up, scrub it down, dust it off and, most importantly, to resubmit.
Cuz you gotta try, baby, just a little bit harder.