Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What A Day!!

Sorry, I had originally planned to discuss edits, rewrites, and revisions today, but with the Tuesday I had, my mind and emotions are set in another direction.

That, being one of absolute frenzy!

Up, down, and everywhere in between. You name it, Tuesday brought it on for this fake-highlighted blond. (And for the record, that's a google photo, not actually of me, though a good likeness.)

Shall I share details? Then, if you should have a similar day soon, you'll know that you're not alone. Right? I'd be more than willing to commiserate with you all, if that should happen, though I really hope it doesn't to you, too.

First, I got in a good word count, that is until... For now, I'll log that under the ups! Wait to see how it changes later.

Then, I received my first agent rejection.

"Although your concept is very appealing, we had problems with the opening of the story and the actual writing itself. This is still a rough draft and just isn't ready for submission to publishers yet. I am sure you will continue to learn, grow, and master the craft of fiction and eventually you'll be in print."

I so appreciate the gentle honesty given to me, but after six years of working on this manuscript, it does hurt, a little. What's worse, is that this very same manuscript is sitting in my dream editor's slush pile, and I wish I could just go and pluck it out so that she can at least see that pile reduced by one, without wasting any of her hard-pressed-for time. The fact that I can't retract it, quite honesty puts me in the dumps.

But onward with the day I go. Putting in a couple more pages of my w.i.p., until...

Oh, I'm so amazingly angry at this one.

My laptop gets infected with some evil worm that slows everything down to not a snail's pace, but far worse, and relentlessly keeps delivering these stupid virus alert pop ups. LIKE I'M NOT AWARE OF THIS ALREADY!!!!!

The tongue lashing I wish I could direct at the delinquent who gets his/her kicks out of sending infectious diseases through the web is like none I've ever delivered before. Trust me. I asked hubby if the turd would get prison time when caught. Man, he deserves it!!!

So, I hard shutdown my lappy, resolved that my incompetence isn't going to fix this monstrous beggar when I have to go anyway to pick up my kids for optometrists appointments looming.

What have we got score wise so far? One up, two downs, with the downs plummeting at rapid speed, I might add.

On to optometrist journey. One of my dear daughters loses her permission note and is down with a cold so she's dragging her size nine feet, and saunters into the van ten minutes late only to announce that I need to go with her to sign out now. Hello! That's what cell phones are for. Couldn't she have phoned me from her locker to at least cut off 5 minutes of our being late for said appointment? Total frustration has set in cold and hard by now as I think of all my precious stories being eaten by a worm on my laptop, when I've stupidly not saved them on a memory stick lately.

But why should I care, really? They're poorly written anyway, as I just learned hours before.

While waiting for my three daughters appointments, I miraculously pick up pen and notepad and start sketching out a not-too-flimsy story line and character history for NaNoWriMo. Considering I'm a no-good writer, the fact that I'm still acting like one at all so soon after the wake-up rejection, truly amazes me. And thankfully, the Optometrist keeps me on this roll of amazement by offering good news. No added expense of new glasses this time around. Yes! Another jump up, but since I'd fallen so far, I still have a long way to climb.

Dear hubby arrives home earlier than expected. Love it when that happens, especially when there's a worm I'm too weak to battle. I'm inching my way up the dark abyss. Strong, brave, smart hubby is home, hope lathers on.

And as I sign off tonight (using our uninfected, safe family laptop that jumps cursors more than a hungry cat meows) my hero continues to attempt to chop and mutilate that worm, but as we all know, worms have a way of reviving themselves...

Surrendering to Him,



Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, Eileen! Thanks for sharing so honestly about your day in your loveable way. I could almost hear you speaking! Reminded me of rooming together at ACFW!

I'm sorry about the rejection. I got similar rejections on the story that now sold. What one agent or editor doesn't like, does not determine the worth of the project! And BTW, your writing is VERY tight and delightful. Don't give up hope yet and don't get so down on yourself!!!! You are a very good writer!!

I'll be praying you get your lap top de-wormed! Ugh!

Rebecca Nazar said...

Yikes! What a picture and horrible day!

Yup, rejection comes with the territory. I've been slapped quite a few time with it.

But today's a new day, a new dawn . . . :-)

Diane said...

Cheerleader Diane here...... do not give up on your dream editor. What the others do not see, I pray she WILL be able to see. If God gave you this gift (and He did) then He will get it where it needs to go and see it through. Wishing you a blessed, refreshed, full of little surprises kind of day. :O)

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh that day sounds like the pits. Hugs and encouragement to your Eileen. and I know that rejection letter was obviously not what you wanted to hear, but wow, the personal feedback is amazing. I mean, you must have been close or impacted them enough to bother writing to tell you why they couldn't take you on. After you kick a few walls (or whatever you do that works for you:) I'd take heart in that rejection. Keep on keeping on girl. Sending sunshine your way:)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Eileen, be more frustrated with the computer worm than that rejection. In fact, the fact that the agent took the time to write such a nice and detailed letter speaks volumes. You're so close and on the right path.
If I could give you a hug through the computer, I would. Draw strength through Him and begin your new story with confidence. :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh girl, what a day. :-(
I HATE worms, viruses, etc. Grrrr... Love that you called the creator a turd. LOL

About the is very nice and all, but it's only an opinion. I agree that you have tight writing and honestly, the part of your one story where she's hitting her head against the shower in her grief, well, that still gives me chills. It was one of the most powerful scenes I think I've ever read.
So be thankful for the kind rejection, but know that it's extremely subjective. There've been plenty of books where I felt the writing was rough, but they still sold. Someone liked the writing and it drew them in. The same will happen with you. :-)
I hope today goes better for you!

Catherine West said...

Okay so the good news is, today will be better than yesterday!! Right?
Hang in there, we all have those horrible days. I will pray something makes you smile today.

Tamika: said...

Oh Eileen, I hope your day shines today.

Good for you for pressing through and still picking up that pen and paper to write. You will be on the shelves one day.

Joanne said...

I agree with Jennifer, it's great that the agent took the time to make a personal comment, and she did say positive things too, including your concept being appealing! It is a subjective business, and there are lots of opinions to get. Keep submitting, keep writing!

Anna Scott Graham said...


Yes, those who send viruses should be hung by their heels.

As for the rest of your day... I (sometimes) do wonder why God has a lineup for us that makes the Red Sea look inviting to just jump into headlong. Sometimes I can laugh (beats crying) when a day like yours hits. Romans 8.28 comes back to me, and after several cups of tea (wishing a tiny bit of whisky was included) I just smile, holding out until bedtime when this sort of day can be put to rest.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day!!

Georgiana Daniels said...

Oh NO!!! I have SOOO been there! Consider yourself commisserated with. Hugs coming your way. And for the record, you ARE a good writer. How do I know? Look how many of us enjoy your blog posts!

PS. I'm still getting over the fact you used the word "turd"--ok, I shouldn't smile about this, but I am. Here's to a better day!

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm so sorry you had such a bad day. I have a feeling today will be much better for you.

Natalie said...

What a crappy day! I am so sorry! We've all dealt with rejection. It stinks. Just know that that agent is just one person and not the final word on your manuscript. I got the full range in rejections (and eventually acceptances) from "the writing wasn't strong enough" to "the writing was brilliant." This was just one person's opinion, and someone else might think differently. You can do it. Don't get discouraged.

Erica Vetsch said...

Oh my! This is me sending you cyber-tea and hugs. What a rotten rollercoaster you were on!

Re the rejection: opinions are all so subjective. One agent's 'first draft' is another editor's 'gotta have!'

Re the worm: Wow, that really stinks. I'm glad the DH jumped right in on slaying that worm.

Re the eye-doc: Yay! No new glasses.

Re the word count: Yay!!! That's terrific!

Re the paper and pen plotting: Yay for NaNoWriMo and throwing down a quick first draft.

Hope today is gentler.

Stephanie Faris said...

The fact that they went into that much detail in the rejection is a good thing, as hard as it is to believe. I personally believe that an agent has so many submissions, when he/she sees something they take THAT closely a look at, there's a spark there that interested them.

It's all opinion, so subjective. And someday when that book is published and hugely successful you'll have that letter to show everyone!

Susan Anne Mason said...


So sorry for your rejection yesterday. They always hurt, no matter how nicely they are relayed.
Funny, I was just re-reading my rejection from the Steeple-Hill editor last night. After a couple of months in a drawer, I wanted to read it with fresh eyes. I was still a little taken aback.

But never fear. We are good writers and (here's the key) we are getting BETTER with every word we write! So don't give up.

You've probably heard lots of stories about writers who persevered and finally got published. One girl on my writer's loop got the CALL this week after 15 years and 151 rejections!

It will happen for us, too! (Hopefully before 15 years. LOL)

Hope today is an uplifting day for you, where everything goes your way and all laptops are DE-WORMED with minimal effort!


Anonymous said...


Wow what a day! Glad to hear some positives came with all the rottens.

On a related avoid losing work to my very bad, very tempermental, very infected but can't afford a new one computer, I email myself my WIP at the end of each session. That way, if my computer crashes again I can always go to any computer, check my email, and "wah-lah" there is my most recent draft of my manuscript!

Hope your worm finds a new home,

Carla Gade said...

Oh, Eileen! Many hugs are sent your way. You sound like me. Yesterday I had a horrible day, too. As the day wore on I kept berating myself. Very bad habit of mine. During the worst of one situation I kept praying for God's mercy and intervention and he was so faithful in resolving what seemed a hopeless scenario. When He loves me so much I wonder why I start looking down one myself, questioning my abilities. The way He intervened, it made me realize that He is invested in me. He keeps growing me, challenging me, teaching me. He loves me that much! He loves you, too! Remember always that He is the one who made you a writer. And a writer you are!

Karen Lange said...

Sorry Eileen, to hear about your day. If it makes you feel any better, I can relate. Was locked out of my hotmail account last week through no fault of my own, it was apparently a widespread thing. Add to that some other challenges and my whole week was interesting, to say the least. But things are looking up! Be encouraged about the rejections, one of these days it'll happen, 'cause you are a good writer:) Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you.

Regina Quentin said...

Wow. So sorry for the ultra-horrible day. My days have felt more down than up lately as well. I can sympathize with you on that and admire you for continuing to do what you are called to do even in the face of a rejection. I'm sorry that happened. They just weren't the publisher for you. When you get the right one, you'll be able to look back on this with joy. I admire your attitude.

Jill Kemerer said...

Can I give you a big hug right now?? I've been there woman! And it sucks!! There, I said it. It does. (Rejections on my wedding anniversary and my son's birthday? Not pretty.)

Okay, onward. I honestly don't know any writer who doesn't or hasn't gotten rejections. Even published authors get their proposals rejected. And it's such a subjective business. Your book and writing style might not work for the agent, but the editor might love it! So don't convince yourself that everyone is going to hate it.

I'm going to tell you the advice I give to myself--put more stock in whatever feedback you get from the editor. She's the one you're going to be submitting to from here on out, so if she decides to pass on your project, pay attention to the reasons she gives. I'm only saying this because this is my policy, not because I think you're getting a rejection!

Stay positive! "The call" may be a LOT closer than you thing!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

After multiple problems with my computer, my tech guy installed a new security program called, "Kaspersky." It's great.

I've been in your shoes with agents and workshop teachers. It's painful. Like someone said, it's subjective. I've had one agent say she loved my writing, but didn't represent my genre. Ten minutes later, another agent panned the same sample chapter. Don't give up.

Susan :)

VR Barkowski said...

Good grief, Eileen! You've had what my mother would have called "one of those days." The good news is, they rarely come in pairs - well unless it turns out to be what my mom called "one of those weeks." But let's not even go there. :-)

Agent rejections are difficult, but take heart. This was a personalized response offering lots of encouragement. Plus, it's only one agent. First, celebrate that your work was strong enough to garner a *personal* rejection. Then remember it's only one agent. Finally, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and go forth and conquer!

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh no! What a day!! I think our temperments were on the same wavelength!LOL I am SOOOO sorry for that rejection--I don't think it was kind at all and I've read your writing and it is good!
I pray your evening will be so wonderful! You need it!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

YOU ARE NOT A TERRIBLE WRITER. Don't even think that. Don't even listen when the evil voice says that. You have a gift.

I know all too well how it feels to receive a rejection, no matter how kindly it is worded. Especially about something we slaved over, put everything into, and really tried to make it the best we had. I really pray that this will be a re-routing for your manuscript, that after you edit some more and re-send it, it will land in the inbox of the ones who will leap to publish and/or represent you.

Keep dreaming, Friend. Keep writing! You can do this!

Ava Walker Jenkins said...

I am so sorry for the awful day. But now I have a confession. Last month when I was just starting to read these blogs, yours was the second one I clicked to follow. The reson was because of the warmth I felt in your writings and posts. I went back in the archives and read some of your earlier posts and looked at the garden pictures. Because of your writing style, I felt like you were someone I could really identify with and felt a kiship with. So while some may (temporarily) reject your writing, take comfort in knowing that others are drawn to it. Hang in there.

Kathryn Magendie said...

oh! those days , those bad bad days!

Now, as for the rejection - just file it away - file file file - take any nuggets that seem "real" to you and address them, and then forget it -- in fact, just tear up the rejection - unless you like keeping them for the day you can laugh at them and tell interviewers "yes, look at this stack of rejections - isn't that funny? Good think I didn't give up!"


Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thank you all, you're getting my emotions all stirring and in a good way!! You truly are a blessing to me, you wonderful blog friends!

Hubby did his best, but the worm or virus, or whatever it is, was too strong for even him. I delivered the laptop to the computer doctor this afternoon. They give no promises, but will do their best. I'll keep you posted.

I'm so thankful that with three teens in our house, we have more than one computer. At least I can continue on with my story from where I was, and continue to pray that they can restore my last month or so worth of writing from laptop.

I'm sending myself email backups at the end of each day from now on!!!! Wish I had of done that before.

God is good, we are all heathy with the exception of oldest with head cold, so I'm praising God. I'll take rejectiion notes and destroyed computers anyday over serious illnesses!

Katie Ganshert said...

Eileen! I'm so sorry you had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (have you read that book?) Those days are the worst. Not that I am making light of your horrendous day, but your way of telling it had me laughing. Like Jody, I could totally hear you talking and it made me wish we were back in Denver!

Hope that worm gets chopping into teeny tiny pieces and your laptop shapes up.

I'd say don't worry about the rejection...but that's impossible. Rejection stinks, there's no getting around that. Just know that it's all just part of the game (a very horrible part...but still a part).

Hope your Wednesday was better than your Tuesday!

Patti Lacy said...

Yuk. I just keep whispering Romans 8:28, Romans 8:28.

Sorry that all of this crashed in on you--in one day.
Your Pearl,

Tara McClendon said...

On the bright side:

It wasn't a form rejection.

Opinions can be subjective-another agent may love it as is.

And you have the potential to change it if you decide that's what works best for your book.

Good luck.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Oh, woe to the bad days. Makes us appreciate the good ones. So sorry about the rejection. Writers keep going, as you know. I have 52 rejections for my first novel that I keep in a blue folder. I think I'll use pink folder for my next book.

Never give up! Enjoyed the post.

Lily Whalen said...

Apart from your blog, I haven't actually read any of your writing, but... Take heart, Eileen! Soon you will have an in-person critique group to support you and help you to grow in your skill. You will be amazed at how your writing improves as a result of these extra eyes. I hope today goes better than the bad day you describe here. It can only get better, right?

Tamara (TC) Staples said...


So sorry for your bad day yesterday and for your rejection. Good for you for picking up your notebook and pen right after that. Don't give up!!

I hope that today is a beautiful, refreshing day.

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh my goodness! Mama said there'd be days like this. I love your honesty and humor. I've been considering NaNoWriMo. Maybe next year...

Luv ya, girlfriend,