I am noting with sad irony that the difference between "correspondence" and "despondence" is but a few little letters. So, after going back and forth with a major editor about 10 times (and sending a final revision to her this morning) my fate is in the hands of her editor and chief. All I can do now is let go, let God as they say. Hopefully God, in addition to being a carpenter and saving the universe, also knew the perilous journey of the pen and will take pity.
This editor has been incredibly generous with her responses to me, telling me why a particular story idea has, or has not, worked. On Friday told me that the Chief did indeed like my background, but found the angle "unfresh." Ha! I love the honesty. So, I sent her about 4 new angles today (that I reworked while sitting in a broken massage chair at my favorite carwash, Cruisers.)
Thank heavens for my sitcom experience - having to turn around stories in less than an hour, which leads me to my next 2 points (oh yes, there's more...)
1. All experiences in our lives help us in future endeavors (not just the experiences that were positive... we can twist any negative to our advantage and reap new benefits.)
2. Play the game to show you know the rules (in my case, send a formal query) but then be yourself, because hell, what else do you have? Might take longer to get your goal, but when you're there, you have solid footing. (Of course, we might have to fast forward to my first national magazine break when I'm 86, getting the sidebar story on bed sores in the AARP.)
I leave you with an example of staying true to myself - a quick note I just jotted off to my editor contact:
"Regardless of this essay's outcome, you ROCK! If ever I get to New York (which will be in about 15 years after both kids disappoint me by not going to college and instead selling hemp blankets in Venice - positive thinking) I owe you a coffee. (I'd say a martini, but despite being 6'1, one glass of alcohol and I'm passed out in the SUV, drooling on the steering wheel. It's fun to be me.)
I'm now off to supervise a play date where we have a Playdough war erupting. Will victory be to Stink who is wearing only his Scooby shorts (backwards no less)? To Pip? (Who shines in a fabulous Gap jean dress from one of my favorite thrift stores. She also dons a red chenille hat and Buzz Lightyear pull-ups.) Or will the final medal go to Kinder Tine - a five year old kindergarten upstart (who radiates in a black and white striped happy face dress - a recent purchase yesterday at yet another "resale boutique" ... Her mom is the one who gave Pip 14 pairs of shoes - proving a little Goodwill on my part goes a long way. Pun intended.)