Life is full of rejection. From the sly little ones, like...
“That’s an interesting shirt you’re wearing.”
“Isn’t that cute.”
Through to the big juicy ones, like...
“You smell weird.”
“Good God, you suck.”
“No. I don’t want to marry you. And stop following me around.”
|A man standing a field, waiting for his spanking. Obviously.|
On Saturday a snappy little short story that I was quite keen on went before a new friend of mine. A published author. Let’s code name her ‘Dragon Lady’ for the sake of this re-enactment. She loved the voice. She loved the story. Glowy warmth was a buzzing inside me but I wasn’t really surprised by her adoration. Everyone it had gone before previously had liked it too. And then she hit me with this.
Dragon Lady: There is no emotion in your sex.
Dragon Lady: Yes. Sorry.
I was stunned. No emotion in the sex? Are you serious? The guy just battled zombies to be with her! What does a guy have to do to say he cares? I ranted, I raged, I drank somewhere in the region of four to five Silver Tequila’s with a dash of Guava. Just enough to give me a crystal clear perspective on the situation. And it did. Dragon Lady was wrong. So wrong, she couldn’t even see how wrong she was. She was simply that wrong. Wrongness leached from her. A lot like the black inky goop in that Florence and the Machine video, the one where she’s at the ice-skating rink.
My husband nodded and made all the right noises. (My husband is untold amounts of sublime and I have no idea how he puts up with me. Case in point.) Eventually, three hours later, I decided to sit back down in front of the story and actually look for myself. Vaguely, if you were twisted and wrong, you could perhaps have thought my super cool hero only battled zombies and climbed the side of the building to get laid. Perhaps. But not really. Though sorta. So I layered in some stuff. You could call it emotion, I suppose. It consisted of a bit of a hint here and there with regards to how he felt about the heroine. Before and after and while doing the deed. So there, take that Dragon Lady! Mwahaha! Emotion. Done. Feeling untold amounts of justified I emailed it off and waited with grand impatience. She loved it! Perfection! We’re best friends! We’re going to try critiquing for each other more often and we’ll sit together at the Awards dinner at conference! Huzzah!
Now, let’s look more closely at the various stages of rejection.
2. Where did that come from?
3. They’re wrong.
4. Probably jealous of me or something.
5. Yeah, bet they are. Jealous of the genius inherent in my MS, “Mark the Lonely Goat Herder’s Erotic Self-Adventures”. Based on a true life story and everything!
6. I knew it.
7. But what was this bit that they wrote? That bit over here?
8. Doesn’t make sense.
9. Or does it?
11. Head meets desk. Damn. They’re right.
12. WTF do I do?
13. Abandon ship. Quick! Stick it under the bed! Run! Hide!
14. No. Wait. Hang on. Maybe there is hope. Maybe if I tweak here and there.
15. Work ass off and actually incorporate some of the criticism.
16. Emerge with shining MS clasped tight in your hot little hands. All the better for your having opened your mind and been willing to admit maybe you don’t know everything!
Alright, I’ve gone on long enough. Critting is hard to give and even harder to take. I don’t think I do either particularly well. There is much yet to learn. How do you do?