Friday, February 27, 2015

Never Email Unless You Are in a Hurry for Rejection

I emailed to ask if, although I knew, given the time that had past, that I hadn't won, to ask if I had. Never do that. They'll tell you 'no' and add a little extra information about how much they do not want you, just for you. Merely asking seems to tip the universe against your favor. You would think that perhaps you'd get points for being proactive: "Now here's a real go-getter." But you'd be wrong. You'd look like a sucker who spends too much time refreshing her gmail, which you are. 

But having internalized a solid 'no,' I have now moved on to thinking of the good week news. I have finally been published in a magazine you can get at the grocery store. Well, Whole Foods at least. This makes my day. Also, the piece is about my mom so my mom can get it at the grocery store. Well, Whole Foods.  You have to buy the magazine to read it, but I'm pretty happy to be all glossy-like. It's a short essay and some short essays won Best of the Net for 2014 which makes two years in a row which (you have to read Keise Laymon's which is a much longer and better description of how it seems to go in the don't-email-if-you-don't-want-a-"no" department), and Justin Hocking's essay on Bending Genre went Freshly-Pressed viral (meaning I get 100 messages a day telling me my blog has a new follower--not this one!) makes me feel like I have won the internet, at least for the day, even though we all know there is no permanent winning. Scott Walker will show up in my feed for the next four years, I fear. I thought Arizona had the worst governor, but I might be wrong. 

Speaking of bringing money to Arizona! (segue? Like a cop!) I have, after four months of trying, made my fundraising goal for the NonfictioNOW conference. This is exciting because I love to raise money. I should have maybe followed my sister Val's footsteps and gone into sales. The adrenalin is almost as excellent as getting an acceptance in a lit mag and the rejection much less personal. Plus, now I can host a party for 450 people. Like a wedding but without so many flowers. Maybe a few flowers. 

But the bad news was also bad enough to make me want to quit and become a maker of kombucha and charcuterie. A little homemade pancetta with your probiotics? I got a rejection for an essay I wrote exactly for a specific editor/magazine and I guess it was too depressing even though it IS THE LEAST DEPRESSING ESSAY I ever wrote. Maybe it is depressing, talking to Zoe about climate change and the end of the world, but there is the excellent bright spot when I think I see a sloth hanging out in a ponderosa tree. That is as good as it gets, isn't it? I worry that I sound a lot more depressed than I ever actually am. In actuality, I am the smilingest person I know. Zoe and Max's taekwondo tells me every day that she likes my smile. And then she turns to the kids and says, "Did I hear a yes, ma'am?" "No, ma'am." "Then get to the back wall." She's tough. Like the smile I make when I think I'm funny when I'm not. 

But if there's one thing that's important to win it's sabbatical because you only get one (or maybe 2 or 3 but at the rate Arizona's going, this could be it) so today I took Zoe and three of her friends ice-skating. We skated for an hour and they who were just learning to skate stopped holding onto the wall and they who are practicing skating backwards skated backwards and I went around the rink 147 times and I'm having a hard time standing up to answer the door now that the parents are coming to pick up the three girls who came over to our house after skating to play with Zoe and try on her every dress and ask Max to marry them but he says, "no" even though he did put on his tuxedo. 


Lisa B. said...

Rejection is the worst because it DOES feel personal, no matter how much work you put into telling yourself it isn't/shouldn't. I totally agree with you that it's important to win sabbatical and totally #enjoyit, because that's life, isn't it? you better enjoy it because #noguarantees. I'm going to make sure to get a copy of that magazine, so there's that. i love that Max has a tuxedo. I wish I had a tuxedo.

Nykii said...

You are the smilingest person I know, and this made me smile a lot, too. :') Except I'm sorry about the rejection. Still, so much good news!