If you look at the word above, see it surrounded top, bottom and both sides with white space, or imagine it reduced to eight point type and in lower case like this:
what an unhappy feeling you’d get. It would make you feel like you’re alone in the world, shunned by all, dismissed, unacceptable, lacking in some vital quality that all possess except you.
ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin reject- ‘thrown back,’ from the verb reicere, from re- ‘back’ + jacere ‘to throw.’
Thrown back! Like a fish! Too small, wrong type, inadequate. Stinky! I could go on and on but for what purpose?
I actually got the world’s best rejection email. Yes it hurt, but mostly the hurt was a sudden attack of anxiety that hit right in the solar plexus, which is: a complex of ganglia and radiating nerves of the sympathetic system at the pit of the stomach. I was sympathetic all right, and all my sympathy lay with myself. I felt sorry for myself, and the sorry was compounded with a serious ‘what do I do now?’ but not long lasting, anxiety attack. I’d put my cozy egg in this one basket and the basket dumped it.
But back to the rejection email itself. It was beautiful, not a form letter at all, but a wish that my story had been right for her, the agent, who I will love forever as being the quintessential agent of all time. She went on to say that cozies were not for her. Her tastes ran to the emotionally tormented end of the scale. And she loved my voice and setting.
I picked up the latest issue of Writer’s Digest (February 2017) which had come in the mail that day. There was an uplifting article by Stephanie Faris entitled ‘The Rejection Game’, in which rejectees, like myself, were encouraged to get back into the game. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, submit like crazy, have a list of other agents on hand to submit to, agents who wanted cozies, who weren’t into horror, SF, drama, police procedurals, etc. Keep a log on paper, or if you are inclined that way, a spreadsheet on the computer, to keep track of your submissions and subsequent follow-ups.
I already had the names of a few other agents from my afternoon at the 2016 Crime Bake’s pitch session. I researched them, emailed them to see if they accepted simultaneous submissions, and will send out my cozy to each of them. So what if my cozy was dumped from one basket. It wasn’t broken, and I have healed and am moving on.