The other day I accidentally unearthed a file folder full of correspondence. Much of it, rejection letters. The notes in this folder were largely anachronistic. Most publishers, presses and agents say "no" via email these days, thus disallowing the fantasy of papering a bathroom with rejections on letterhead after landing the "bit fat deal."
Once I found this file, paged through it, and dumped it into the rolling recycle bin in my driveway, I realized that somewhere else in the deep, dark recesses of my bungalow, dwells a file with the tabbed notation: Good News. Frantically, I went in search of it, only to get sand-trapped in old manuscripts, tax files and mortgage records of houses I no longer own. Alas, my "Good News" file seems to have vanished. Which really sucks, because in it are some fabulous letters, including the one from C. Michael Curtis telling me I was a prizewinner in the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Competition, and an agent green-lighting my story collection, with a list of places she planned to send , and a few literary presses responding favorably to my quest for publication, and a couple of REALLY AWESOME letters of recommendation.
After wasting several hours on my hunt, though, I was resigned face the sad truth that Good News is gone. Just like my custom-made watermelon tourmaline earring and my spare set of car keys.
Often, I have this St. Anthony type thing I do when I can't find something. I give the missing thing over to the invisible elves. Usually my missing item only shows up when I'm actively hunting for something else, though, and perhaps this will be the case with Good News.
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