Is an artist’s or a writer’s “work” ever really complete?! I heard a story once that the famous impressionist painter, Edgar Degas, stealthily climbed in the window of a patron that had bought one of his pieces to repaint the parts of the painting he just couldn’t live with. Maybe urban legend. However, as I took the coaching of that first rejection and looked again at my stories I began to see through a different filter. Just as an example I am posting the “before and after” of the ending to my story: “Around The Corner”. The bottom sketch shows the balloon lazily drifting to join a party of balloons in the land where lost balloons go. A very anti-climax kind of ending. This is the BEFORE. The top sketch is the REWORK and shows the balloon having a very different kind of adventure . . . with a little humor. This is the AFTER. MUCH more interesting! Well, reworked the whole story with new energy and yesterday, May 8, I pushed the “send” button two more times. Sent this story to TWO more possible literary agents. The line: “You have to do the work to do the work!” keeps running through my mind. A BIG thank you to my husband, Mike; my daughter, Katie; and various encouraging art friends. I am on a roll.
On the 19th of February, after the cat and tears drama previously reported, I pushed the first “send” button to electronically submit three of my stories to the first agency I applied to for representation. Since they indicated a 30 DAY response time, I, of course, anxiously checked my emails daily and boldly (or desperately) emailed the question to the agency: “Did you receive my submissions?” on the 26th DAY. Within a couple of hours I got an apologetic response of “we have no record of your submission”. Good thing I asked! The agent was very courteous, gave me a direct email to send my stuff to and answered me within 6 days with my first REJECTION!! Yay! I am on my way! Actually he was kind and gave me some instructive observations about my work. Then he added: “thx for submitting. i enjoyed these more than most.” (The world of email punctuation.) A little encouragement is fuel-to-the-fire. Back to the drawing and thinking boards I went.