Thursday, May 3, 2012

My First Rejection from a Publishing House

It has happened. I wasn’t immune. No easy breaks for me; that’s just not the way things work in my life. I knew this day would come but I never comprehended the blow until it happened. I thought agent rejections were bad but this was ten times worse!

I have received my first rejection from a major publishing house. Oh, to type that out and read it, still pierces the heart. Oh, the pain! When I read my agent's message about it, I got angry. How could they not love Mr. Bohns and his factory of candies and toys? How could they not love the ugly Maryanne whose tragic beginning made you root for a happy ending? How could they not love Snowball, the mangy cat and Vladick, the vampire and so on and so forth?! I have never wanted to throw something out of anger as much as I wanted to at that moment. I paced my room, gritted my teeth and tightened my fist. Around and around I went as I mumbled and growled under my breath. “Did they even read it?!”

How was I going to break this to my biggest fans, my children? My husband? How was I going to tell them Mr. Bohns and Maryanne were not wanted? I took a deep breath and decided to get it done and over with. I left my husband a message then headed down to face the 7 kids who have included my story in their morning and evening prayers, family prayers and even as we blessed our food at each of our meals. Some have even sacrificed their birthday wishes in hopes their favorite story would find its way into the right publishers hands.

When I gathered them around, they took one look at my face (which is usually a fairly happy one) and knew my smile was fake. When I broke the news they all came to me with hugs, some even with tears, wondering why Mr. Bohns was not wanted and who didn’t adore Maryanne.

They began to fret about it and that is when I realized we were bigger than this. To get all our frustrations out I decided we were going to celebrate my failure. We would watch a favorite movie from the company that rejected us. We’d eat big bowls of ice cream with all the toppings as we watched. This was not going to beat us. 

When the movie started the grand logo of the company came up. It was glorious! We had all imagined that we would one day sit in a theater, knowing that our story of  Mr. Bohns and Maryanne was about to be seen all over the world.  Millions would fall in love with this little gothic fairytale of a skeleton and a homely girl.  But now, our dreams seemed crushed. It wasn’t going to happen. We booed the screen! We stuck out our tongues! We cocked our hands back full of gummy bears and gummy worms ready to throw at the screen…but then the oddest thing happened.  There was a hush.  We stuck our tongues back in and instead of throwing our gummies, we ate them and enjoyed the show.

We had won after all. It is true a major publishing house didn’t want our story, but one will someday. We all felt it at the same time. I think someone from up above was chuckling at us. We like to think of Him as not so serious all the time but a Heavenly Father who knows what is best. Someone who will help it happen at the right time. He will guide it and protect it and make sure it finds its way into the right hands. I know my children’s prayers will be answered. They are good kids and it is a good story.