Yes, I received it in my email box. I'd emailed an editor of an anthology to find out if I had in fact been passed over and if they could offer me feedback. It seems my email spam filter carried away the original email sent to me...
What I got in response was amazing! Sure, it was still a rejection, but it was the most helpful thus far. It told me the highs and lows of my story and suggested what I work on. The best part was that the editor insisted I continue to edit it and stick with it, which was just what I needed. Truly, it was a fantastic letter and I hope that I receive more rejections like that. I know I will get them, it comes with the career of writing, but I just hope they're as helpful as this editor was.
I think that the best part was that there was someone I don't even know, who has no attachments to me in a personal way saying, yeah... keep writing. Beacuase let's face it, your mom's either always going to hate it, or always going to love it. They'll support you however they deem best and sometimes it's just not a clear picture of your true writing skills and as objective as they try to be, there's a deep rooted misunderstanding between parents and their own children... So, it means that their child's creation is usually another thing they just don't get... Okay, I'm being a little judgemental... but even though my daughter's about to turn only a year old, there are times I look at her and go... "Really?"
Then I see other babies, and I'm not jealous... I just kind of get them. My baby girl? Not so much, but I think that's the card I've been dealt as a mother. Our children are meant to rebel against us and I think it'd be worth finding out sociologically whether the push pull relationship between children and parents is a survival thing. The more children push away, or perhaps run away, the more parents try to draw in. You see it as soon as children have left the nest, parents are there, not quite sure what to do with themselves.
And for teens, it's the ultimate repulsion... a mother crying over your leaving, trying to hug you and get your shirt wet. There's nothing that says "hurry, move out now," than a mother who cries all over you when you talk about leaving. (Please note, I didn't say fawns all over you... because let's face it. If my mom cooked for me, did my laundry and cleaned around me... I wouldn't leave either.) Especially boys, a side of the species less apt to dealing with women crying in the first place.
So, from this place of non-objectivity and writing, I now have this faith that I'm not just writing for my family, but writing for me and that perhaps my own opinion on my writing is a fair gauge of how I'm doing. If you've seen American or Canadian Idol, you know what I'm talking about. Those singers who couldn't hit a note if it were taped on the broad side of a barn within reaching distance; I was scared that was me in the writing world. A veritable mish-mash of clumsy language and stumbling plots waiting for editors to tell me to shut it down and get on with my real life, while my mother would be there saying, "Those editors are idiots anyways."
Not today. Today the person who told me my writing, and that short story in particular, was worthwhile was a credible editor of a Canadian Publishing company who gave me smart and compelling suggestions while making me feel honored to know that the field I love so much is one that editors, like this one, exists.
Now that I'm n done my rave, I'm back to the drawing board.