Friday 27 February 2009

So, What Did You Give Up For Lent?

It's been a strange week.

We had pancakes on Tuesday. S complained about how much ash was put on her forehead on Wednesday in church (she's not a catholic, but goes to a convent school, and yes, it's the same one that I was 'asked to leave'). S gave up chocolate and after school on Wednesday when I asked her how she'd done, she said. "I've stuck to it."
"Well done," said I, knowing that I had eaten half a Milka bar (the children bought me six when in France last week) though, to be honest, I later ate the other half, so I suppose that constitutes one whole bar.
"Well, I did stick to it," she added. "Until they gave out Minstrels at school."
She's turning into me, and I have to admit I like her way of thinking.

Yesterday I received a letter - actually it was a rejection - but it was a very gently worded one. Here's part of it, "...I think you are an extremely talented writer and I really enjoyed reading your chapters, but unfortunately this isn't what I'm looking for..." How kind was that? In fact, rather than making me feel utterly useless and a miserable failure, it made me feel that my writing probably isn't complete drivel after all.

Right then, better get on with the editing. I have to take Grumpy to be clipped at 10am. Groan. It's always such a flippin' drama.


Jenny Beattie said...

Debs, I think the rejection is lovely - how odd it feels to write that - but you know what I mean. Excellent praise.

Chris Stovell said...

I'm going to give up getting rejected for Lent, why don't you join me? It's good that you were let down gently and someone else, apart from us, recognised your talent but, sheesh, it's SO frustrating. Commiserations (and, go ahead, eat chocolate, I would!)

Casdok said...

Rejection is such a horrible word, so am glad to hear it was a nice letter.

Amanda said...

What a lovely letter, Debs. Must spur you on to keep on going! x

Phillipa said...

What a positive 'R' Debs - 'an extrmely talented writer.' :) :) I won;t be giving up anything for Lent as i have no willpower.

DJ Kirkby said...

That was well written and the very least that good authors deserve if there has to be a rejection letter. I have given up nothing for lent...does this mean I am a very bad person?

CL Taylor said...

I'm giving up chocolate for Lent. For me it's more of a challenge than a religious thing - I've NEVER gone 40 days without the stuff before. I'm already suffering withdrawl pangs and it's only day 3!

Be heartened by your rejection letter. Several agents told me at my publishers party that they don't write letters like that lightly. They only write them to authors whose work touched them in some way and shows potential. With most agents receiving 200-300 submissions a week it's a big deal for them to write a personalised letter.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

jj - I do know what you mean, and I appreciated that the agent took the time to write it.

chrish - I think I'll join you and give them up for Lent too. Great idea. Have just eaten a whole Milka bar, yak!

casdok - it was lovely, and didn't make me feel bad at all.

amanda - it certainly does.

phillipa - it was very positive.

dj kirkby - of course you're not a bad person. Sensible, I would say.

calistro - I sort of gave up chocolate, but have already succumed.

Thank you. I did appreciate her being so lovely and bothering to write on the letter.

Unknown said...

It *is* a lovely letter and publishers don't send those out lightly. You obviously impressed her. Well done.

I've given up sprouts for Lent. Easy. ;o)

Pat Posner said...

I agree with what everyone says about the letter, Debs. That's the sort that makes you carry on with hope.

What I want to give up for Lent is the NOT hearing anything from publishers who've had subs for yonks.

Good luck with Grumpy's clipping session.

Beth said...

Erm, congrats on the rejection letter! I think....

I've given up chocolate bars, crisps and cans of pop for Lent. just to see if I can.

DAB said...

Blogging! ;-)

(BTW Well done on the rejection letter, hmmmm.... you know what I mean) TFx

Kaye Manro said...

Debs, by far the most important thing that stood out to me in this post was that positive letter! Good going. I think it says, hey, look at Debs, she is a good writer!

Well I can't give up chocolate! Maybe I'll give up carrots.

Faye said...

Debs, so you're a Milka chocolate fancier as well? I remember those bars of heaven in lavender and white wrapping when I was in almost Siberia(Ukraine) in December a few years ago.

Agree with everyone else, what an honest rejection letter. In fact, you couldn't even call it a rejection, more what you're writing is good, it's just not what I need right now. So, carry on!

And, I'm still waiting to get my copy of "Pink" Pajamas from Amazon. How did you keep from bursting out laughing?

Melissa Amateis said...

That is an excellent rejection (as far as any rejection can be excellent!). But it was very honest and encouraging.

Flowerpot said...

I'd be delighted at that response - well done you Debs! Keep at it....

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

shirley wells - Thanks, I thought it was kind of her to be so positive.

Sprouts? They must have been so hard to give up (not). :)

pat - thanks, I do feel compelled to press on.

I think I'll give up that too.

G is traumatized and reclining in his bed at the moment.

b - thanks.

Well done for being so good with your Lent choices. I wish I could say the same.

tf - lol. I should give up blogging, I spend far too much time doing it.

kaye - thanks, it was rather positive.

Carrots :)

faye - I certainly am a Milka lover, but I wish J & S had only bought me one bar. Buying six is too much temptation, and I'll definately eat them all.

Thanks re the letter, it did make me feel like I was on the right track.

I did laugh at the pink pyjamas conversation, the two women who had that discussion are always so amusing and lovely.

melissa marsh - thanks, it was the best rejection letter I've ever received.

flowerpot - will do so, thanks.

Troy said...

So if I read them right then that person is actually looking for a completely talentless writer who they won't enjoy reading? If so then perhaps I should send them something!

Fiona Mackenzie. Writer said...

What a wonderful rejection letter. You are talented and you are obviously nearly there.

Carol said...

What a positive rejection letter!! So your not right for them but you write well and are clearly very talented (well, we all knew that already!!)....don't give'll get there!!

C x

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

troy - thanks for trying to make me feel better, but she was lovely and I did think that maybe she would be looking for something different to what I'm writing at the moment.

fiona - thanks, I shall certainly keep trying.

carol - thanks, I won't give up, in fact I don't think I could if I did want to.

claire p said...

I like it when agents say nice things. You know that they mean it because they don't have to do it, they could just send the generic 'thanks but no thanks'. I had a couple like that and they do give you hope.

Hope Grumpy enjoyed his clip!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

claire p - it did give me some hope, now I just need to get sending out more subs once again.

G hated his clip and is still traumatized! Such a drama queen.

Christina Phillips said...

Aw, hugs on the pass, Debs, but it was a very positve letter. Agents don't go to the bother of personalising their letters or make encouraging comments unless they really mean it. Hope your sub is exactly what the next agent on your list is looking for!

Fionnuala said...

What a great letter - I want one like that! BTW YOUR WRITING IS NOT COMPLETE DRIVEL! x