Walking the walk

Edge_of_the_Cliff,_Myra_Albert_Wiggins,_1902I dish out advice but I don’t take it too well.

Case in point: yesterday. I sent out a bunch of queries yesterday; a “bunch” being exactly five. Last one was sent around 3 p.m., EST.

At 8 p.m., EST, I received an email from one of the agents I’d queried a few hours before. Thanks but no thanks. Not my cuppa. Better luck next time.


Of course, she didn’t call me a sucker but I felt like one last night . . . for all of two seconds. Then I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, thinking, At least I’m not stuck in a holding pattern. At least I’m not going to be waiting and hoping. Actually, it’s kind of nice for that agent to be on the ball like she was. I chalked it up to ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ I thought I handled the rejection pretty well. Truth be told, I was rather proud of myself.

But this morning I woke up in a foul mood–no, not foul, exactly. Irritated. I couldn’t figure it out, so I blamed it on this and that: the kitchen floor needed washing, folks usurped my time; you name it, I was irritated by it. For hours, my brow perpetually knit; my sentences came out clipped. The dark clouds outside my window slipped in, jostling for position right over my head.

And then it hit me.

Actually, it hit me because of an email I received from somebody who apparently knows me better than I know myself. After confiding that my day was somewhat shitty, I casually mentioned that agent’s rejection, to which she replied:

Ah, and now we come to the root of your irritation. I figured it would be something like a rejection.


But as soon as I heard that, I knew she was right. Dammit! Not ‘dammit, she was right’ but ‘dammit, here I go again, crying and complaining because I got a rejection, ONE REJECTION.’ Letting it ruin the bulk of my day–my Saturday, for crying out loud. And how many of my blog posts have been dedicated to growing a thicker skin, keeping the faith, promising myself I wasn’t DOING that any more?

The little girl walking along the edge of that cliff is doing so at great personal risk. The path she’s on has to be scary as fuck, and I doubt she’d be on it if she didn’t have to be. If she falls, she’s dead. But she’s walking it, putting one foot in front of the other.

Doing it.

Compared to hers, my path is a cake walk. I’m on it only because I choose to be. I have loads of support. If I fall, I get up, brush myself off and keep going, but only if I wanna. So what if one agent rejected my query–it’s not the end of the world. For the love of god, quit acting like it is.



14 thoughts on “Walking the walk

    • Yeah. Actually, Mrs Fringe, when you told me you were planning on going for a little walk, I was inspired to write this post. I should thank you twice, I think.

      xoxo kk


  1. Is that picture of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland? (or do I just think most cliffs are the Cliffs of Moher?)

    You’re lucky to find the root of your irritation; I’m not always able to. It’s gotten better since the discontinuation of a certain voluntary medication, but there are times I’m just perpetually pissed and have to stop and check myself. Do I have a headache? Have I had a rejection? Are the neighbors having a stupid party with stupid music?


    • Hi Jen. The Wikimedia Commons comments for that photo include this:

      Myra Albert Wiggins, Edge of the Cliff, 1902, Platinum Print, 8.1 in x 6 in, Location of the photo is not stated, but is most likely on the California coastline.

      But that’s not definitive. You want it to be the Cliffs of Moher, I say it’s the Cliffs of Moher.


      As for the sources of your irritations, I hear you. Good that you try to pinpoint what’s going on. Otherwise, you’d be enveloped by that feeling, without a clear sense of cause or how to address it. Put another way–as I wax on philosophically 🙂 — before you can put anything in perspective, you need to be able to see it.

      Thanks for popping in Jen. Have a good night, sweetie. xoxo kk


      • Yes, being able to see it definitely helps, not a thing I can always do on my own. I’ve got this particularly smart dog, though, and not only will Elka let me know in an insistent way if she feels I’m in a headache-y kind of way, she in general makes me stop and be aware. Having her has made me a more patient person, and one more in tune with the behaviors around me, including my own. She’s really helped me in more ways than one!

        If the info says California, it’s probably so. They’re pretty much the only real cliffs I’ve directly encountered, but It did put me in mind of this view of them in particular: http://www.destination360.com/europe/ireland/cliffs-of-moher which, while similar, is not quite identical.

        You have a good night as well! I’m off to the land of Nod soon, to be sure (the sleeping one, not the place East of Eden where Cain found a wife.)


        • I can officially say I love the spectacular Cliffs of Moher in Ireland located in County Clare near the Burren Area.


          As for your dog, I think that’s wonderful.

          My cat can anchor me in the moment. I might find myself spiraling, or getting ready to and I see him looking right into my eyes. Next thing I know, I’m rubbing his belly and he’s responding with big throaty purrs. I can feel the angst just melting away. Animals can do that.

          I’m glad you have Elka, Jen.


  2. Go easy on yourself, kk. It’s easy to say that rejections shouldn’t get us down, but some days, they just plain will. I’ve found myself curled up on the floor a few times, crying over a rejection. It happens. You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling bad.


    • I know.

      Why do some rejections cut closer to the bone? Probably because we invest so much sometimes–time-wise, emotion-wise. Querying can be a tough business.

      But that’s what it is, and that’s how we writers need to view it. Sell our stuff, that’s it. Do what we need to do to find that agent or publisher who will fall in love with our work and get it out there.

      The hardest part for me is keeping the faith but like I’ve said before, one never knows what’s waiting around the corner. Putputt, your experiences are a testament to that. You did it. We just have to keep plugging away, putting one foot in front of the other. Trusting that, eventually, we’ll get where we’re supposed to go.

      Thank you, Putputt.

      xoxo kk


      • Heh, well, I haven’t done it yet. The number of rejections my agent has been getting from editors has been quite soul-consuming. One editor rejection had me weeping for an hour (mostly because she said something along the lines of: “Well, everything is good, but the genre’s just dead. Nobody wants this anymore. Sorry, kid.” All that work, just to be told I’ve missed the train.

        I imagine that even if/when I do get published, there would still be times where I will be curled up on the floor crying, probably because of bad reviews and so on.

        It’s a long, arduous process. A never-ending marathon, it seems. But we have to brush ourselves off, get up, and keep going. We’ll get there, kk.


        • I literally can not bear the thought of my little putster curled up on the floor, weeping. Inconsolable because some mean ol’ editor told her emphatically that she’s doomed because that genre’s dead, she’s missed that boat. Or that some reviewer is spewing forth venom because hey, it’s a free country, folks can stomp on people’s hearts if they want to. . .

          Screw it, Putputt. Your novel is so unique and refreshing. Regardless of what that editor told you, fresh and unique fiction, well-wrought fiction, trumps everything. I have no doubt your novel will be published. And don’t discount what you’ve already accomplished. Getting an agent is no small feat. A lot of writers dream of that, and never, ever get that far.

          As for reviewers and all that . . . maybe it happens, but I’ve read your stuff and I don’t see it. I just don’t. There’s too much to admire there.

          You can curl up on the floor, but only if you want to. I say, dry those tears and go outside, pick a flower and put it in your hair. You are a fine writer. Your time will come, Putputt.

          xo kk


          • Awww, well the editor was very nice about it! She said she really liked it and everything and said to send her other books I write, so yanno, she was as nice as could be in the situation.

            Anyway, this happened months ago. It quite killed most of my hope for my first book, really. But then we just have to keep writing, don’t we. I poured my heartache into my latest book…so now that one carries the burden of my hope. 🙂 So keep going, kk. I will keep going as well. We will look back on this one day and smile, and tell each other, “Hey, we bitches get shit done.”


  3. ‘Course, as usual, late to the party and you’ve already gotten plenty of wisdom and heartfelt commiseration. I’ll just add one thing: I think the speedy ones cut deep. “Wait, what? How can you know? You haven’t given yourself proper time to absorb the brilliance, to ruminate on the intricacies. You can’t KNOW….” The feeling of being short shrifted…blech.


  4. I can picture it. I sent what, a query? I think that was it. One query, three paragraphs, but they were damn fine paragraphs. Damn fine. As for you coming to the party late, ain’t no such animal. You wasn’t late, babe.

    We was early.


    xo kk


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