WRITERS GET REJECTED SOMETIMES. A LOT. Fact. The rejection letter in the image showed up in my email bin a mere four hours after I submitted a work of fiction online to a respected literary magazine. I had been working on the piece for over a year.
This generic letter reminds me of another letter that Leah and I received after we spent the night in Virginia at a Super 8 that must have just finished starring in a horror film. At 2am, after driving for six hours, we drove for two more hours in a torrential downpour and never-ending thunderstorm to find a hotel. Everyone was booked due to the “model train show.” Toot.
We finally pulled into a the parking lot of a Super 8 with a vacancy sign, right next to the drug dealer selling crack on the corner. The man behind the bullet proof glass asked us how many hours we wanted the room for. Bad sign.
Worse sign: Once inside, Eesah refused to lay down. He paced the room over and over, past its dirt-streaked walls and torn off outlet covers. He’s a dog. He eats poop and rolls in dirt, but he refused to settle anywhere in the room.
When Leah pulled back the bedclothes, we gasped in unison. The underside of the comforter was stained with blood. That did it. We threw open the door. Add lightning strike and crash of thunder here. It was raining so heavily we couldn’t even see the lobby.
Exhaustion took over. We threw our sleeping bags on top of the bed and let the dog join us there. When we got home, I called 1-800-Super-8 and complained. A few weeks later we got a letter in the mail from the Virginia Super 8:
Dear Amelia Sauter:
Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay at the Super 8. We appreciate your business and hope you stay with us again in the future.
Do you think Manager was really his last name? Do you think The Editors had names? And do you think the literary magazine should have waited more than four hours to reject me, you know, so it could look like they maybe sorta kinda considered publishing my piece, just a little?