I know that, in my head. But the rest of me feels like shit. I'm just not sure I can handle doing this again.
The first book I wrote, Skipping Time, took me three and a half years to finish. During that time period, I rewrote the whole book three times. That book had my whole heart in it. And it was good--it isn't one of those things where I can look back now, a year and a half later, and cringe at how bad it is. True, it had some mistakes--ones that I see much more clearly now than I did then, but the characters themselves had so much heart that they carried the book-even with its flaws.
Just so you guys know, up until a month ago I was really self-deprecating about my writing. I was just never sure if I was any good. And then I entered a couple writing contests and won both.And it REALLY helped. So now I know I'm good at this and I don't have a problem saying that anymore. And, looking at it as objectively as I'm capable of-- I still say Skipping Time was good enough to get published.
But it didn't. And there could have been a million reasons why or no reasons why and it doesn't matter. There was nothing I could do about it. After an embarrassing amount of rejections, I shelved it and decided to write something else. Something more commercial. Something easier to get an agent for. I threw myself into a new book and, a year and some months later, here I am.
THIS is where it's supposed to be easier than it was the first time. Only I don't think it's gonna be.
And I'm just realizing that I suck at rejection. It's too hard not to take it personally. I guess I never "dealt with" any of the rejections from Skipping Time. Three years of my life, a lot of them spent working ten to twelve hours a day--to hear it wasn't good enough. How the hell do you "deal" with that? I know you've all been there, so I don't have to explain how shitty it feels. I just shrugged it off and moved on.
I never let myself feel any pain or loss or disillusionment. I wrote something else and poured all my hope into it. And now, every rejection I get on Against the Falling Moons hits me ten times as hard as the rejections on Skipping Time. Each rejection is like getting punched in the stomach. Each one throws me into a depression. And I don't know what to do about it.
I think it's cause this was my second try book--but it's not technically my second book--technically, considering all the rewrites on Skipping Time, this book is my fifth book--which means, by now, I should be good enough to get published. Sooooo...what do I do if I can't find an agent for this one? Write a sixth book? Who's to say I'd have any better luck with that? What am I going to do if this never happens?
These are questions that don't really have answers. But hey--it is the Insecure Writers Group. So this is me, being insecure.
And--given how long that was, I really shouldn't suck up any more of your time--but I signed up for the Resurrection Blog Fest, which is kind of silly considering that I've only been blogging a few months. Not sure what I was thinking. BUT, I did have a few posts that were barely read--so I figured I could put up one of them. The problem is, the only ones I have are pretty long and I didn't want to post anything too long after my rant on writing.
To that end, I'm just going to repost a story I wrote(which is still sorta long but at least its interesting) This is one of the ones that won me a contest--much to my HUGE surprise. The way I figure it, a lot of my followers have read this, so they can stop reading here and move on. But, anyone new stopping by from the blogfest will have something to read. So, here it is, hope you like it.
My father is obsessed with where people go after death. He swears Heaven and Hell are legends of parallel worlds. He claims the energy released during death propels a soul into the world beyond this. He thinks if he traps that energy, he can travel worlds without the inconvenience of dying. He experiments on the most vulnerable souls—ones with no shields. Ghosts.
“Morrigan-Persephone! I said get my voltage-amplifier!”
I frown at my full name. Like naming me after the goddess of death wasn’t bad enough without tacking on Hades bride. Someday, when I’m free, I’ll only answer to the nickname he hates. Mori.
At my desk in the corner of the cavernous lab, I deliberately knock my schoolwork to the floor.
My father mutters, “Clumsy bitch.”
I crouch, slowly gathering my things. My eyes flicker to the tiny plexiglass room in the lab’s center. White candles and salt encircle it. Ghost prison.
Behind the plexiglass walls, Jack watches me. Contrary to beliefs, ghosts aren’t transparent. Except for radiating a soft luminescence, Jack is just a hot seventeen-year old guy. Dark, perpetually-mussed hair and eyes the color of the torn jean-jacket he’s been wearing since his motorcycle skidded off the bridge.
His voice fills my mind. “Get him the amp.” I shake long blond hair over my bruised cheek, hiding what happens when I don’t obey my father. Jack bangs on the glass. “It won't hurt me.It's okay.Please, Mori." He can't be sure about that, but I reluctantly stand.
All ghosts sound different. The angry ones hurt, like knives carving my mind. The sad ones are like prickly burrs. The lost--icy water. But Jack…Jack’s all summer.
“Godamn it, Morrigan!”
I hurry to hand my father his voltage-amplifier. He snatches it, glaring. His latest experiment involves slamming electricity through Jack.
Returning to my desk, I glance at Jack's cell. Nobody else would see him huddled in the corner. They’d see an empty room.
My father loves bragging that his experiments on my mother during her pregnancy made me into his secret weapon. He doesn’t care that my mother died from his experiments. He cares that I’m “extraordinary.”
I see ghosts. Hear them. I sense when someone’s dying. I find my father souls. Even knowing ghosts feel pain, knowing how many disintegrate after my father’s experiments, I’m too scared to refuse. I’m as bad as him.
My father stands. Thin and balding, he appears harmless--except for he’s holding something like electrified prongs. As he approaches the glass room, Jack shuts his eyes.
With every step my father takes, I remember.
Jack in the hospital, his charcoal hair sketched across the canvas of bandages. He melted my defenses, even then. I tried to stop my father from taking him. I woke in the lab, bloody and bruised. Jack was already behind glass. Dead-- his essence imprisoned. He still asked, “Are you alright?”
I pretended I couldn’t see him.
Jack wouldn’t give up.
Mid-way through the first week he was yelling in my head. “I know you hear me. I can tell!” By the end of the second-- begging. “Please? Just look at me, Mori.”
That’s what won me. Not Morrigan. Mori.
I remember Jack’s grin when I finally looked into his eyes. “There. Was that so hard?”
His dimple deepening when I answered, “You’re a pain in the ass.”
Over the months, Jack became my first friend. I finally tried stealing my father’s key to release him. It took weeks to recover from the beating. And somewhere in all that, our friendship became…more.
My father approaches Jack and something in me snaps.
Then I’m running, skidding on the linoleum. As my father steps into Jacks room, I crash into him. He stumbles as Jack yells, “Mori! No!”
But sixteen years of fury is exploding. Kicking, screaming, I grab for the glowing prongs.Everything happens so fast…
My father jabs wildly with his weapon.
Jack dives in front of me.
The electrified-prongs pass through him...and slam into my heart.
Excruciating pain. Roaring pulse. Flash-grenades of memories and emotions that aren’t mine. My face hovers before me. But not the weak, bruised girl from my mirror. This girl has a bright smile, autumn-sky eyes, hair like sunlight. In Jacks eyes, this fearless girl is me.
I crumble. The pain slips into numbness. Calloused hands help me stand. Only…my body’s still on the ground. Strong arms surround me. “Don’t be scared.”
Jack’s breath is warm. He’s solid. Alive. I’m not.
He turns me. “Look.”
I gasp. An archway hangs in the air—showcasing a Technicolor world. Jewel-like birds trill in kelly-green treetops. Puddles of rainbow flowers splash the emerald hills. Cobblestone ribbons unspool towards the horizon.
“We’re free, Mori.” We step towards the doorway together.
My father breathes. “It worked.”
I turn back. He’s smiling fanatically. He doesn’t see his dead daughter--just the doorway. In killing me, he finally opened it.
Jack and I move like one person. In some ways, we are. I feel his emotions, see his memories. When my father hit us with that current, part of our souls…melded. Jack loves me. It’s all I feel, all that matters.
To my father, we’re invisible. He steps towards the door. Jack and I thrust our hands towards him. The whole, “ghostly-moving objects” is crap. Ghosts don’t have enough life-energy to move dust. My father should walk right through us.
Instead, he flies backward, crashing to the floor. For a split-second, our eyes meet. Somehow, he sees me. I flip him off and slam the door. The handle melts. Maybe I am extraordinary.
My father screams.
Jack laughs. “Nice! Now come on!”
As we step through the archway, it disappears. The grass is downy-soft. The air smells like I’d imagine starlight would. But I’m not looking around. I’m looking at Jack. He leans in. My whole world becomes his mouth, soft and hot against mine.
So, it turns out my father was wrong. Heaven’s no myth. It’s right here in front of me.