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Rejection Blues

 This post first appeared on my old blog in 2008.

I know about a bit rejection, first experienced when I was six years old.  Children in my grade school, then boys in my high school took one look at me and R-E-J-E-C-T popped into their minds.  I know that’s what they thought; I could read it on their faces.  I look different because of an extensive port wine stain that covers one arm, my neck, chest, and back.  It’s the e-hew factor whenever someone meets me.  Many times, those with the more traditional skin colors spoke out, called me names, and teased me.  They made it clear I wasn’t to be included in their friendship circle or asked out on a date. 


I’m all grown up now and still suffering rejection, this time from literary agents.  I had the audacity to write a book about living with my extensive birthmark, the challenges it created and the discoveries I made about myself and my birthmark.  Critiques of my writing have been favorable; however, the rejections continue.  I can’t help wondering if it’s the e-hew factor again.  No one wants to think about the less than perfect humans, her traumas and challenges.  Wouldn’t a book by a pretty person be more appealing, especially at book signings?


After studying the art of writing great query letters and having mine critiqued by two writing groups, I send off pitch-perfect letters—no typos, proper salutation, intriguing opening, all bases covered.  Whoosh . . . wham . . .no thank you ma’am.  Their replies zing through cyber space faster than the time it took me to decide where in a sentence to place a comma.  I’m convinced my letters were scanned, not perused for excellence in writing and editing skills nor pondered over, considering my unique story.  Reject.  Rejection.  I’ve had a lifetime of it, and I feel a moment of despair when I read their terse retorts.  I wallow briefly, then I remember my resiliency.  Perseverance yields results, so I continue with my quest to find an agent, one who can see from my query that I have had enough rejection in my life and will offer to include me in their circle.  They are the ones who have no e-hew factor but see possibilities instead of obstacles.  I will find them.

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