It did not arrive in a red envelope. It did not have any hearts or flowers on it. And the note inside did not say anything about kisses, chocolates, or hugs.
It wasn’t a Valentine; it was a rejection letter.
On January 1st, I sent a story to The Sun magazine, and yesterday they politely let me know they did not want it.
The fact that the story was rejected was not a surprise (although I was a little startled at how quickly they responded). The fact that it was a form letter was also not a shock (although I did not expect such a friendly and personable form letter, if such a thing is possible). What amazed me the most was how happy the letter made me feel.
I loved it. Sincerely.
This letter was a reminder that I have submitted work out there in the world and that some of it, some day, might be published. It was a reminder that soon I will have a lot more time on my hands to submit a lot more work out there, and I have a journal full of ideas just waiting for their chance. But most of all, it was a reminder that someone (a real someone, a someone in the publishing industry, a someone at The Sun magazine) read my story. Who cares if they didn’t accept it? Who cares, really, if they didn’t even like it? They read it! And they never would have if I hadn’t mailed it in.
And perhaps February the 14th was the perfect day to receive such a note. One line actually did have a touch of romance to it. "There's no telling what we'll fall in love with, what we'll let get away."
I love this little rejection letter. I’m keeping it. I’m counting it as a Valentine.