Marshall’s Memo – March 7th


One-two punch

 A one-two punch

It’s taken me a while to want to talk about this, but I’m ready now.  Recently, my writer’s life suffered through a one-two punch.  The first was a major rejection that seemed to come out of nowhere – it felt like a sucker punch to the gut.  The second came the next day, another rejection, after a revise and resubmit, and because of the huge rejection from the day before, it felt like a right upper cut to the jaw.  Together they left me stumbling, off balance, searching for something to give purchase.

These things happen to every writer at some point.  We all proudly wave our collection of rejection letters in the air and say, these are my scars, my badges of honor, my tickets for the right to be here: published.  But it still stinks. L

How Lynne got her groove back

Fortunately, my DH had already planned a short trip away for the two of us.  He took me to a small hotel in a quiet seaside town, to a room with a canopied bed, a fireplace and a quaintly decorated sitting room – one that offered massages in the mornings and wine in the afternoons.  We spent the day driving up the coast, wandering through art galleries pretending we were rich enough to buy all the beautiful paintings that struck our fancy.  At night, we ate at trendy restaurants and enjoyed each other’s company.

Getting Groove Back


 This was a fluke. We can’t always manage a trip away after a major set back.  Usually, I allow myself to pout for 24 hours then I force myself to move on – to get back to work.

 Picks herself up and dusts herself off

One thing helped ground me through my disappointment – my book in hand, the final galley edit for One for the Road, my future book with The Wild Rose Press.  It is real, it will be published, and I am proud of each word.  I can’t wait to share it with everyone later this year. 

Shortly after I’d finished my final edits for that book, the line edits for my first Harlequin Special Edition arrived…and they weren’t so bad.  Yes, things needed to get changed.  I’d lost a scene here and there, and my pacing was off in other spots and needed to be tended to.  I also needed one final scene to tie it all together. 

Because of my recent experience (I won’t say failure, though a nasty little voice in my head whispered it just now.  Shut up!) I felt insecure and worried I didn’t have the chops to pull it off.  I took my time and read each page of the line edits, and read them again, consuming and digesting the suggestions.  I waited several days for the final scene to materialize in my mind before I wrote a single word. I wrote, revised, and rewrote it, at least ten times!

Accentuate the Positive

Oh, something I forgot to mention.  That second editor rejection left the door open for me to submit something else, which I did immediately – a partial to test the waters.  She liked it and wants the full! 

Moral of the story – keep submitting.  For each rejection, send out another query.  In order to do that, you must have content.  How do we get content?  BICHOK!  Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.  Do it.

In closing, the big news is, I mailed off the revised Special Edition book Friday.  The Runaway Nurse Returns is out of my hands.  Only time will tell if it makes the grade.  Wish me luck…

This week:

Movie:  Adjustment Bureau – starring Matt Damon and Emily Blount.  A romance!  Ah the power of love.  I also enjoyed the quirky paranormal aspect which was thought provoking.

Book:  First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. She manages to crack me up even while writing a very dark paranormal/cop story.  Dolly Parton once named her breasts Shock and Awe.  The protagonist, Charley Davidson, calls hers Danger and Will Robinson.

Music: Jim Brickman, simplethings – to soothe me.                                                            Robert Plant and Alison Krause – Gone Gone Gone  – to fire up the “fight back” in me.

Pet Peeve word of the week:  Formulaic. (grr)

Have a great week!

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26 Responses to Marshall’s Memo – March 7th

  1. Beth Trissel says:

    Wow, what a great post on such a painful topic. Yep, been there, done that, hundreds of times over the years. No fun, but I grew and learned from them all. Gets old, I agree. I’m impressed by how you pulled yourself together and moved on. Hats off to you!

    • Hi Beth! thanks for reading the blog. Over the years, I’ve gotten used to rejections, but the first R (the sucker punch) was a whole new level of pain. I’m still not ready to talk completely open about it. It really did knock the wind out of me!

      Ah, the torture of the writer’s life. : )
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hi Lynne – well, you nailed it on the head, the glorious life of a writer. Up and down. But I say, it’s only the strong/stubborn/determined who survive. Glad you got through your edits!
    Oh, and we saw Adjustment Bureau – I’ll see any of Matt Damon’s movies and it was a romance! My DH closed his eyes a few times, but the movie picked up pace the second half and kept his attention while I was enjoying all of it.

    Sounds like your DH is a keeper! I got me one of those too!

    • Hey Charlene,
      DH is a keeper – 29 years worth. he he
      Yup, I made it through the line edits, now I’m keeping fingers crossed my editor is on board with the final scene. I really do love that book!

      thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi Lynne –

    I’m sorry for your recent troubles, but it seems you made the best of it – especially the seaside escape!

    • Oh, Kathy, that getaway almost made the Rs worth it. Not! But, we did have a wonderful time. We left the day after Valentine’s. I wish we could afford some of those paintings!

      Thanks for reading the blog.

  4. Emma Lai says:

    Rejections suck, but an open door is always a great opportunity for submitting something else an editor might be able to contract–since it means she/he liked your writing.

    • Hi Emma,
      I really was so overcome with the double whammy, it took me a day or two to realize the opportunity the editor had given me. I’d worked really hard on the revise and resubmit, and I ususally nail my revisions. I definitely had an attitude adjustment in store. Then it dawned on me, oh, right, she wants to see something else. I’m glad I had something else!

  5. Mona Risk says:

    Oh Lynne, I feel like your post is addressed to me. I got two rejections last week and one the week before. Very, very nice rejections I have to admit. I could use them as praise when the book is finally published. If only they didn’t have that little BUT ….
    Anyway, I went to the movies with a relative. My on line friends have been super with support but staying home meant I would stuff myself with almonds and chocolate. I saw the King’s Speech and came back with a smile and new ideas about conflict.

    • Hi Mona!
      Hugs to you! But that’s the right attitude. No sense in wallowing in defeat. If we learn one thing as writers, it’s how to suck it up and move on. As Charlie Sheen says: Defeat is not an option.

      Lord, I never thought I’d be quoting Charlie Sheen!

      More hugs,

  6. Robin says:

    Hi, Lynne ~ you have always been someone I look up to and admire, and you handle the writing journey with grace and dedication, even when the dreaded R word is brought up. Yay on finishing your final edits and my fingers are crossed for you on the full you sent out! Thanks for keeping it real and honest. 🙂

    • Hi Robin,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. LOL on the grace part. If you could read my mind sometimes, you might change yours! ha ha. But we’ve got to be honest and let ourselves feel the negative stuff, too.

      grumble grumble…

      thanks for reading the blog!

  7. Aileen Fish says:

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to disappear for a few days each time we got a rejection? Although that would slow down the process a lot. I usually just review my list of potential homes and send it off again. Congrats on the other releases!

    • Hi Aileen! Yeah, I’d be on the road a lot! LOL. I do wholeheartedly believe in the 24 pout though. And wine…

      And that’s the right spirit – send out the next submission. What else can we do?
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. Great post about a topic that chops virtually every writer at the knees at some point in their career. Good luck on the new submission – and keep on persevering!!

  9. Nas says:

    I’m sorry for your recent troubles, but it seems you made the best of it – especially the seaside escape and your DH is the hero!

  10. Hi Lynne!
    Thank you for sharing. It helps to see how others get through. Like I think you said to me once before, this is quite an occupation we’ve chosen!

    I received my revision letter for book 2. (4 pages – single spaced – size 11 font.) I’m still digesting it.

    Can’t wait to read your new releases. (Let’s stay focused on the positive!) I just loaded your last medical into my Kindle. (I’m way behind.)

    • Wendy! Cyberhugs and chocolate on that revision letter. I used to hyperventilate when I opened my Mills & Boon revision letters, so I suspect I know how you’re feeling right now. Take your time digesting the suggestions. You know the drill.

      Oh, hey, thanks for loading that book. I pushed the limits on what a heroine would have to overcome from her past in that one. Didn’t think I could go any farther. Good thing it was the last in the Santa Barbara Trilogy. I’m so glad they’re still available on Amazon Kindle and Borders nook etc.

      Thanks for you support, Wendy, and please keep me posted when your debut releases!

  11. Lilly Gayle says:

    I feel your pain. Before TWRP published Out of The Darkness, it went through 3 rounds of revision letters with two different editors at a NY publishing house. The first editor loved my changes but she moved to another line within the same house. The second editor asked for different changes. And then, she passed. I was heartbroken. And for awhile, I wallowed, thinking, “if only that first editor hadn’t changed lines.” But all those changes made for a better book so by the time I submitted it to TWRP, I knew I had a winner.

  12. Oh, Lilly, your story is heartbreaking, but I love the happy ending! Your attitude is spot on. Your book is better for all it went through. I checked out your website and love the book cover. What a fantastic premise!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Aspiring authors can prepare themselves for all kinds of frustration by reading about our struggles.

  13. Maria says:

    I am so sorry to read about your 1-2 punch! Ugh, the song that keeps going through my head for these moments is Barry Manilow’s I Made It Through the Rain. It is the song I always sing for those types of moments. Well, that and Onward Christian Soldiers, and I love Gone, Gone, Gone (well that whole album). It’s getting added in to the musical parade. I love how you get yourself going again. Thank you for the wonderful ideas.

    • Hi Maria,
      LOL about Onward Christian Soldiers! It does impart the right kind of attitude about this business, though.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. Great post Lynne, and so true. I liked the way you handled your rejection.
    Good luck with all your writing projects.



    • Hi Margaret!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We have no choice but to pick ourselves up and move ahead, right?

      Best wishes to you and your writing, too!
      You have a beautiful website.