I'm not sure why I couldn't sleep last night, but I plunged into such sadness over a routine rejection. I sent a recent flash that's set in San Francisco and I think is really good (already published, in a good magazine) to a local reading series in San Francisco and it was rejected (18 others were accepted—eighteen!!!). I didn't expect to care particularly, but somehow I feel like the place where I live is rejecting me. Irrational.
I've figured out that my sadness over certain lit mag rejections has partly to do with their "family" PR, so being rejected over and over means I'm not part of the family. (Perhaps reverberating with my birth family's dysfunction. I don't know.)
The deadline for BEST SMALL FICTIONS nominations is nearing and despite a record year for Pushcart nominations, I haven't had any, which means of course that I have zero chance of making it into this year's anthology.
Wishing I hadn't sent my Top Ten Things to LITTLE FICTION/BIG TRUTHS (coming out some time next month), because it could be better, and my account of December 21 to ESSAY DAILY (coming out January 2) because it could be better. Sent my rewrite of the profile of the serial killer Lizzie McNally to the Leps for our meeting on Thursday, and that could be better. Today, everything I write could be better. (An irrefutable truth. There's a point where it's "good enough," though, and rejections raise the specter that it's just not good enough even when you thought it had reached that point.)
I'm meeting flash friends from out of town for breakfast later this week and for dinner next week and I'm not feeling very festive. I'm sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop, listening to the rain outside. The lemon tree in the back yard glows weirdly green and yellow against the dark gray sky. Maybe some sun will lift my spirits tomorrow. And a good night's sleep.