I sent out forty or so queries to literary agents in the past ten days, most just proposals but some with chapter samples enclosed. Half have rejected my idea but most have added encouraging words. I guess when you're holding the cancer card, "not for us at this time" morphs into "not for us but your tale is harrowing and inspiring." One agent sent back her card and asked for an outline and chapter samples. This is the one nibble I've received, so you can be sure I'll bite.
Strangely, having my book idea rejected doesn't make me feel bad at all. I join a long list of famous writers who suffered rejection of their work. I'm confident of my writing skills, although I know I need a good editor with a critical eye. My story, although focused on leukemia, examines many aspects of life. Someone will pick it up someday.
What's harder to take is when your child gets rejected. Harry is anxiously awaiting word from the colleges he applied to. So far he has had one acceptance, one rejection and two wait lists. He's still waiting to hear from three more schools, which will notify him on April 1st. Harry has actually taken it very well. His response to the rejection was "meh." As a parent, though, I feel bad. With the wait-list schools, you can send additional accolades you've wracked up since submitting your application. Harry can say that his high school won the Rhode Island State Decathalon Competition last week, the first public school to win since its inception in the state. Harry himself won a gold medal in economics and a bronze in essay writing. It's kind of cheesy to play this "oh yeah, well I did save a whale last week," but if it nudges him up the list it's worth doing.
I'll be sending out more query letters to agents this week, and Harry will hear from three more colleges. We'll be fine.