After the better part of a year, the editors of the Baltimore Revue were good enough to let me know that they'd taken a pass on the short story.
So I updated my submissions database, searched for three more literary journals, and sent out more submissions.
Literary agent Jenny Bent encouraged me to keep trying, but I'm not entirely sure if she meant to keep sending queries to her, or to other literary agents. A lovely rejection, but there's no time to waste on parsing her sentences.
Katie Kotchman of the Don Congdon Agency tells me not to be discouraged because many best sellers were passed on by literary agents many times before being published.
I'll keep trying and I won't get discouraged.
I've become completely numb to the rejections.
This is all about a business that is run by the numbers from the top but by emotion at the bottom. From literary agents to acquisitions editors, it's all about falling in love with a manuscript. Love is lovelier if the author has credentials because it's a subjective business and who cares about the beauty within the manuscript when everyone wants the outward attraction of the MFA.
Today, I'll revisit the query letter and change it around, hoping to create an intriguing hook but having my doubts. Oftentimes, it isn't the query letter but the plot that doesn't resonate. Publishers are looking for particular stories and if I get lucky, one of them will be looking for something like what I've written.
Until then, I can only keep submitting in the hope that I get my manuscript in the right place at the right time.
No point in dwelling on what a particular rejection letter means because they really don't mean a thing. I have writing to do, another possible line on a piece of historical fiction---Regency period, hot, hot hot!---and there's another short story working away in the deep recesses of my brain.
Keeping too busy to worry about getting rejected is one way to get past the rejection.