Everyone remembers the first time they had sex. My first time was awkward, embarrassing, and brutal to my ego. Still, I remember it clearly–and with some fondness–because it was my first. There’ll never be another of those.

True to Charles’ prediction about the silence bubble bursting, I received my first rejection letter yesterday, less than a week after sending out the query. And, to again echo that First Time, the event was graceless, shaming–and mercifully brief.

The sword drove in so fast I didn’t really see it coming. Nevertheless, the cut was quick and true. Being run through is never pleasant, but, as it was done with a polite explanation and a sincere apology, I’d have to say it was a fairly bearable sensation given its nature–sort of like being skewered by a velvet-clad blade instead of plain, cold steel.

Despite the disappointment, I feel the need to enjoy this moment. I’ve passed many milestones in the past year: finishing my novel, writing a synopsis (no mean feat for me), and then relinquishing the privacy of my work for the judgment of the professional world. Those markers now stand behind me, granite obelisks charting the distance I’ve trod on the road to becoming an author. And now I have one more monument to add to my collection.

For good or bad, the emotions evoked by all subsequent rejections will never compare to this one, the one that started it all. Like that initiatory romp in the sack, there can be no other firsts. Many may–ahem–arrive after, but none will ever be its match.

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

11 responses to “Firsts

  • SQT

    I think I’d at least be happy they sent the letter. That way I know it didn’t end up in some random slush pile. I coudn’t bear not getting some response. I may buy a nail for my rejection letters too.

  • Christina

    You know, no matter how many times you’ve done this, I think the rejection still hurts. I have 40 rejection letters 37 on my novel, 2 on one short story and 1 on another and it still makes me have depressed moments. You just need to send out again and I hear you should give it month and resend, I haven’t been to that point yet, but if I decide I have nothing to lose and do it, I’ll let you know how good/bad that turns out.

  • Stewart Sternberg

    A rejection letter. Coulda been worse. They coulda sent someone over to beat you up.

  • avery

    Kate — Nice backpedalling on my part, huh? :)Spy — You remind me of a friend who told me, “I’m really excited about this rejection thing.” After sniffing her drink for drugs, I realized she, like, you, meant that hearing anything at all was still a step forward in my quest for a career. So, thanks. I’m kind of happy for myself, too.

  • spyscribbler

    Stabbing them on a nail sounds fun, LOL! Congratulations, really. I wish I was querying for an agent, too. Soon, I hope!May you get a request soon!

  • Kate S

    LOL, Ave – yes, please, let’s clarify that!

  • avery

    Kate — I hoped you might like it, considering the topic is one of your specialties (writing-wise, of course).Sidney — I don’t think I have to stomach to stare at my rejection letters all day, but I have considered Stephen King’s method of stabbing them onto a nail. At least then I could get some primal satisfaction out of the whole deal.

  • Sidney

    I used to have a wall where I thumbtacked up my rejection slips. Filling space on it at least was showing signs of effort, and you can always make a nice bonfire with them at some point.

  • Kate S

    See, great posts like this is why it gets better with practice. There won’t be another “first time”, sure, but oh, what fun you’ll have later.You and Charles crack me up.

  • avery

    Congratulations, Charles. You just made me shoot water out of my nose.

  • Charles Gramlich

    Meh, virginity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway. I just hope there wasn’t a lot of bleeding. Either time.

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