Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Art of Reading Coincidences

I pay attention to coincidences. I always think there could be a message there. The trouble is it isn’t always easy to interpret what the message might be.

I don’t know how many times I’ve sent manuscripts out only to receive rejections all at once, within a day of each other. It doesn’t matter if I sent several different pieces out, or if they were sent months apart. If they’re going to be rejected, the rejections always come at the same time.

Naturally, I find that discouraging. It’s pretty hard not to jump to conclusions about what the universe is trying to tell you. My husband, the unrelentingly optimistic one, thinks this is the universe’s way of letting me get bad news over with at once, sparing me multiple days of misery. This way I spend less time feeling sorry for myself and more time on the business of writing and trying to find the right place for my work. I like his theory, but either way, I require a good amount of chocolate.

I pondered the meaning of all this after my last clump of rejections arrived. My son and I were taking the dog for her nightly walk. I was absorbed in my own troubles when I noticed how clear the night sky looked, and how many stars were out. I suddenly thought to myself that it’d been an awfully long time since I’d seen a shooting star, and wouldn’t it be nice to see one right now?

Less than a minute later I saw it – a flick of white across the black sky, as brief as a blink. I gasped, and then caught myself. I didn’t want to say anything out loud, since I’d probably just imagined it. Then my son, who’d caught my surprised expression, said, “I saw it too!”

I don’t know what it meant. But it did make me feel better.

15 comments:

Rena said...

Those are great moments. The shooting star, I mean, not the rejections.

LW said...

Did you make a wish, I always wish on a shooting star.
I like the way your husband thinks, and I believe your time will come.

Louise

Kelly said...

What a fun moment to share with your son! I hope your wish comes true!

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow.. Love coincidences.

Your wish will come true. :)

Anne Spollen said...

The shooting star means your luck is about to change.

They are never bad omens.

Never.

ICQB said...

Wow! It means only good things are ahead.

Mary Witzl said...

I saw a shooting star about a month ago, when we were swimming in the sea at night. For a fleeting instant, it made me feel so far removed from the whole business of rejection vs acceptance -- it was just wonderful.

Do you ever get clumps of partial requests too? I've had this happen at least three times now -- three or four requests for partials, one following another, in the space of a day or two. It's just surreal.

Let's hope both our shooting stars are good omens!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ooof, I hear you about the rejections. Coincidence or not, that shooting star is cool. I think of all the times I wish things had gone MY way and in retrospect, I'm glad they didn't more often than not. That doesn't mean rejection doesn't hurt, but perhaps the timing, when your work gets published, will be perfectly right. This racket is 2/3 endurance and 1/3 talent, isn't it?

Ara Burklund said...

I think the shooting star was a shout-out from God. It's like He's saying, Hey~don't give up. I haven't forgotten.

And I agree with Green Girl about endurance, too!

sruble said...

Sorry about the rejections coming all at once. That stinks! Love the shooting star story though. It's so hopeful :)

adrienne said...

Thanks for the comments and good wishes! Shooting stars are magic, coincidence or not. :)

Mary - I've only sent a few queries, for picture books - so far with a fair response. Getting requests has to be a step in the right direction...

Green Girl - You're right, and part of the endurance has to be faith. You just have to trust things are happening the way they're supposed to.

Sliding on the Edge said...

Those are wonderful moments, aren't they? Unexpected and magical.

LW said...

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving…

Louise

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Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Keep on sending those manuscripts... I think that was what the star was saying.