You've finally finished that novel. Months or maybe even years of research, late nights and dreams of becoming a published author rest in a stranger's hands. You want them to be fair, objective, and of course throw contracts at your feet. You wait patiently. Okay, so you plague your mail carrier until they scream when they see you coming toward the mailbox. Finally, you get that reply to your stellar query. Bam, REJECTED! What! Not me! Let's face it. Nobody likes rejection, but it's a fact of life and writing. So how do you deal with the inevitable? Breaking out of the writer's closet wasn't easy for me. So, when I got my first rejection from Sillouette, I shoved Blood Shield back into my file cabinet. I was crushed. I thought I'd really accomplished something worth publishing. I cried, whined and splurged on the sweet stuff scattered through this post. So, how did I get here if I gave up? I got angry, at myself, at them and decided to learn WHY they had rejected me. I did rewrites and got up the guts to send it to them again. This time, I received a request for a partial, and then a full, only to have it ultimately rejected again. "You're writing isn't strong enough." What they really meant was "You chopped it up to meet the word count, and you're head hopping is driving the editors nuts!" That one didn't hurt as much as the others, because I'd learned something from my mistakes. I still have all those letters from Sillouette and Harlequin. I finished rewrites this weekend and tommorow I'm submitting to Cerridwen Press. If I get rejected, I'll take it in stride and see what else I can learn. Wish me luck.