Saturday, 10 October 2009

Re-writes - and a welcome break

We're off for a quick holiday in Cyprus on Tuesday and I'll be taking with me, for 'relaxation', two short stories recently rejected by one magazine, printed out so that I can take my red pen to them, chop them about and re-write them sufficiently to re-submit elsewhere when I get back. Am I a bit strange for actually enjoying this process? Of course, it goes without saying that I'd prefer every short story I submit to be accepted by the first editor I send it to! But as that's unrealistic, the next best thing is to have a rejection accompanied, as these two both were, by a nice letter from a lovely editor who has taken the time to explain why the story wasn't quite suitable for them. Even better, a letter (or e-mail) saying that they liked the story but would like a few changes made before reconsidering it. This, too, has happened to me twice recently, and I've spent most of the past week doing the necessary re-writes. I think the reason this is enjoyable is that the actual creative work has been done, and this editing and re-writing is improving the story or giving it another shot at acceptance - so it's a hopeful situation and takes the dejection out of rejection!

I'd intended to work on my new novel this week, as I'm at a nice stage (80,000 words plus), where I can see the ending in my mind, know the main 'happenings' I want to include on the way, and can't wait to get there - but the short story re-writes seemed an easier job to get done before going on holiday. Of course, finishing the novel won't actually be the finish of it at all - I'll then be going back to the beginning, reading, editing, hopefully improving - before presuming to send it out to be read by anyone. And yes, if I get to the stage where any agent or editor wants me to re-write it, just as with the short stories, I'll be very willing to do so. (I've done it before, it was a huge undertaking, but it was definitely worth it to get the book published!).

This holiday will be a welcome break after all the excitement of our baby grandson's arrival and our daughter's lovely wedding last week. I don't know whether it's all part of getting older, but even happy, exciting occasions seem to leave me feeling shattered these days! I know I'll be anxious to get home again, though, to see how much baby Noah has grown while we're away - at one month old now, he's already a big bouncy boy! and I'm looking forward to his first smiles!

Here he is sleeping his way through the wedding reception!

The wedding was just perfect. We haven't got any 'proper' photos yet of course, but here are a couple of our own.

I know all brides look lovely and I might be slightly biased (!) but my daughter did look stunning. I only cried a little bit! Should be getting used to it by now - the third and final wedding! The bridesmaids - our other two lovely daughters and the bride's best friend - looked beautiful too in lovely shade of royal blue. So that's it now - all three happily married, job done! Cyprus, here we come!


  1. Gorgeous pics - thanks for sharing. And have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Thank you Kate! I'm sure I will! x

  3. Enjoy you're holiday, Olivia and I hope your rewritten/editied stories will find a home soon. Hasn't our Noah grown! He's just perfect. And the weding photos are lovely - I'm glad all went well.

    Julie xx

  4. So lovely Sheila! Have a lovely holiday and hope those stories get snapped up on your return!

  5. Thanks Julie, thanks Helen.
    Yes, that's all we can do with these story rejections, isn't it - keep trying, keep hoping! xx

  6. You are right, your daughter is stunning. Enjoy your break, I know I enjoyed mine.

  7. Thank you Colette! And I'm glad you enjoyed your break. xx