The first prong in my perfect storm consists of being annoyed and snapping at everyone -- friends, family, students. I'm beginning to suspect menopause, although I haven't had any of the other outward physical signs.
The second edge to my perfect storm comes from the fact that I can't run right now. Running is obviously a stress reliever.
The third corner to my triangle of stress comes from watching a second kid getting ready to go to college -- but it isn't the departure that worries me; it's the bills that have already started piling up -- senior pictures, senior grad party, college deposit, college payments. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I have to avoid thinking about money or I'll never get back to sleep.
I'm so vulnerable right now to falling over the precipice, that when I received an observation report from work, I didn't open it. I just feel like any "constructive criticism" might be too much for me. I'll wait til I'm in a better place.
So, already feeling at risk, I opened my email yesterday and found a rejection from an agent. Gulp. But this was such a positive rejection. (Is that possible?) Here's the part that assuaged my prickly emotions:
You appear to be a talented writer and I admire the dedication and energy I could sense from your letter.
And this was just a query letter, not even my novel. Yes, in the end she didn't accept my novel, but I appreciate that she took the time to build me up a little first.
I got another ego-building email from a man I met at the writing conference this weekend. My husband would probably say I'm naive and the guy was flirting with me, but I like to think his flattery was genuine.
As we ate lunch at the writing conference, he told me he was a retired psychologist and wrote thrillers. He asked for advice on query letters -- those are letters that writers send to agents seeking representation. I told him I had some notes from a previous conference that I would send him, so he gave me his email. After I sent the information, he emailed back a thanks along with these kind words:
I hope you get to do a pitch face-to-face; you come across so great in person: winsome, so likeable, but quick-witted and assertive. I'm terribly curious about your book and wish you could write full-time!I don't think I've ever been described as "winsome." It seems young -- like anything is possible. So maybe I'll forget about the whole menopause thing and concentrate on being winsome, even if it's only retired psychologists who think so.