“Dear Yi Shun,
Thank you for sending your work to XXXXXXX. We are always grateful for the opportunity to review new material, and we have given “Inadvertently, Miss Manners Doesn’t Live Here” close reading and careful consideration. We found many strengths to recommend your work and, overall, much to admire. We regret, however, that “Inadvertently, Miss Manners Doesn’t Live Here” is not quite right for us. We encourage you try us again in the future, and we hope that you will.
1. OH, HELL.
2. Not AGAIN.
3. Which piece was this? I’ve forgotten.
4. Oh, right. That one.
5. Let’s see, how many times have I submitted that? It feels like five billion.
6. I’d better check my spreadsheet.
7. Oh. I don’t have a spreadsheet anymore for that type of thing
8. Mostly because I don’t submit anymore, really.
9. Why? Why not?
10. I think I have only submitted this thing twice.
11. I guess that’s not terrible, is it?
12. Do you think it’s the title? It does look affected, doesn’t it?
13. Get a grip. If you got rejected, it’s probably not the title that did it.
14. What is this saying, really?
15. I have now read this thing fifteen times. Navel-gaze much?
16. Some day I may actually get a rejection letter that says
17. YOU SUCK LADY. DROP THIS WRITING THING AND STUDY CEPHALOPODS FOR A LIVING. YOU’RE BOUND TO DO BETTER THAN YOU ARE DOING AT THIS WRITING THING
18. Oh, hell.
19. It says that they want me to submit again.
20. I think that’s what it says anyway–it says they “encourage” me to try again.
21. And that they “hope” I will.
22. Such lovely words, “encourage” and “hope”!
23. They are so full of promise! “Encourage!” “Hope!” What lovely subtleties in each of these words. What volumes can be spoken, just with a few smart choices and turns of phrase!
24. Oh, hell.
25. Guess I’ll try again.