Tricky Little Non-Rejection

I opened my email this evening to see the mini caption “Hello Sheryl, great news for you and your manuscript.”  Heart leaped to my throat and I opened it… to find a freaking advertisement for a submission review service.  For only $29.99 they will… UGH!!  That tricky little non-rejection was worse than the real thing.

I wonder how many people think gee, for thirty bucks I can have my submission reviewed. It’s tempting I wont lie, but it’s also risky. I look at it this way, I will try on my own with all the effort I’ve put into my editing, revision and query submissions. If by the end of my list I’m sitting at the bottom with nothing but no’s, then I’ll look at reaching out to find services to assist. In all seriousness something tells me that thirty bucks wont get me much in the way of a quality revision… That something is the research I’ve done to see what these services generally cost from professionals and it’s a whole lot more than even three hundred let alone thirty.

Needless to say it was fun to think someone was interested, but alas it was a false alarm. One day, I know that one day I’ll open my email and see that glorious positive response from an agent and it wont be someone looking to cash in on potentially desperate writers hoping to make it big while swimming through the sea of no-thank-you.

I continue to research my options, it takes time to figure out what to do next and frankly rushing is never a good idea.

My advice about false alarms.
Don’t let them get you down, no matter how excited you get before the let down. Think of them instead as a lukewarm practice for the real thing. 

-Sheryl

Other posts sort of like this one.

The rejection letter

Rejecting the rejected

The many faces of Rejection

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Lukewarm
Seriousness

Phony-baloney disguised

Just like two faced people the fakers, liars and the pretenders can also wear disguises. The people also move through life insincere and artificial. Today I’m talking about the kind that put on a disguise to fit in and cover the genuine person they are and deny.

The hiders who wear clothes they hate or act contrary to their personality are often desperate or damaged. They can become very dangerous very quickly if provoked or nudged appropriately and like Two-faced people, the disguised can become nemesis or enemies, villains even if they aren’t already.

Wearing the cloak of deception can be exhausting. This behavior can be as innocent as wanting to fit in, to a deep seeded need to hide their true nature. The quiet nice guy who kept to himself, was never a suspect for Serial killing until he’s caught. The reasons for pretending to be someone your not is vast.

Base reasons for pretending

Shame
Desire
Greed
Fear
Broken Psyche

Examples of why people might pretend to be someone they’re not

Abused as a child or adult
Embarrassed about their interests
Want to fit in to a new group
Want a promotion or new job
Have a bad habit that is illegal or borderline illegal
Ashamed of sexual inclination
Afraid of rejection
Desire for revenge
Double agents
Being forced to be someone they’re not
Anyone with a secret

Often people who are pretending are just trying to get through the day. Pretending to be happy serving coffee to the ass-hat that claims it was made wrong three times just for laughs. While others pretend to be dumb so their friends don’t pick on them. So what happens when the façade starts to crumble or peel away?

Sasha closed her office door and looked at the paper name plaque in her hand. It had been taped over her name on the door. “Ice Queen”.
The walk through the open office area was eerily like a walk of shame. She turned on her monitor and clenched her fists.
“Okay.” She thought a moment how to approach this. It hurt her feelings and sparked her fury. The image of a crown made of ice with tiny icicles was her new wallpaper.  If she went to the uppers it would look pathetic and would only get worse. She would talk to Scott and choose the high road. She always did.
“Oh how I’d love a little payback.” What she was most worried about was anyone at the office finding out the truth behind her standoffish behavior when it came to men. She jumped at the knock at the door.
“It’s open.” She called and stared at the screen.
“Hey can we talk?” Scott closed the door behind him.
“I think you’ve done enough of that already don’t you?” So much for the high road.
“I didn’t tell anyone that you bailed on me.” Scott sighed and rubbed his eyes with one hand. “Look Sasha I like you, I want to…” He threw his head back and then looked at her. “You’re smart, talented and beautiful you can’t blame me for trying. I’m going to warn you, I don’t give up easily.”
Everything Scott said was with purpose. The order of those complements was not a slip.
“Maybe you should save yourself the trouble. I’m not going to date you or sleep with you Scott.” She pointed at the crumpled ice queen paper in her recycle bin. “I’m not feeding that gossip beast.”
“I don’t get it, you’re all confident and distant, then you’re shy and sexy then bam.” He hit the desktop with his hand making her jump. “back to distant.”
“Don’t you mean frigid or cold?” She crossed her arms.
The urge to run home and cry was almost winning.
“Your acting strange lately Sasha.”
The truth was she was having trouble maintaining her aloofness, her casual-self at the office.  Then to make it worse Baylor threw her for a loop and she wasn’t hiding as well as she normally did.
She looked at Scott. He was attractive but he was acting strange too. Or was he? She tilted her head.  Was she not seeing others clearly through her own disguise?
“Sorry Scott it’s not going to happen. If you need help with any other projects we can work on them here. Now if you’ll excuse me.” She opened her desk drawer. “The ice queen has work to do.” The last words came out quietly. The drawer was lined with plastic and filled with ice.
Scott stood to leave. “But Sasha I think-”
She slammed the drawer shut. “Get out of my office Scott.”
“Lunch. I’ll take you to lunch. We can talk then.” He slipped out before she could say no in person.
She glared at the door. “Didn’t tell anyone my royal ice queen ass.” She closed her eyes and the vision of Cal punching Baylor came to mind calming her temper.

Two pretenders with different agendas. One is two-faced, with a personal investment and the other wearing a failing disguise. Sasha’s carefully crafted persona is falling apart. How long until she realizes the costume doesn’t fit well and it’s making her miserable?

Not all fakers are bad, not all of them are good. Most fall somewhere in-between. I’m giving Sasha a hard time because it’s part of her journey. She has to fall before she can get up and dust of the fake present and her shadowed past.

My advice about phony baloney disguises.
Paint that false smile for the spotlight and let it fall behind the curtain. Show the truth in people by the lies they present daily. Tiny or huge, take a chance and let a character develop a veil or tear it off.

-Sheryl

Other posts

Covered up with paint and lies.

Doubt clouds out creativity

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Tiny