Rejection. And man-eating ducks.

Another rejection pinged in my inbox this morning. After a hectic start to the school year, I’m working on getting organized, shaping my days better than I have been doing. Every rejection is a bit of a setback, but it’s what you do with them that matters, in the end, so I am taking a moment to breathe, to sit with the sting of failure so that I can learn from it when I’m ready. So much of life, I am learning, is sitting with the uncomfortable, and then scrying it for meaning.

There are good things on the horizon. I’m heading out next week for the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore–my first writing convention! I’ve done academic conferences as a grad student and college instructor, but this is my first convention as a creative writer. There’s a lot to look forward to–amazing panels, the fun of the Inner Harbor, and the opportunity to meet a critique partner in real life. October feels like a month for traveling–autumn always stirs up wanderlust in me, and it feels good to be heading somewhere, taking a short break from the quotidian.

I’m having trouble articulating what I want to say–even remembering it in the first place. Rejection has that effect–it’s a gut-punch that steals your breath for a few long moments, sets you back. I need to remember to breathe–to walk out into the autumn woods and fields, drink in the clean sharp air, scuff through fallen leaves.

In case, like me, you could use a laugh, or at least an amused smile, I leave you with a little October beauty, and a picture of the hand-edited sign at the local duck pond:

October moonrise.
Carnivorous Halloween ducks!