It was Thursday already. I had only a few days left to get my blog post written for the coming week. I walked into my office, mentally juggling a few ideas, and stopped dead in my tracks. Some of my characters were crowded around my computer, in animated conversation over something on the screen.
“What in the name of good literature is going on here?” I screeched.
My characters whirled around to face me.
“Oh, Mistress, you startled us!” my Cleric exclaimed. “We were not expecting you.”
“I wasn’t exactly expecting any of you, either,” I replied tersely, as I pushed my way past them to my computer. “Who gave you permission to use my computer? How do you even know how to use a computer?” I quickly checked my writing files, fearing one of my characters may have hit the delete button at the wrong time, but everything seemed present and unaltered.
“It isn’t rocket science,” my Arrogant One replied smugly. “I’ve watched you often enough. I’ve become rather adept at surfing the web.”
I stared, slackjawed, not knowing how to react to a medieval elf throwing around modern idioms.
“Oh?” I proceeded cautiously. “Just what sites have you been surfing? And why?”
“The laddie just be showin’ us some o them blog posts o yourn,” my Dwarf responded, grinning broadly as he shoved the Arrogant One aside. “And he be showin’ us some o them social media sites o yourn, too, where ye reposted yer blog. Did ye realize thet the posts thet we helped wit’ be the ones thet got the most comments on all o them sites?”
Before I could reply, my Cleric gushed, “Everyone seems to think we are quite amusing, Mistress!” Her eyes were shining with pride.
“And your readers seem to think you are an exceptional writer,’ the Arrogant One informed me with a derisive snort. “As if it took any talent to simply record events as they unfold.” He sneered.
“What are you talking about?” I demanded.
“What be we talkin’ aboot? What be we talkin’ aboot?” My Dwarf grabbed the Arrogant One and pushed him toward the computer. “Go on, show her!”
I made a move to stop the Arrogant One as he reached for the keyboard. He arched an eyebrow at me and said, in a voice dripping with sarcasm, “With your permission?” I eyed him for a long moment, then moved back and nodded, hesitantly.
I watched with envy as the Arrogant One’s fingers flew over the keyboard. I thought about asking him to do my typing.
“Here.” He nodded toward the monitor.
I read the comment he had highlighted. “LOVE IT!!!! Are the first two books published? I’d love to read them!”
“That was a comment on one of the first blogs you allowed us to help you write.”
I hated that smug tone and arrogant smirk.
“Show her more,” my Dragon urged, and my half-dwarf and my Gypsy both nodded eagerly.
“Here.” The Arrogant One highlighted another comment.
“Brilliant!” I read. “I love the way you write, Marge. Such a flow with dialogue, and your voice is perfectly placed in the fantasy Medieval realm, of which, I’m a huge fan!”
I smiled, but the Arrogant One deflated me quickly. “I can’t understand what your reader means – your voice is perfectly placed in the fantasy medieval realm. It’s our voices you record.”
“I am the writer,” I reminded him.
“You are little more than a stenographer, recording our exploits,” he stated with a dismissive snort.
“Oh, stop being so supercilious, before you end up on my dinner plate! Show her some more,” commanded my Dragon, smoke curling from her nostrils.
“Oh, all right! Here!”
“I love how your characters are so palpable with distinct personalities!” I read. “I’ll be sticking around, for sure! Another great read Marge!”
“We’re distinct!” my Dragon practically purred.
“Show her more. Show her something about me,” my Cleric implored.
“Oh, do try not to be so pleased with yourself,” the Arrogant One scoffed at her. “As I remember, the comments about you were not all that favorable.” He quirked an eyebrow at her in his typical, infuriating manner.
“There was one that was very flattering,” my Cleric insisted. “Please show the Mistress that one.”
“Oh, all right. Give me a moment.” The Arrogant One scanned through the comments, then said, “This must be the one you mean.”
I read the highlighted remark. “This has got to be my new favorite writing of yours Marge! Oh… and I like your cleric. So direct and bold! Quite intuitive, too. I’m impressed how you create characters with such depth. Excellent!”
My Cleric and I both beamed at that comment.
“And here is another one that should stroke your already over-inflated ego, Mistress Writer,” the Arrogant One said with a sneer.
“Your creative thinking process is amazing! Another delightful read! I enjoy your stories ALOT! Keep ’em comin’!”
“Yes, that does stroke the old ego,” I agreed.
“These are only a few of the many comments you have received, Mistress, indicating that we characters, and your writing, are well liked by your readers,” my Cleric informed me. Her broad smile lit up the entire room.
Before I could respond, my Dwarf interrupted. “So, why be it, then, thet our tales ain’t been published yet?” he demanded. “It be plain enough thet we be exceptionally entertainin’, and thet ye be a fair enough writer. So, why be it thet ye ain’t found an agent nor a publisher yet what likes our tales?”
“I wish I knew, my friend,” I replied softly. “I keep sending queries to agents and publishers who deal with Young Adult Fantasy novels. If I ever hear back from them at all, it is another rejection.”
My Cleric placed her hand on my shoulder. “Do not despair, Mistress. You will find one, eventually. Did you not tell me once that many successful writers received countless rejections before someone finally took a chance on them?”
I nodded. “The author of the Harry Potter fantasy series received 12 rejections from publishers even after she secured an agent. Madeline L’Engle received 26 rejections before getting A Wrinkle in Time published, a book that went on to win the Newberry Medal and become one of the best-selling children’s books of all time. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times before it was published. Carrie by Stephen King was rejected 30 times before it was published. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of stories I could relate about highly successful writers who all started out with countless rejections before someone finally published their work.”
“Then, we will see our stories published some day?” My Dragon looked hopeful.
“I will not rest until I see your stories in print,” I promised.
Even the Arrogant One smiled approvingly at that.
If any agents, book editors, or publishers would like to meet my characters and learn a bit about their stories, feel free to stop back from time to time. I’ll keep the porch light on for you.