Received a letter today from the Crab Orchard Review. And I don’t know how to take it. Well, I’ll put it this way: Years ago I received a rejection notice from a publication I can’t remember the name of and the letter was hand written from the editor. The letter pointed out strengths and weaknesses of the document and suggested I keep in touch and return my work. That was a failed connection on my part. But Will Hochman–my teacher and mentor at the time–assured me this was a win and not a failure. He assured me that is as much as you can get in place of a publication.
Anyway, today I received a letter signed ‘the editors’ from the Crab Orchard Review with the suggestion I consider their publication in the future–perhaps in March for their new publication and for their fiction prize. This was a clear rejection–nicely worded and friendly–and still a fail. Yet I find hope in the comments on the page. I also know I did not insert a self-addressed stamp envelope because, well, I forgot. So they did take one step out of their way to send me a letter.
So I guess I am saying this might be a small win. Or am I just getting more open to failure–or the heuristic of failure as Will Hochman would say. Learning to read and learn from failure more closely than before.