Sunday, July 31, 2011

Courage and Daring

We're back from three lovely days in the mountains.  We've gone every year since our daughter was small and have always lucked out and found a good rate (the Alberta rate I think it was this time) to stay at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.  A nice tradition and one of my favorite places on earth. For me it's the perfect mix of the rustic and the decadent.  Every year we've stayed in a different part of the JPL.  They're all great, the cabins, but I think this year's location was my favorite. Far away from the actual lodge and with a view of trees, the river far below. (Hot tip: join the President's Club to receive their great rates email etc.  It's free to join).  

This was part of the view from our patio.

And below is the patio itself.

Over my right shoulder, this is the view that greeted us most of the time:

And there was the wildlife on the patio itself:

This is Ace looking seriously tired after being trotted around Lac Beauvert a couple of times each day. I was glad to have him around as otherwise I would have just sat on the patio the whole time and drank wine.

Views like the one above are around every corner.

The cabins above are the larger, fancier ones, but I was in love with the huge baskets of begonias.

And then, yes, the mountains.  Looming all around. With Lac Beauvert in the center.  You just feel so beautifully small walking around the lake.

Of course, as is also tradition for us, so it seems, there was a rejection in the middle of our short trip to this mountain paradise. Seriously, every single time that Rob and I have gone away somewhere, we usually come back to a rejection of some sort - a phone message, a letter in the mail, an email.  I'm not kidding.  I guess this is a sort of tradition too, though one I could live without.  I'd been rejected the week before for a writer in residence position that I thought I might have a wee chance of getting, but that was evened out by my getting an even better job at the library.  Happiness.  Foolishly I checked my email while away, haha, and received a rejection on my 'experimental' novel Hive.  I've been having conversations about rejection with some writers I know, writers starting out.  I guess I'm tempted not to mention anything at all about rejection, and most likely it's more graceful to just leave it out. But to hell with graceful. Does it get easier?  No.  Honestly I think it gets more and more difficult.  But it's an inevitable part of the process.  I was completely completely crushed.  And crushed in a different way than I ever have been with a rejection.  I guess what happens is that your recovery time is quicker.  You know to move on, continue, send it out again. The thing is I really believe in this work, odd as it is.  And I believe that there are people out there who want to read this sort of thing.  That there is room for it in the crazy world of book publishing.  I, for one, could not live without the writing of Clarice Lispector, and not that I think I'm in the same divine category as C.L., yet I think what I've done is something.  So.  Out it goes again, and again, until someone loves it.  It has to be love.  That's the only thing that will get this book published.  Love and courage.

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."  

~ Winston Churchill

"All serious daring starts from within."  

~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

I like to think the book I've written is daring.

God, it even seems that talking about rejection is a bit daring.  But that's probably because I spend too much time on Facebook where everyone seems to be getting a book published or winning some fancy award, or is receiving a grant or going on an exotic vacation or a writer's retreat.  Skewed sense of the world, I know, I know.  I'm honestly pretty thrilled to hear about good news on FB.  And I do love living vicariously via others' vacation/ retreat photos.  Love that.  (The grant thing though, please, people, just don't do that, it's not cool).  So, in short, it's been a week or two of highs and lows.  The usual.

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