Yes, you know them: Military Intelligence, Government Organization, Working Vacation, Jumbo Shrimp, Peace Force, and my personal favorite…

Positive Rejection.

I’ve heard of this nebulous thing, but always thought, “Come on, a rejection is a rejection. You can spin it however you want, but it’s still a big fat R.”

And then I got one. Actually, I didn’t get one, I’ve received a couple off this last round of mail-outs. I’ve gotten used to the standard form R’s. I’ve even gotten used to the polite personalized R’s that gently say, “this isn’t right for me, but I see promise” (ahem, a gentler, kinder, standard R). I’ve even gotten used to the fact a lot of agents are sending form R’s on fulls – although it grates on me. So when I got my first personalized POSITIVE R on a partial, I was shocked. No, wait, I was floored. Esp. when it came from a big agent who is known to be a little snarky in her responses – IF she takes the time to give you a personalized R. I read it, and thought, “Woohoo. R.” Then I reread it and realized as far as R’s go, it was a pretty good one. Then I got another one, from another big agent. And while both of these agents ultimately rejected for different reasons, they each had great things to say about my story and writing, were very encouraging, and both thought I wouldn’t have a problem finding someone to rep it.

It’s not the answer I wanted, and it still means nothing until I find that one person who loves it enough to pick it up, but it feels like a move in the right direction.

So, okay, maybe positive rejection is still an oxymoron, but it’s not as bad as I thought it was before.