Dealing With Rejection

There is only one thing in your life over which you have control: your attitude. That includes your reactions to events, including rejection.

As an author, I’ve had to learn to deal with rejection. With poor contest scores. With bad reviews. One of my mentors told me, “You have 24 hours to mope. Then get back to work.” A New York Times best-selling author told me, “Every rejection means you’re one step closer to acceptance.” Having your baby dissed is never easy. Rejection, though, is an opportunity to take what you’ve learned from the experience and apply it to the future.

“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” “Rejection builds character.” Clichés? You bet. But clichés are repeated statements of truth. Yes, I am stronger than I was. I am a better person because of the adversities in my life. No, this doesn’t make rejection any easier to handle; but knowing this does make it less stressful to forge ahead.

We can’t change the past. The future is ours to write.



I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day. She was lamenting the younger generation’s dependence on GPS and/or their phones to get them places. “Remember road maps?” she asked.

Of course I remember road maps. I have a file folder full of them. I used to keep a couple in the glove compartment of my car. I have an ancient road atlas somewhere in which I would highlight the routes I’d traveled. One of the reasons I once belonged to AAA is because of the Trip Tiks (personalized maps) they offered.

Maps are a handy tool for an author. When I was writing Moonlight Serenade, the state of Montana sent me a free road map.

One thing about roadmaps: they can be a challenge to refold. My dad wouldn’t let me get my driver’s license until I could prove to him I could refold a roadmap.

Happy #ReadARoadMap Day!

Water Water Every Where

Today is World Water Day.

Water is a subject always on my mind. About thirteen years ago, I read a disturbing article that stated the next war would not be fought for oil, but rather for water. Potable water. That was scary. I wish I could find the article again, but although I’m fairly savvy on the internet, no luck.

Now I read that Cape Town, South Africa is due to run out of water on July 9 of this year.

Living near the Great Lakes (the planet’s largest basin of liquid fresh water), I am careless with my water consumption. Fresh water is there for me. I should know better. The California drought conditions are eventually going to impact the entire country–an awful lot of our food is grown in California.  I wonder silly things, such as when I’m rinsing my recyclables which have to be clean before I put them in the bin for pick up, how do Californians clean their recyclables when water is a rare and precious commodity?

The city in which I live is located on one end of one of the most polluted bodies of water on Earth. Yes, much progress has been made in cleaning up Onondaga Lake, but there are days when you can still gag from the stench when driving past the lake. Eating fish caught in the lake is strongly discouraged.

I grew up only hundreds of feet from the banks of Onondaga Creek. Clean water is in my consciousness.

We once took clean water for granted. It’s time to realize we need to work to make sure we have enough clean water for future generations to survive.



Weird Holiday: Everything You Think Is Wrong Day

Today is the day you can avoid making decisions. If you think something, it’s wrong.

Today is the day to acknowledge you are not always right. You are imperfect.

People who accept their mistakes are usually treated with more respect than those who hesitate to take responsibility for their actions. Admitting one’s mistakes then attempting to fix things is the mark of a creative and successful person.

This is your day.


Childhood Treasures

Who remembers S&H Green Stamps? They’re still around, but they now call themselves S&H Greenpoints. For uninitiated, they were given away as “value added”  at service (gas) stations, supermarkets and so on. The more one spent, the more stamps one earned. One then pasted them into little books. The books could be redeemed for merchandise.

A trip to the S&H store was always a treat. (Okay, I lived in the middle of nowhere with a mother who didn’t drive. A trip anywhere was a treat.) There are two visits to the S&H redemption center I vividly recall. The first was when I laid eyes on a lamp. A beautiful lamp. A lamp any little girl would adore. I begged, pleaded, cajoled, etc. And the next trip to the store–after the family had accumulated enough stamps–was to procure that lamp for my bedroom.

You see, the girl on the swing actually swings. It moves. I was fascinated.

And yes, I still have the lamp. Right now, it has no shade. The original shade is long gone, probably scorched from tilting to get more reading light. The second shade is also gone. I believe I tossed it because it was in tatters. I’ve been looking for a replacement, but no luck yet.

The lamp has history. I shared a room with my sister. One morning, I woke up to a nasty smell and a weird crackling noise. I sat up and saw the cord sparking. I screamed for my sister to unplug the lamp (she was closest to the outlet). Then I screamed at her not to touch it. Back and forth until my father came into the room and handled the situation. He discovered a puddle near the sparking portion of the cord. After a brief examination, he concluded the cat had bitten the cord and had the pee shocked out of him. Dad replaced the cord and all was well.

My sister wrote her name on the underside of the little girl’s skirt in a misguided attempt to the claim the lamp for herself. Ha! I’m the one who gave birth a daughter, and my daughter had the lamp in her room for many years. It now resides in my office with a black light bulb in the socket.

A lamp with a swinging girl was a big deal back then. A treasure. My parents saved to get the lamp for me. We didn’t have computers, electronic games,  or even more than one television in the house (and only two channels at the time). I had decks of cards, board games, a back yard, and cousins.  And it was all so very, very special.