Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nine Months Of No, The Accidental Engagement, and How To Face Rejection

I'm a writer. (That in itself should be enough for you to know that I'm a little bit cracked. But only a little.) As a writer, one of the scariest things I face is sending out my manuscript. Sure there's a chance someone will acquire it, but there is an even greater chance I'll get a rejection.

Rejection hurts. A lot.

I've been thinking about pain as I get ready to send out my latest manuscript, and this made me think about my hubby. Not that he is a pain, or that he causes pain, but because I caused him pain. A lot. It happened a long time ago, so don't look at me like that. Sheesh. This is how it went...

We met two weeks before I graduated from high school. I was young. I was a teenager. He was five years older. He was ready to get married. I wasn't. We fell in love. He proposed. I freaked out and said no. Did I mention I was young? Did I mention I was a teenager? Did I mention we were in love?

See? Pain. Poor guy. Poor me. I can only imagine the courage it took for him to get down on one knee and ask me. You can only imagine the terror that swept through my eighteen-year-old body as I thought about saying yes. Hence the no. But the real story is in the next nine months.

He proposed every other day for nine months straight. I told him no every other day for nine months straight. But he kept asking. I am so very glad he did, because it wasn't that I didn't love him, or that his offer wasn't good, or that I didn't want to marry him, it just wasn't the right time--yet. I needed to grow up a bit. So he kept asking--every other day--and I kept rejecting--every other day--until I accidentally said yes.

Yes, you read that right. We got engaged on accident. It happened over curly fries at the local Hardees. He looked up between bites and said, in the saddest voice imaginable, "Are you ever going to marry me?"

I dipped my fry in sauce and said, without thinking, "Well, yeah."

He stared at me with the most adorable goofy, shocked, I-must-be-dreaming expression, and then I froze with a curly fry halfway to my mouth and thought, What have I just done?

He said, "Really?"

I thought about it and realized (much to my own shock and surprise)that, yes, really. So I told him.

I had to take the keys away from him and drive us to my home. Friends just don't let friends drive in a love/success induced stupor.

But the whole point to this long and painful story is, he didn't give up. Last night I asked him why, and he said, "I knew I wanted to be with you, and if I kept asking one day you'd say yes."

Have you ever heard a more romantic thing?

So, in the tradition of my nine months of no, I will submit my novel, and submit my novel until someone says yes, because I know what I want. And if I keep asking, one day someone will say, "YES!"

What about you? What takes courage in your life?


L.T. Elliot said...

Your hubby rocks! I'm all agrin now. (And I don't think that's a word.)

My hubby proposed when I was in senior year and I said no, too. Totally broke his heart. But he came back the next day and told me that we were best friends so he wasn't going anywhere. The next time he proposed, I grabbed hold and never let go. I was just lucky there WAS a next time. ;)

L.T. Elliot said...

p.s. I totally compare submissions to wooing, too. Don't worry. Trin will TOTALLY snag the right one!

Carolyn V. said...

I LOVE this story! How sweet! And a great analogy. It will happen. You'll get published. =)

Heather Dixon said...

Aw! <3 That is a great story! <3 <3 <3

Jenilyn Tolley said...

That's such an awesome story! Good luck with the submissions. :)

Shallee said...

I love this story! Very sweet, and encouraging. Rejections are really hard, but I suppose that makes the final acceptance that much sweeter. :)

Jayne said...

Aw! As Carolyn V says, this is a great analogy. We must keep going!

Brooke Mortensen said...

Yeah, i'm crying now. Too sweet for words. xo

Lund Family said...

I just love you to death Leisha! We love your hubby too. And I love your story. You will get published some day! For sure! Cuz you are awesome!

Aine said...

Over fry sauce - that's hysterically romantic. It happens when we least expect it!! Awesome Leisha! And you have a fan base already - because we all love you and your story! There's another great match just waiting to happen for you - go get'em! =)

LeishaMaw said...

L.T., I'm glad you got a next time, too. :) Aren't second, or in my case over 100 second chances, great?

Carolyn, thanks! I'm crossing my fingers for me and everyone else submitting out there.

Heather, <3 right back at you! :)

Jenilyn, thanks! How are your submissions coming?

Shallee, I hope it's sweet, after all, look at my hubby, he got me! He he.

Jayne, we must indeed! Onward and upward.

Brooke, do you want me to bring you a tissue? *Grin* Thanks a bunch.

Ashley, you are awesome, too. Love you guys!

Aine, yeah, didn't you know? Fry sauce is the world's most romantic sauce. Way better than soy. Keep that in mind for your next romantic night out. Fries and fry sauce. Yup. :) *Wink*

Mary Campbell said...

What a great story. Very romantic and great analogy. You're so right. One day it will be yes. I've read your stuff - there has to be a yes out there for you.

LeishaMaw said...

Mary, thanks! *Grin* I can't wait for all of us to get our yes. It's going to happen.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

What a fabulous story! Both in the cute-ness and in the lesson behind it compared to writing.

LeishaMaw said...

Debbie, thanks! My daughter still shows people your business card. Now that is cute-ness!

Irene B. Gardner said...

Leisha, have I ever mentioned that I think you are wonderful AND I love your writing? If not, I'm doing so now. Your mind must never take time off, 'cause it's coming up with the most outrageous and fun things. You do characters like nobody's business. You do 'scary' and 'love' and 'everyday life' better than anyone. Kudos all over the place, my sweet friend. You da best.

LeishaMaw said...

Irene, aw! Can I give you a hug?

Jonene Ficklin said...

Leisha, I'm sure hoping your 'yes' comes tomorrow! And I love, love, love your story! Thanks for sharing.

Jolene Perry said...

That story MUST make into a manuscript. Awesome.

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

I'm crying. That was beautiful.

I miss you guys.

LeishaMaw said...

Jonene, you are awesome. Thanks!

Jolene, now that you mention it, it would make a funny plot. Hmmmm. Must talk to hubby. :)

Rebecca, aw, thanks. I miss you, too.

Joy Spraycar said...

You and I have a lot in common. My first husband never seemed to ask me if, he only asked me when I would marry him. I believe the answer was when hell freezes over for quite a few months, then he wore me down and I agreed to a March wedding. It's never giving up that wins the race, hence the turtle and the hare. I know that you'll have success, most people are afraid to try, but determination is the key, just ask me. I don't let anyone tell me that I can't. Great story.

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

Hey Leisha,
That reminds me of my engagement story. No, I won't bore you with the whole tale here, but let me just say mumbling can be dangerous.

I also wanted to let you know I'm talking about you/your novel on the Farland Writer's Group. Fair warning. :)

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

Oh, and this is something Connie Willis said to me: All published writers have one thing in common: they didn't give up.

Keep at it, you do good work, for what I've seen.

LeishaMaw said...

Joy, determination is the key! We can do this. :)

Mark, so, I'm gathering you mumbled something. I'd love to hear the story someday. :)

And, I'm really enjoying your book.


Related Posts with Thumbnails