Coming Clean About a Sentimental Journey

In the summertime, whenever I think of journeys, I think of vacations and hitting the highway for a week of fun with family and/or friends. But I took another type of journey this past week—a sentimental journey. No, this journey didn’t involve revisiting memories of a past romance or pondering photos in a family album. Instead, a trip to our basement stirred my sentimentality.

After living in a home for over twelve years, a great deal of “stuff” accumulates. I’m not a woman who holds on to everything, but I’m also not one who tosses things quickly or at the first sign they don’t hold current value or use. Most of the storage boxes, seasonal decorations and other items weren’t causing any clutter, but there was one shelf where I’d put various paperwork that required sorting and tossing. One glance at the stack showed a manila envelope resting at almost the halfway point. I worked my way down through the papers—most of which were old drafts of manuscripts I’d written years ago—until I reached the envelope. As soon as I noticed the sender’s address, I opened the clasp and sat down on a lounge chair. Tucked inside was the second manuscript I’d written back in 2001 and submitted in 2002. I’d submitted this historical romance to a New York publisher and gotten partway up the acquisitions ladder before receiving a rejection. The reason—this publisher wasn’t buying manuscripts set during or immediately prior to the Civil War. The rejection letter is somewhere in my desk files. The reason I sat there smiling and clutching the book of my heart was the rejection letter contained some compliments on my writing as well as an invitation to submit more of my work. I stared at the stack of paperwork I’d already removed for shredding but vowed I’d never part with the historical-romance manuscript or the original mailing envelope. After I gathered the results of my cleaning spree and headed up the steps, I gave the shelf a parting glance. My historical romance novel remains there. Safe from all future cleaning sprees. Heaven knows, I’d no more part with that manuscript than I’d stop writing.

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED -- Coming soon to Ellora's Cave
Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace


Nicole North said...

Nice shower pic, Shawna! I'm doing a bit of a cleaning spree myself. I still have a couple versions of my first manuscript, though I don't think it is the first version. I had too many versions of ms. to keep so had to burn a few of them but of course I have a copy somewhere in case I ever want to revise them. Hope you get to revise yours at some point and sell it!

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Nicole!

Glad you enjoyed the pic :)

Many thanks for the positive vibes on the historical romance manuscript. It's my goal to someday submit that story :)

Happy week wishes,


Elen Grey said...

Hey Shawna -

I loved this post. Thanks for sharing. Maybe it's time to revisit that ms. It seems to me that I read somewhere that there is greater interest in a broader range of time periods now with historical.

As for the pic - well, it was just downright inspiring. :-)

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Elen!

I've put the historical romance (non-erotic) manuscript draft in a safe place :) One of these days, perhaps this fall, I'll access the digital storage and see if revising inspiration strikes ;)

Thanks for your insight, and I'm glad you enjoyed the pic. The showering hunk fit so well as a lead-in to my topic :)

Smiles across the miles,