When Life Hands You Lemons, Throw Them at Your Computer

I originally wrote this post the day before a coward walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot nine innocent people after worshipping with them for an hour in a bible study class.
He shot them because they were black.
My problems seemed so “big” on that Tuesday when I wrote this with big old tears in my eyes and anger in my heart.
And now, I am completely over it.
In fact, I forgot about my “problem” until my sweet seven year old reminded me of it yesterday when we were driving past McCormick Place in Chicago and I happened to mention that was where my blogging conference was held a few years prior.
She heard “blogging” and then said this, “I am sorry you aren’t in that book anymore mommy “.

I had completely forgotten about it.

Something that four days prior had seemed so important to me, had washed away.
I am still going to publish this post though because I want to share this with you.
I share all of my stories with you, well most any way and this one is something I shared as one of my highs so I feel it is only right I share as a low as well.
But first, I need to share this as well.

I was deeply affected by the shootings in Charleston because I cannot stand by and watch racism affect our country and not say something.
I write a blog, I have followers and I am pretty outspoken.
I have a lot of friends who are black and I love them deeply.
I want racism to end.
If that means I need to write to a senator or share something weekly on my blog, go to a local bookstore or sign petitions, do whatever it takes to make it happen, I will.
I will show up.
I am not just full of air, I will stand behind my words.
I think those who know me, know that.
I said it on my social media outlets over the past week, if this is something you don’t agree with, please know that hate is not welcome here.

I will share this article  that I shared on my Facebook page on Saturday.
I can’t take the credit for finding it on my own, my friend Natasha shared it on Facebook but it is a wonderful article so please read it.

Now back to my pity party for one.

I say I am going to quit blogging on a weekly basis to my husband.
He always talks me down off the proverbial ledge.
But I threaten it.
I can’t stand threatening it because it makes me actually have to think about not having it in my life and I don’t like having to think about not having it in my life.
I love to write.
I might not be all that good at it in that I am not great at the word counts, the details, punctuation, the grammar.
But I have a hell of an amazing army of followers here at A Grace Full Life who I would miss the crap out of.
I love writing for you but honestly, I would miss writing for myself.
I write selfishly, most days, to get the ugly out of my soul.
It eats at me and to make me a better person, I need to write.
I fear I would become a very ugly human being if I stopped cold turkey.

But every once in a while, an ugly monster rears its head and it whispers to me, “you aren’t good enough”.
Today, it whispered to me after I received this email:

Hi Kari – we regret that we will not be able to publish your story in our upcoming book. After review by and discussion with the editor, we felt we were too heavy on delivery stories. We very much appreciated your submission and are sorry that we are unable to continue working with you on this project!
If you’d like to whittle down the essay to about 800 words we will certainly consider it for a paid guest post on our blog.

This book was “the” book I shared with all of you.
The one I was so excited about.
The one I was told to share, post on Facebook, tweet, about etc..
The one I thought was a “done deal”.
I had been bonding with my fellow contributors for the past few months in a private Facebook group when all of a sudden this email arrived in my inbox.
When I went to the Facebook group after the email arrived, I had been removed without me knowing.

I likened it to being in love with a boyfriend and getting broken up with.
I didn’t see it coming.
I was in shock.
With tears streaming down my face, I sent a shell shocked response saying things like “I feel like I was kicked out of the project” and “what do I even tell my readers??”.
To which they responded:

Please know this decision did not come lightly or quickly. We went round and round about this not only with each other but with our editor. The piece needs heavy editing in content and we just couldn’t make it work within the other pieces.
As far as your followers, we will leave that up to you. We realize you will need to do what is best for you and your audience. We certainly don’t consider you being “kicked out of the project” and would never say as such. Ultimately your piece didn’t work in the final draft. That is our call, not anything you did or didn’t do with your writing. We certainly hope to maintain a professional relationship.

Your work remains your property and is attached.

Quote about rejection of book

There are many thoughts I have had since I received this email.
I have edited this post over and over since receiving it.
The first one is this: I am upset that I asked you to pre-order a book that you thought I would be in.
I am sorry about that, I guess I didn’t read the fine print.
WAS there fine print??
I don’t even know??? I am new to this.
I assumed that I would make the final cut, in fact I didn’t know that there would be no possibility of me not making the book at all.
I would not think that they would tell me to tell all of my friends and family and my amazing readers about this cool opportunity for me.
Then in turn share the chance for you to pre-order a book that you think your family member/friend is going to be in and come to find out oh by the way, oopsies, she won’t be in the book. NO SOUP FOR YOU!
I think that is a shitty thing to do.
Sorry, it really is.
If you don’t think it can’t be edited to fit, then let’s do this: DON’T SHARE THE NEWS UNTIL ALL THE EDITS ARE DONE.
I am a simpleton.
I am not a professional by any sense of the word like a lot of the others who got into this book.
So this was my “big break”.
I was really excited and so were my family, close friends and a lot of my readers as well.
So you not only screwed me over, you screwed them over as well.

But here is the kicker.
After the dust settled and I got my piece back and read it?
I looked at it as if it wasn’t as good at I thought it was originally.
It was like I was looking at it with a different set of eyes, this piece that I was so proud of months ago when I submitted it, all of a sudden was disgusting.
Oh, wait and did I mention that I also got turned down by another major website on the exact same day that I found out that I didn’t get into the book that I was told I was definitely in??
Yeah.
IT IS GOOD TO BE ME.

Maybe it was the rejection that stung in my ears and my eyes as I re-read it that tinged my thinking.
I began editing it.
And re-editing it.
And editing it some more.
I wondered aloud, “how did they even pick my piece to begin with?”
Then I got even angrier.
They made me question myself and that made me even more upset than getting kicked out of the book.

Honestly, I am not so much embarrassed that I am not in the book.
It is that I am tired of trying to be something that I just cannot be.
I am a stay at home mom who loves to write.
I love to make people laugh.
Simple as that.
That is all it will ever be.
I won’t ever pen the great hilarious novel.
I won’t become the next Erma Bombeck.
I won’t become the female John Hughes.
And that is OK.

Look, I save the good shit for THIS blog.
When other places I submit to ask for original content, I get all upset inside.
Want to know why?
Because I don’t want to use the good stuff for them.
I want to save it for you.
Because I love you more than them.
And there it is.

You mean more to me than a paycheck.
I AM A FOOL, I KNOW.
I am.
Bloggers and writers all around me are laughing all the way to the bank and I don’t have two nickels to rub together.

quote about blogging

I am a great mom.
My kids are amazing and well adjusted.
I am happy being at home with them, well most of the time any way.
So maybe my best work is right here.
Maybe this just wasn’t meant to be.
Maybe.

I bet Nora Ephron never went through this.
Pass me the damn lemons.