For those of you forced to endure even one minute of my ongoing, seemingly bottomless writerly angst, this post is for you. Here is an excerpted acceptance letter I received earlier this week from the editor at The New Quarterly (which is a very fine Canadian literary magazine that has stood the test of time):
“I am thrilled with this story, the leaps and turns it makes in the later section from the heat and humiliation and incomprehension and secret delight of the child trying to make sense of her surroundings … to the more mature suspicion of her own memories and motives. The way, I guess, that it moves from the specifics of a particular time and place, from sensation, to a more distanced, abstract, reflective mood. … Consider this story accepted (for the summer or, more likely, the fall issue) …. I hope you are feeling a mounting excitement yourself about what you are doing with these stories, the shape they are finding.”
It goes against my instincts to post Good News Related to My Writing, especially with Compliments; hopefully I won’t regret this later. But if I’m sharing the agony, it seems fit to share a moment of joy, too. This particular writing project is well into its third year, and has seen a variety of conceptions and forms tried on and discarded, and this letter echoes my own feelings (and egregiously superstitious hopes) about its current shape: “a mounting excitement.” There’s still a heap of hard, even excruciating, work to be done before it reaches anything I’d dare to call to a book. But. Nevertheless. Yes. This moment is here to be enjoyed. It isn’t necessarily going to lead, directly or indirectly, toward something else, it just is what it is; and it’s good.