I love the poem, The Rainbow Bridge. When my dog, Swamp Thing, died eight years ago, the entire vet office was as broken up as we were, and they sent me the poem. It was such a comfort. It still hangs on my refrigerator.
Writing is sometimes like having a pet. We’ve loved our stories as much as that soft cuddle of fur that invaded your bed at night and ate your hotdog when you weren’t looking. But for various reasons, we have to let go of a beloved story – whether we lost it to a scam publisher or a gajillion rejections – so here’s my ode to saying goodbye because it’s a damnably tough thing to do:
Just this side of publishing is a place called Literary Rainbow Bridge.
When a manuscript dies that has been especially close to an author, that story goes to the Literary Rainbow Bridge. There are kindly editors and endless print runs for all of our special friends so they can live a new life of success and ultimate joy. There is plenty of editing, marketing and distribution, and our friends are bestsellers and award winners.
All the manuscripts who had been poorly thought out and unmarketable are restored to fabulous plot lines and wonderful characters. Those who were discarded by thoughtless agents or editors, or maimed by scam publishers are made whole and strong again, just as we wished we’d written them and treated them in the first place. The manuscripts are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all share bookstore shelf space together, but the day comes when one manuscript suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His verbs and nouns are intent. His eager pages quiver. Suddenly he hops off the shelf, flying over the cash register, his hardcover carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special manuscript finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy pages flutter upon your face; your hands caress the beautiful cover art, and you look once more into the trusting plot of your manuscript, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Literary Rainbow Bridge together….