Monday, March 21, 2011

As Promised . . .

First (of course) a narrative: 

So, I'm laying in bed this a.m., not wanting to get up, flip-flopping over b/c my hips hurt, but it's 8:10, and it's time to move my behind. I know the article decision is coming in oh-so-soon b/c the status on the online system changed Friday to "Awaiting ME decision" and it's been more than 4 months. So before getting up, I do what every normal American does (bah!) before climbing out of bed on a Monday morning: I check my e-mail on my new smarty-pants smart phone. 

What do I find? Well, none other than a big fat rejection from the Modern Language Association (MLA) conference. 

This ain't lookin' like a great start to the week. I may or may not mumble some not-allowed-b/c-of-Lent obscenities, then right away text  Brad to report the bad news. Then I text Butcher to report not only the bad news but also that he owes me $5. (In a moment of low self-esteem on my part, he bet me $5 that my proposal would get accepted at MLA. Of course I will not accept my winnings b/c I know, even if he denies it, that he was simply being a good friend b/c I felt like crap at the moment - I know this is why b/c there was no reason at all to believe I'd get into, like, the best literature conference ever. Thanks, Butcher, that was sweet.). 

Now, of course, no one texts at the speed of light like I wish they would, so while waiting to hear back about my rejection, instead of twiddling my thumbs I go back to my e-mail to read the e-mail again and spur on the moping. But . . . ! 

In the time it took to send two text messages, I've gotten a new e-mail . . . I squint at the teeny-tiny text . . . I read, "We are happy to inform you that we have accepted your manuscript" - !!!!!!!!!!! 

Naturally, I go bat-sh*t crazy, lunge out of bed, call Brad, shout happily in his ear, and relay all of the exciting details. Repeat with Butcher. Repeat with Mum. Text to Shannon. E-mail to Amanda. There: now you have my morning. 

Happy me! 
And now, the exciting details . . . 

The reviewer's comments were really positive (!), which is amazing considering

1.  This is an unrevised paper turned in for a class, the majority of which was written in 3 days. (Anyone who knows me and my writing, knows I don't roll like dat.)

2.  Reviewers can be niz-asty. I've heard many a horror story about reviewers' responses, so it definitely could have gone another way.

This reviewer, who recently taught the book on which I wrote in a seminar for English majors, said my presentation of research and historical context was "valuable material for teaching the novel." Which makes me want to shriek with excitement - ! But it gets better! She - it's a blind review, so I don't know that the comments come from a woman, but there's something in the wording and tone that suggests to me they do - thought my paper was "very timely, full of good information as well interesting analysis" and said my application of theoretical material to the novel was "first-rate." 

Like, ah! Thrilled! Not feeling as stupid as usual when it comes to the literature stuff! 

Her suggestions for revision include: 
- cutting out a handful of lines to make the paper not-so-long (it's only as long as it is b/c I was trying to make a page requirement for class; a requirement which, it should be noted, I still did not meet);
- replacing a phrase with a less (politically) contentious one; and 
- "strengtening the conclusion if possible" so that it's as strong as the intro. 

Not half-bad for a neurotic grad student who hates theory, eh?! 

They didn't give me a deadline for returning it, but the last (and thus far, only) time I was in this position, I had virtually no work to do, and I still dragged my feet. I hope to knock these changes out in the next, say, three weeks, so the article can get slated for an issue. Scholarly publishing takes FOR-EV-ER, meaning the sooner I get this back to them, the sooner it will see the light of day (that is, the pages of a pretty darn good journal!).


  1. Digital congratulations in addition to the in person congratulations!

  2. Congratulations, my friend! I'm very happy for you.