In an oddly appropriate coda to my bizarrely good fortune these past several months, I felt genuine relief today when I received an editor’s rejection of Arbor, my last remaining active submission.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to see Arbor published. I would dearly love to work with the editor and the mouse house that employs her. And years of conditioning have left me with an instinctive yearning when I get home each day to check the mail and see if it contains something that is not a rejection.

But even the possibility of having an editor-requested revision of Arbor sitting on my to-do list for months or even years before I could get to it was making me fidgety. And I’ve begun feeling a little self-conscious about the fact that each of my four books will be with a different publisher — being on the roster of a fifth one right now wasn’t going to make me feel more at ease. (I’m also concerned that my health is too good, that my children are too smart, and that my complaints are not insufferable enough.)

So, yes, it’s good news that Arbor still does not have a taker. Now I can relax a little, focus on the work I’ve already got… and trust that my subconscious will get on the case as soon as I fall asleep tonight, trying to figure out how Arbor can be fixed.