Like an acceptance.
It made my day, let me tell you. No, not just my day, my week!
I mean, it’s not like it got accepted at Tor.com or anything, but I was very happy.
Until I realized my short story would be published, and that someone might read it.
Someone other than my loyal beta readers. Someone other than my die-hard workshop critique partners. Someone other than my friends and family.
Someone who will read it, think it is horrible, and tell everyone they know to NEVER READ ANYTHING BY N. E. WHITE - EVER.
Yes, they’ll use bold, italics, all caps like that.
And, yes, there is something worse than rejection.