Rejections, Revisions, and Infatuations

Cleaned out my office today and read through my thick Monsoon Summer file. It's chock full of rejections from a long list of editors, as well as myriad revisions featuring characters and plot twists I cut from the final draft.

At one point, a more rebellious version of Jazz had a secret romantic encounter with a black-leather-jacket-clad Indian guy who rode her around the streets of Pune on his motorcycle. I hated to give him up, especially because clutching my husband's waist while perched on the back of his motorcycle is one of my favorite memories of our life in Pune. Ah, well. I have a feeling Mr. Leather Jacket will make an appearance in another novel; I sort of fell for him as I invented him. (Moral Question: Is that wrong? How about my lifelong infatuation with Tolkien's Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings, the books, not the movie? My husband knows all about it; he takes it as a compliment, arguing that I must perceive in him the same noble, heroic qualities that I do in that character.)