Last week Sam received an email from a university in California that contained a congratulatory message of acceptance and an invitation to attend freshman orientation. A few days later, he received a second email that said the first was a mistake, apologized for any undue disappointment and wished him luck in his educational pursuits. Sam had already decided to attend the University of Michigan, so he didn't care, but I'm sure some of the applicants who received that pair of emails were distraught.
The next time I get a rejection, I'm going to console myself by realizing the agent did not write, "Yes!" then later tell me, "Uh, sorry. I meant another writer."
And the next time one of my characters has to face disappointment, I will first set him on top of the world.
Raising the Stakes
6 hours ago