Well, I gotta say, this has been a professionally repulsive week.
In an act of kindness however, I will not enumerate the horrors. Allow me instead, since our heads are already in the bowl, to mention the vomit-inducing R collection.
One "R" word is Remaindering.
This, for the uninitiated, is when the money guys at your publishing house decide to stand all the characters in your book on the slippery edge of a pit. Then, in cool legalese, they send a note informing you of their intention to gun down everyone of those characters. P.S. Kindly offering to send you any sweepings of salvageable blindfolds or body parts at a Thanks for everything! Your call is important to us! Have a Nice Day! discount.
This can happen after the book has been in print for decades, or mere moments after a book's release. But still, in the context of these Rs, remaindering is The Happy R! because at least remaindered characters had a chance, however brief, to live.
The next R word, Rejection, needs no introduction.
As wretched feelings go, the rejection of your novel is way up there with shingles. But no rejection is necessarily the last word. There always exists the hope that the next editor to read your story will get it. So even this R is a bit happy-ish.
But meet #3. Realization of a Repugnant Reality.
This grim set of Rs refers to the discovery that a book very very close in concept, nature, subject and possibly even style to the book you've been wrestling with for years... was recently published in a unique circle of hell, by a newbie on a unicycle.
Unlike being remaindered, your characters never had their chance in the world.
Unlike being rejected, no future opportunity for acceptance or even for further rejection exists.
Again, all your characters, their world, every scene and situation teeter at the edge of the maw, not after a long or short life with readers, but after no life at all.
The world forever denied your MOBY RICK.