Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good News Comes with Bad

In the week since I last blogged, I've gotten news about many things, both personal and professional (writing). We'll stick to the writing news, but suffice it to say that the personal news has also been a mixed bag. Life is just like that. Except that with personal news, it happens to you whether you put yourself out there or not. Your actions may greatly influence what kind of news you get in your personal life, but if you sit around and do nothing, stuff still happens to you.

Writing is quite different. Ain't nothing gonna happen if you don't put your work out there in some way. The first step to somebody liking it is somebody reading it. (As a side note on that, since I've gotten less sick, I started writing on a collaborative short fiction site @earl7399 showed me. Check out my work on ficly here. I was also delighted to beta read @dreamrock's story here.)

What that means for me is that even though I've been sick this past week and unable to write, it's been a week of news because I have been keeping up with submissions and that sort of thing. Before I brag just a bit, let me tell you that I've gotten many, many rejections. But along with upping the number of rejections listed in the sidebar, I've also received two and a half acceptances:

"Queen" - PicFic - Coming June 22, 2009
"Jimmy's Leg" - Amphetamine Press - Unknown 2009

The other half acceptance is that my fantasy short story submission "Invisible Trees" made the Adromeda Spaceways short list. I was intrigued by the fact that they inform me of the selection process before I even got the first email saying that I had passed such-and-such round. The short list means that they like it, and now they leave it in a pile for their editors to pick from. They were also kind enough to inform me that about 1/3 of stories from the short list get chosen for publication, and that it can take up to three months.

What this comes down to for me is the best news I've ever had yet on any short story I've ever submitted. All of my accepted works have been flash fiction of some type. I have been musing lately about how, when it comes down to it, flash fiction is faster to write, read, and accept or reject. This story I submitted the 15th of April, and I'm set to wait an additional three months. In contrast, the "Queen" twitter serial, which is flash fiction, got accepted literally the day I sent it. I'm sure that was partly good timing on my part, sending it a day that the editor was reading submissions, but still. Most of the flash fiction I've submitted gets responded to in a week, maybe two weeks. Short story submissions take months.

But hey, if I actually get a short story accepted somewhere this year, it will certainly be worth the wait. And even if this particular submission doesn't pass the final bar, I'm happy to know that people liked it enough for it to get this far. There are so many form rejection letters out there that it can be hard to tell if a story is even worth submitting again, or if it needs editing first, or if should be scrapped altogether. That's part of what fuels the debate on how many times you should bother submitting a particular piece. I've got another short story that's had 8 total rejections despite how much my various beta readers liked it. So for this story, I like knowing how many rounds it passed. Maybe I'll submit my 8-rejection-letters story to them so I can see if it even gets passed the first round. Haha!

I'd better sign off. Writing and submitting my work means actually getting some sleep some time. Wish me luck!

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