I’ve gotten a lot of email today. Each time I loaded my hotmail there seemed to be another one. Each time. that number next to the word Inbox made my heart race. “This could be the Clarion West rejection email.” Or “Maybe CW is doing acceptances electronically this year.” Or it could be any other sort of news. Clicking the link to view the inbox was like clipping wires on a bomb. Would this one release the tension? Blow everything to kingdom come? Do nothing?
They were pretty much all do-nothings. The euphoria following a no-blow-up is sweet, but not so sweet as the rush I’d like to feel.
Most of those emails were comment announcements from wordpress. They’ve been keeping me going today, despite the breath holding they inspire. Thanks to everyone who chimed in. I tell you now, I will cry if I get rejected. It will happen. I didn’t last year, I don’t think, but I’ve put an awful lot of hopes on going. Don’t worry, I’ll be crying if I get in, too. I’m just a crier.
The one tiny detonation I had was a (very fast) rejection from Parsec Ink’s Triangulation Anthology: End of the Rainbow. They liked the story’s opening abd “were with me” through the middle, but my protag went a little too John McClane for their taste. Seeing that she starts the story as a chick drying her hair in her apartment, I can see their point.
I should have workshopped the story before sending it. I always workshop my stories before sending them out (a couple flash pieces and YA pieces excluded). I knew there was something off about the story, something hokey, but I was having trouble putting my finger on it. They put their finger on it. Now I’ve tweaked it; she’s still a little yippee-ki-yay at the end, but at least she has a better transition and more help getting there. The problem is, the story is now a blazing beacon that says “I was rejected by the anthology I was meant for, but my writer sent me to you hoping for a lucky break.” I tried to make a sci-fi story out of “End of the Rainbow”. It’s a little obvious.
Oh, I could strip the rainbow references out of it, but it would fall pretty flat. The whole plot was concocted as a reason to use the word Rainbow. No pro market is going to touch this one, which is too bad since the characters in the story are quite human.
I have a market or two in mind for it, ones that have helped me get this far and I feel like I owe them a favor or two in return. The Sam’s Dot Publishing zines have bought half the stories I’ve sold to date. If I can get them a tiny bit of press off my name with WotF (and hopefully CW), then I’ll be happy. If you’re just starting to sub stories, keep them in mind. They are great people to work with. The pay for stories is token at best, but it’s not always about that. Even if you don’t sub there, read they’re online stuff — it’s free. Or buy something from them at a Con or through Genre Mall. In other words, help keep my pals in business.
Well, another day, another no call. They made some calls on Sundays last year, so the fretting isn’t over. You know, if they’d just reject me, my wife and I could go get a new car with the money (as if the money I’ll use to go to CW actually exists somewhere). Life will move on if I make it or if I don’t. But until I know, things will keep standing still.