It’s been a very long time since I tried to get anything published. I had a few stories printed in obscure places years ago, but after Hurricane Katrina, I just stopped sending things out. It just didn’t seem important anymore.
Last summer, I wrote and sent out one story, a flash piece with the characters from my novel. It got rejected, which was somewhat expected given the competitiveness of the market; still, it was profoundly disappointing. A friend read the story and liked it, but wasn’t entirely sure it was working. So I put it aside and focused on the novel instead.
Fast forward a few months, and I spotted an opportunity that interested me — still very competitive, but I wanted to give it a try. (If you don’t believe me about “very competitive,” read the recap from the editor.) I knew it would be difficult, since I was still editing novel bits for a critique and I was behind schedule — and then my body decided to get sick two days before Christmas. One virus led to another, and I was sick for three weeks. I decided I’d have to take a pass on submitting.
But lo! An eleventh hour reminder from Cat Rambo inspired me, and I decided to give it a shot anyway. I pulled out the most likely candidate from my abandoned stories folder, gave it a 90 minute edit, and sent it on its way.
As I suspected, it didn’t make the cut, but the rejection didn’t really hurt. Editor C.C. Finlay said some kind things about it, which helped, and I think the knowledge that I rushed it out (and therefore can do better) made a difference too. I haven’t gone back to it yet because I’ve got a new story underway — but I will, in time, because I still feel like the story itself is good, even if I haven’t told it properly yet.
Now we’re in February, and — amazingly enough — I’ve sent out a second submission, thus doubling last year’s rate. Yesterday afternoon, Cat Rambo and Amanda C. Davis were impressing me on Twitter with their amazing submission stats, and then last night, I was hunting for something and ran across a flash humor piece I’d written a few years ago. It was a contest entry, and I’d never considered submitting it anywhere else. But it still made me laugh, so I tweaked it a very little bit and sent it out. I have no idea whether the market in question will bite, but I got a little rush from giving it a try. So we’ll see what happens.
And while I doubt I’ll reach the dizzy levels that Amanda and Cat maintain, hopefully I can make a habit of sending out more than one story a year.
Common threads2020 Benedict Cumberbatch board games books buy borrow bin cancer creative writing prompts cute cute cute depression and anxiety Discworld Doctor Who Douglas Adams family fashion fiction writing flash fiction friends Funko Hobbit/LOTR hurricanes illness joy and laughter Katrina life Lovecraft Marvel Cinematic Universe music Nathan Fillion novel otters reading reading challenge Richard Armitage Sherlock short stories story submissions stress TableTop Terry Pratchett Tom Hiddleston wildlife writing exercises writing workshop