I had a strange thing happen today. A story I believed lost in a slushpile forever actually found its way home. The ever loyal Midnight on the Jetty popped up in my email, along with a nice rejection from Aurealis.
Truth be told, I truly believed it lost when I submitted Sobek’s Tears to Aurealis, several months after I sent off Midnight. Even when I did remember it, I believed it would be one of those 24-hour turnaround rejections – the ones where the editor glances, decides it’s crap, then exiles it to oblivion.
The cool thing is, the editor praised my writing, albeit while still rejecting my story. Ultimately I believe this is a very important point. Writing vs. Idea.
I have come to understand it is the quality of my prose that will get stories accepted. I have the utmost faith that the writing is indeed of a high standard, as has been repeatedly emphasised in all of my acceptances and rejections. However, it seems to be the quality of the idea that makes or breaks my success (with the bigger name publications at least). In this case, Midnight on the Jetty (and Room Three – read on) are great pieces of writing which lack strong story elements. Ange disagrees with this sentiment to a certain extent. I believe editors (and readers) want traditional stories. She argues that writing should encompass the vaguaries as well as the forumlated plots. While I agree with that, there are few markets that would accept my less compelling stories – except through the sheer force of my overwrought prose.
Confirming this point, Room Three received a lightning-fast rejection from Lullaby Hearse. For me, submitting there was a test, an excerise in putting out the feelers. I like the look of their mag, but I need something a little more off centre to crack it.
Right now, I have Midnight on the Jetty with Dark Animus, with a reasonable hope for success. Room Three is in limbo – I’ll wait and see what happens with Midnight, in case I submit it to Dark Animus. More likely, I’ll see how Repaginator goes at ASIM (now it’s into round 2 of reading), and submit it once a decision has been made on that story. In the background, I have Room Three slated for some lesser known publications – either Whispering Spirits webzine (featuring ghosts), or Post Mortem magazine (or both).
Now, this just leaves me with Kraken. I await confirmation from Scrybe Press (about their rights/contracts) before I decide its fate.
On a more decisive front, Genesis Six is fully completed, with an outrageous (for me) number of drafts (at least 4 or 5), and has been included in my final Disparate Whispers maunscript, as well as been sent to Brutarian magazine.
Domestically, Ange and Hayley undertook a major formatting session of the kitchen today, completely revamping the cupboards. While the day was messy, the end result is sparkalarkally!
For me, the day was spent on the writing stuff above, preparing On Dark Clouds Borne for entry in the Aurealis Awards (I have to soften them up for Sobek’s Tears and Hear No Evil later this year), and penning my letter of resignation.
Yes. I am resigning. Centrelink couldn’t accommodate a talented but exiled Team Leader, nor fully meet my conditions for return. So now this means I am a full time, professional writer with no looming cut off point. The feeling is quite liberating. I still of course have upcoming studies, but this is definately a fresh start – one I will take advantage of.
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