Rejected, but never dejected!

I can honestly say I’ve had two of the nicest, most sincere story rejections I have ever seen today. To some, this may sound almost a contradiction, but it at least makes the job pleasant to know there are plenty of decent editors out there (hell, I’m stepping into the same boat with Shadowed Realms and An Alternative Time, so it’s good to see how others present the bad news).

First cab off the rank was Anthony Beal at Scared Naked Magazine, concerning Victims of Circumstance (otherwise known as the ‘rape story’, spoken in hushed tones around my household). Yes, he rejected it, apparently because SNM had accepted too many similar stories. In fact, he went on to say… “Your writing style is a thing to be greatly admired…” and “At any rate, I hope you’ll honor me with another submission. I’d sincerely relish the opportunity to read more from you.

Now, what a nice man Mr. Beal is. In this business, flattery gets you everywhere. And you know what? Once I have a suitable story, I WILL submit to Scared Naked magazine again. Whether I remain in relative obscurity, or hit the heady heights, it is such personalised correspondence that makes a monumental difference. I urge every writer to do the same.

Likewise, albeit more painfully, that gentleman of Australian speculative fiction, Robert Hood, knocked back Plan Ni after many months of to-ing and fro-ing. That one hurts because the story was so specialised, I’ll find it hard to place elsewhere. Unfortunately, the central premise of the story was too similiar to an anime series (one which I haven’t seen of course!). Regardless, he also had some positive things to say.

I have promptly zipped these stories onto other markets, but I expect their specialised nature will mean they’re hard to sell. I’ll keep something crossed for them.

Today was marked by two other significant things (well, three if you count another Shadowed Realms submission received – keep ’em coming in people!).

Around lunchtime, I completed my big mail purge, and man, did it feel good. Disparate Whispers (around 250 A4 pages) was finally sent to the TAG Hungerford Award (after days of tweaking), four copies of On Dark Clouds Borne were sent to the Aurealis Awards judges, and two copies of my resignation are on their way to my former masters at Centrelink. Phew!

Lastly, I took a long drive up into the hills, where I inspected Damien’s extremely belated birthday present. While I can’t give details away (yet), I ordered the damn thing back in February, aiming for late April (our shared birthday), and I find it still won’t be ready until July. Dammit! I’m pleased with the progress, but not so pleased about the tardiness. Let’s hope time translates to quality.