baby, editing, rejection, submissions, Writing

Hot Potato

Today in Mommy-Land

Pretty standard day here in Mommy-Land, though I’m feeling much less hoarder-ish since I got the massive pile of laundry all tidied up Sunday. The Little Man took two naps–one about an hour and a half long (not bad), and one short forty-minute nap (meh) in bed. My mother also had a few minutes, so she watched him for a half-hour before his nap, which allowed me to get a little writing work started.

Also divided up the Little Man’s toys into three bins in the hopes that cycling through them from one day to the next will hold more of his interest. He’s quite inquisitive, but he exhausts things so quickly! We’ll see if the bin rotation helps.

Today in Writer-Land

Rejected. Rejected, rejected, rejected! *cries* Actually, I’m not super upset, but you know how it goes. I was really hoping this one would happen, especially since it’d gotten pushed up the editorial chain of command. But I did get a very nice and encouraging rejection notice, which I definitely appreciate (…as I wallow in self-pity).

“It was really, really good, but no thanks!”

That said, I got it right back out again like a hot potato, so the infinite game continues! (Ouch! It burns! Submit! Submit! Submit!)

Also got 650+ words of the second scene started for this month’s rewrite. Took me quite a bit of time–rereading Sunday’s work–to get my shoulders into the story, but I suspect that’s just from yesterday’s heavy-duty brainstorming. It left me a bit fuzzy-headed. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow. :)


Hurts So Good: Back On the Horse Again

This last week, I got my first rejection in too many months, and I gotta say–despite the initial twinge of “awww…”–it’s a great feeling. I’d forgotten how awesome it feels to submit short fiction to the elusive and exclusive fiction magazine markets. Even rejection, to some degree, feel fantastic, if only because it’s sure and quantifiable proof that I’m out there and trying again. 

My submission last week was a bit of a long-shot, but I’ve gotten some nice rejections from them in the past, so there was still a teeny little part of me that was hoping for a pleasant surprise. Waking up to a rejection ain’t much fun. Thankfully, the pinprick of disappointment passed quickly (though that said, there’s still some small part of me that cringes at the under 24 hour turn-around time). Ah, the miracles of e-submission. It’s a cruelly efficient beast. 

But one good thing (pseudo good, I suppose), is that the swiftness of the response highlighted for the writer-side of me something the editor-side had been quietly nudging about for the past few weeks. The first paragraph needs to be snappier. I love this story so much, and I really, truly believe in it, but it’s never going to sell if that opening paragraph doesn’t hook the casual reader enough to *get* to the good stuff later. I know this from my own time slushing: it’s gotta grab, and it’s gotta grab fast. 

The current opening is solid. It’s well-crafted, I’ve minded my p’s and q’s, it effectively introduces the central character and the narrator, plus hints at the coming conflict. But, like Ferrett Stienmetz says in his interview with Apex, if I’m being honest, I know that opening is only “good enough.” It’s functional. It’s maybe even a bit graceful. But it’s not as powerful as it could be, and my editor-side has known this for a good few weeks. My writer-side, on the other hand, has been griping about having to re-examine a piece that–for almost all intents and purposes–is (in the words of Katherine Hepburn) already yar. To mess with it any more seems sacrilegious, especially when there are other editing projects to move onto and clamoring for attention. 

“But…” says my inner-editor. “But…”

And the thing is, my inner-writer knows the editor is right.

“!@#^@#%$!%&…” says my inner-writer. 

So tomorrow, I’ll put my head back to the grind-stone and hopefully, *hopefully* this fix won’t be too tough. It’s gotta be done, though, and there’s no time like, well, tomorrow. ^_^ 

Onward and upward!