Post-Submission Wooze

I sent a short story off to a speculative fiction zine, and am currently feeling completely and utterly woozey. Some people really get a thrill out of adrenaline. Not me. I have such an adverse reaction to stress hormones that I get physically ill. This isn’t the first time I have submitted something, but it still gets to me.

It also makes me realize that if I’m going to play the submitting-short-stories-game, that I will need to make a spreadsheet detailing the paths the story has taken. Maybe have a cheatsheet of the timelines of different publishers and their pet peeves. Also, if they want first rights and for what mediums.

I was going to post the story here and break it up into segments. I seriously had the post sketched out and ready, and then I decided I’d see if I could bait a fish with it first. It’s my favorite short story and I would like to show it off, so at this point I’m impatient. See, the problem I had with it is that right now I don’t have three or four other stories to match with it and bundle it into a ebook. Otherwise I might have done that.

The good news (and a major reason I wanted to submit to these guys) is that they have a 40 day response time. That is much, much better than waiting around for six months to know if I can send it off to someone else or unveil my own plans. The so-so news is that these guys don’t have the time to include a reason for rejection or to offer suggestions. The awesome news is if it is accepted, they will hire a voice actor for a podcast.

I don’t think I have discussed this tale on my blog here. It came out of a self-imposed challenge to write with as little dialogue as I could. So the piece will be highly stylistic, which these guys do like, but I’m not 100% sure they will dig the unconventional storytelling. Then again unconventional storytelling is rather big in the world of speculative fiction, so I may be wrong. Add to this that publishing houses are a business and they pick their stories based partially on the practicality of the matter (did we just do a story like this, we’re looking for something more seasonal/festive, and on and on), and my imagination has a lot of fodder to work on.

It seems there are three types of published authors:

  1. The “We Have Previously Published” Author
  2. The “We Have Wanted to Publish Forever” Author
  3. The “Straight Out of the Blue, Riding a Pegasus, No Clue Who You Were” Author

Given my non-existent submittal routine, my only shot is to sweep clean the editors on a winged horse, preferably with a war cry. Unfortunately, they would have looked at the cover letter funny if it read like this, “Dear Editors, RRRRRRRAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Sincerely, Me” so the battle cry will have to sit this one out, too. (Though now that I have just typed that out I have this huge urge to be non-conformist and send it to someone. At best, I will make them laugh and wonder what the heck is wrong with me.)

Bah, now my own thoughts have me wishing I’d just published the thing here so I could show it off. Dang it, Certain Friend and The Husband, look what you made me do. It’s a sad, sad place when people poke me out of hermithood. 😉

Anyway, now that I’m feeling like myself again, I think I’ll clock out and go catch some sleep. Anyone else go into a nervous breakdown of sorts right after a submission?

-Nicolette

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