Well, I got word last night that Crossed Genres is not going to pick up “Thus Have I Heard.” They didn’t cite any problems with the story, which they are usually kind enough to do when I fumble something. And I don’t mean that sarcastically. The fact that they usually take the time to point out weaknesses means a lot to me, and influences my desire to continue submitting to them. So that may mean the story is fine, despite my self-critical frustrations with my execution. Or it may mean they were just crazy busy this month. ;)
Which is a small bummer. The last piece I had accepted anywhere was last October-ish. Part of the challenge is that the writing class slowed my productivity a lot. So this is only the second piece I’ve submitted. It hardly represents a wave of rejection. Just a bummer. What it mostly means is that I need to write more stuff, submit more stuff and submit to more markets. I’ve gotten kinda lazy about really getting myself out there.
My girlfriend has been awesome and has been researching other markets for me to submit to. She’s found several places for me to submit stuff, including “Thus Have I Heard.” Many of these have specific themes they are asking for, which gives me the benefit of having a seed to build off of and a deadline to work towards.
Other good news that I failed to mention earlier. Crossed Genres Year One received a favorable review. (ETA: Fixed the link. Should work now.)
Regarding my piece specifically, the reviewer said such kind things as, “I won’t spoil the ending, but I will offer that the imagery in this tale is so wonderful that the settings sometimes transported me away from the main character’s conflict. The scenes in this story, like Impressionist art, consist of ordinary subjects displayed in mesmerizingly vacillating light. Whereas I usually care most about plot and about character development, these descriptions were so robust that I would gladly read additional pages of Zimmerman’s work just to reimmerse myself in his language.”
I am Jack’s over-inflated ego.
The positive feedback I received for Court of the Red King led to a small complication I hadn’t anticipated: I don’t know which piece to pitch at PNWA now. One of my critiquers was willing to read the synopsis and excerpt for A Sunless Garden and let me know how she feels it stacks up to Court of the Red King. If I correctly remember the timeline o’ terror Dawn outlined for me, May will be my month of, “Beating a novel into shape so that I have a somewhat-finished project when I’m in front of the agent/editor at PNWA.”