So, still been on the quieter side….there haven’t been a whole lot of calls for submissions of late, but there’s a few contests that I’m throwing my hat in the ring (and my money out the window) for—Glimmer Train, Crab Orchard Review, the Write Corner E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Award and Prairie Schooner. I’ve thrown in a few submissions here and there, got a few articles in to the Capital City Villager, and have had only a few rejections, most of which are months old, from before I was even using Duotrope. Found out that I didn’t make the cut for a Ploughshares and Upstreet submission from months ago; however, the pieces made the short list and allllllmost made it—which is encouraging, and also, actually good, because each of the submitted pieces were accepted (and have been published) elsewhere, so that would have been a MAJOR faux pas on my part (thank you Duotrope, for helping me keep that kind of shit at a minimum). I did have all 5 poems of a submission accepted by Quarter After Poetry Review—so in the coming month, “deep”, “our last night”, “promises, promises”, “Disappearing Act” and “breeding, trumpet flowers out of the dead ash” will be showcased all together—which is very cool. I’ve never had ALL the pieces in a multi-piece submission accepted (though I have had all pieces rejected, but then again, who hasn’t?)—so to have all of them accepted in one fell swoop was sort of staggering. I read the e-mail about 4 times to make sure that my pre-coffee brain hadn’t scrambled up the words. And once again, those are all pieces that I’d almost given up on sending out—they’re pieces I love, but that I’d sent out so many times I’d nearly gotten discouraged. So I just left them alone for a few months, and when I submitted to Quarter After, I was deciding what to send, and thought, “You know what? I haven’t sent this one out in almost a year, and I like it, so fuck it, here goes.” Sometimes, I guess, it’s just about getting the right pieces in front of the editor whose taste synchs up with the way you write. So, serendipity.
I finally finished “First, Make a Roux” and sent it out, as well as re-writing two other short pieces, one fiction (“Bonfire at Gretchen’s”) and one non-fiction (“Building My Wings on the Way Down”). I also completed one of the (TOO!) many works-in-progress, a story called, “Two Pounds, Two Ounces”, which I sent out as one of my contest submissions this week. I’ve still got a heavy load of revisions to tackle and numerous in-progress pieces to complete, but so far, I’m incredibly pleased with this week’s progress. My goal for next week is to finish at least one of the following “in-progress” pieces: “Turquoise” (CNF, half done), “Boxing the Devil” (half-done) or “Walls” (horror, ¼ started, research half-done). I want to send out “The Equalizer”, now that it’s finished, but I’m nervous about where, exactly, I should send it. That’s something I’ll have to think on.
Lean Out Your Window and Red Flannel In Whitechapel were both published by Euphemism Magazine, the literary publication of Illinois State University and went live on the site, so that’s another bit of happy news, because I wrote those two pieces as a 4-part set—2 of the companion pieces are with The First Line and two are with Euphemism, so all 4 pieces have been published, and they all got to stay with one of their companions, and that made me happy. After the 1st North American publishing rights expire, I hope to try and send them all out together as a unified set. With luck, they’ll do as well as a 4-part story as they have done as vignettes. In another fun twist of happy luck, my dear friends MANDEM ended up being published in the same issue. Twice now, our work has ended up featured in the same publications. And, I got my copy of Torn Realities in the mail last week, and finally read the intro my piece had gotten from the editor—I actually cried, because I couldn’t believe how kind and flattering his words about my work were. Two of my all-time favorite pieces, “Drive” and Quilted in Black” were accepted into The Oklahoma Review and will be published in the summer issue, so that’s yet another pending publication I’m looking forward to. My final bit of happy news is that for my birthday last week, my husband paid for my membership to the Horror Writers Association, and my application for affiliate membership was approved—so even though I work across many genres, I’m a totally legit horror writer!
Onward, as Mac Miller used to tell us at New College!