Sometimes you get lucky

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Short Fiction

I have this list. I call it my Personal Creative Schedule 2011. and it tracks things I’m working on as a writer and as a publisher. Items are organized by due date.

This list is currently 24 items long. Yes, some items have been checked off, (six, to be specific). But that still leaves a pretty long damn list.

When new things come across my radar, like the Fat Girl in a Strange Land anthology being put together by Crossed Genres, I have to make hard decisions. Can something on my list be cut and replaced by this new item, or can I find the time to do both? Where are my priorities?

The list does not include regular non-writing / publishing things: hosting the occasional RPG, cleaning house, cooking, doing laundry, being social with friends, or going on the infrequent date. When things crop up, they have to be weighed against the list, with extra attention to things that have been overlooked recently. If I haven’t made time for friends in two weeks, meeting them for drinks or a movie is more important than if I had just seen them the other day.

But every once and a while I get lucky and something falls in my lap. Take for instance my most recent submission.

I have this story I’ve been tooling with for a while. I screwed myself in a way by sending it to some of the biggest markets first when it really wasn’t ready to go to those markets. The story and my writing in general has improved greatly since I sent this story out to places like Asimov’s. But while tightened, rewritten, and greatly improved, it isn’t substantially different. So I can’t really re-submit it to these places. Last month I put it through the process again and gave all 5,000 words a hard rewrite with the intention to send to a specific market that was set to reopen in a week. As I was checking their site to make sure I had met their submission format requirements I realized something unfortunate: I had already sent them the story a year ago and it had been rejected. In a word: damn.

So I put it back in the metaphorical drawer.

Then yesterday I saw that an incredibly good, fairly young sci-fi market was open for submissions. What’s more, they are known for fast turn-around and had nothing in their submission pile. I took a look and realized that I’ve never submitted to them before. It’s not like I write much sci-fi, and most of that is for anthologies. But here I was with a freshly polished end of the world sci-fi story just waiting.

I sent it out last night. One story submitted and only 10 minutes taken away from my list.

Like I said: sometimes you get lucky.

Now we’ll just have to wait and see if it gets picked up. Worse case scenario, I’m out ten minutes and it goes back in the drawer. But if luck holds, that’s my first pro-rate sale for the year. Cross your fingers, folks. I got a good feeling about this.

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