Rebecca Day

Archive for the ‘Submissions’ Category

And again…

Posted by rwday on October 18, 2007

Another rejection, this one on “Blossoming.”
Thanks for letting me read your story. It’s exceedingly well-written and enjoyable, but it didn’t quite make the final lineup for a couple reasons: first off, the anthology is practically filled at this time, and unfortunately, yours is but one of dozens of subs I received right before the deadline of a 6-month submission period, all of which has forced me to be make some rather hard decisions; second, although your story is very good, it stretches the guidelines (the book plays a smaller role than I had hoped). I certainly wish you the best in placing it elsewhere. I also hope that you will submit to any future anthologies I edit. I’ll try and email you so that you can submit earlier.

Not a bad rejection, and he’s right about stretching the guidelines, as I didn’t write it for that anthology, just had it in progress and it sort of fit, so I gave it a shot. I wasn’t expecting a sale on this one, really.  I’ve pretty much learned never to expect a sale.

When I first started out at this, every time I sent a story out I honestly thought (in the dark recesses of my mind) that it would sell.  I mean, how could any editor fail to appreciate the OMG brilliance that is moi?   I re-read those stories over now and cringe with embarrassment and have a much more realistic perspective on my own writing and the standards of the markets.  The problem for me comes in knowing I’m not doing the quality of work I want to do but forcing myself to keep writing anyway because if I don’t, I’ll never get to the point where I’m doing the quality of work I want to do.

Like with any field of endeavor, writing practice brings writing improvement.  I don’t say ‘practice makes perfect’ because some people (and I may very well be one of them), no matter how much they practice will never be perfect (how ever you choose to define that).  I played the clarinet in high school and I was good.  I practiced a fair amount.  If I’d practiced more, I’d have been better, but I can guarantee that no matter how much I practiced, I’d never have played at the level of, say, Benny Goodman.  Writing is like that for me – I look at certain books and know that no matter how many words I churn out, how hard I work to perfect this craft, I’ll never write at the level of those authors.  They’re geniuses.  Of course, the other side of that is that I read some books and know that even if I sat down blindfolded and just typed 75k words of nonsense, I’d end up ahead of the game.  Being honest, I suspect I’m somewhere in the middle.  Sometimes high middle, sometimes low.  I can move myself up through effort, but I’m never going to be top tier.  The question is whether or not I’m okay with that.  The answer is probably yes.

Back to “Blossoming,” I need to find another market – was thinking Dark Wisdom, but they’re overstocked and closed, plus I’d have to trim 1500 words or so. Maybe Clarkesworld or Weird Tales. Clarkesworld responds pretty quickly, and you always get crit whether you like it or not! I’ll read it through at work today and make a decision.


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Titles? We don’t need no stinkin’ titles!

Posted by rwday on September 25, 2007

I submitted a story to the Hardboiled Horror anthology last night and got an almost immediate acknowledgement of receipt.  I really, really appreciate that.  So often you send your stuff off into a massive black hole and it’s anybody’s guess if it even got to the destination.

 That makes 4 stories currently out, which is way down from my former average of 10, but considering that till recently I hadn’t submitted anything in a year, it’s not a bad start.  I’ll be adding at least one more tonight as I’m going to try “Mourning Jewel” at Strange Horizons.  It’s a longshot, but worth a try.  And I’ll get “Urn” back to IGMS sometime tomorrow or Thursday, I hope, so there’s 6!

This was so much easier when I worked in the afternoon.  I’m a morning person, my most productive time is probably from 7 – 10 a.m.  I never should have switched my schedule when I had the chance, and now that they’ve hired the afternoon person, I can’t switch back.  What I really want to do is quit working and write full time, and if I’d been smarter with the money from my father, I could be doing that.  Of course, at the time, I thought I wasn’t going to write anymore.  *sighs*   I don’t regret the traveling, or the new garage, really, but if I could go back, I’d make different choices.  Oh well, at least I have a job that allows me to surf the Internet, write, and take time off pretty much whenever I want.  Many other writers have succeeded in far worse situations than mine.

Posted in Submissions, Writing | 3 Comments »


Posted by rwday on September 18, 2007

I made a decision today and the result was this WordPress blog. I have a website I’m very proud of,, designed by the talented Erastes, and I have a Livejournal. So why, you might ask, do I need yet another site?

Because when it comes down to it, I suck at html beyond bold, italics, underline and such. I don’t really enjoy updating my webpage, so the poor thing is always languishing in neglect, and my LJ has transitioned into much more than a writing journal – I talk there about the SCA, work, family, politics. Everything. But I’ve got people on my flist who are only interested in my writing and I hate making them read through long, dull blog entries about my dogs to get to the few posts about writing. Hence this blog, inspired both by the insightful article on web design for authors by Ann Somerville of Uniquely Pleasurable and Evremonde’s spiff new WordPress site

This will be all writing, all the time. Well, ‘all the time’ meaning as often as I update, which probably won’t be all that often. I’ll also keep up-to-date lists of my published works and my novels in progress here – they’re right above this entry in subpages. Eventually, there will be a page on submission stats, though not today – I’ve spent enough time on this already.

So. Today, while waiting for our kitchen floor to be put in, I edited chapter 2 of Ashes, queried a couple of old submissions and resubmitted three stories. Once I finish here, I’ve got to get back into my research into 19th century magical/esoteric movements, which is way more interesting than I thought it would be.

Stats – 9/18/07

  • Submissions sent – 3
  • Responses received -0
  • Words Written – 0
  • Pages edited – 48

Posted in Submissions, Writing | 4 Comments »