Encouragement enough to send one off

I read a story in Apex magazine by Terra Le May. At the end of the story is a link to her site/blog, so I decide to check it out.

I am encouraged by her as it seems she has just recently started getting her stories sold.  She also seems to be an interesting person as her full time job is a tattoo artist, and the name of her blog, Rarely Tame, is an anagram for “Terra Le May”.

I write her an e-mail telling her that I liked her story and ask her if there is a stack of rejection slips in her life or if the editors saw genius and picked her up right away. I resist the urge to include a link to this blog, as I don’t want her to think I am just trying to drum up traffic.

Of course I see nothing back from her all day.

I think maybe she is already too popular and receives a ton of e-mail, but then realise that, more than likely, I am just being impatient.

Inspired by how easily the remote possibility of being published seemed to happen for Terra, I repackage my Little Green Fonzie story, changing the title to “The Right Answer“.  I make the name change because I want the whole Fonzie aspect to be more of a surprise within the story than something expected right from the title.

As ANALOG had recently declined the story, my intention is to send it off to Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.

I get halfway through addressing the 9″X12″ envelope when I see that, under their guidelines page, F&SF  has a bullet point stating, “We prefer not to see more than one submission from a writer at a time.”

Shit.

I already have a story called “The Closet” sitting with them that I just sent out on 8/5/10, only nine days ago.

Screw it.

Being human and impatient, I shove the story into the envelope and send it out anyway.  What’s the worst that could happen? They reject both stories?  There’s a dammed good chance of that anyway.

Magazines have an insane amount of rules that they ask you to submit by. I can understand the need for rules, as I am sure the editors are inundated by submissions from wide-eyed dreamers such as your’s truly.  I am also certain that they are constantly beating down the ever growing slush pile, but I have to think that if it’s a good story, a truly worthy tale,  it could show up on their desk, typed on hot pink paper and stuffed into an old tennis shoe and they would accept it.

So does it really matter how many stories I send in at one time?

Or where the commas go?

Or if I spell everything exactly right?

James

UPDATE:

I was just being nervous and paranoid. Terra e-mailed me back the next day.  It was easy to tell from the e-mail that she is a super nice person.

She did tell me that she has about 50 rejection slips sitting at home, and how that wasn’t as many as a lot of the writers she knows.

I also found out that she has gotten a Locus review of her story, and that she is a member of a couple writer’s organizations.

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