An impossible thing before breakfast.

I am elated to report that I’ve had a story picked up by Clarkesworld.  It will be out very shortly; I’ll post a link just as soon as it appears.

It’s been a long dry spell (SFWA-qualifying sale-wise, anyway) since DSF picked up “Substitution” back in July 2011, and I’d started to think that that was a fluke and I should quit while I was ahead.  Now I have no excuse and must, in the immortal words of my Clarion roommate Becky, “get out of my butt” and back to the business of writing more words.

I use an inelegant Word document to track my submissions — whatever works, right?  Sigh.  I have got to switch over to Excel… — and I’d had this particular story (working title: Feral House) listed on said document since December, when I started revising it in earnest.  I list the title of each story along with where I’ve sent it, always with the next place to send listed below that.  I do this so I can’t overthink rejections; I just autopilot and sub to the next magazine on that story’s list of potential markets.  The only magazine I had listed below Feral?  Clarkesworld.  It was my impossible post-Clarion dream.  Of course, then the story-title sat on my submission tracker month after month as I fought (hacking and slashing!  With s’words!) through a will-sapping number of revisions, all while collecting a tidy pile of rejections on the three other stories I had out on submission at the time.  The past year of blogposts will attest that this was not the happiest of times.

And then while sipping my morning coffee, still muzzy after a late night out with my grad school friends, I got the acceptance email for the long-suffering Feral House, and from my dreamiest of dream pubs.  And lo, my faltering faith was restored, and I spent the day in a state of euphoria.  Today I erased the next magazine below Clarkesworld and moved Feral to the “Acceptances” column.  Also there was this:

That would be one of my author-idols, Kij Johnson — whose short story collection is stunning and racking up stellar reviews, if you have not read it yet — saying that she remembered my story.  And Kessel weighed in too, farther downthread.  And yes, that’s Bolander, who’s been taking names since we left Clarion, and Bill Shunn, who’s been a wonderful local SF writer-friend, and Micah Dean Hicks, whose work I deeply admire, and…how is this even my life?  How is any of this even possible?

It’s been a strange and wondrous Halloween-time, that’s certain.  This weekend Brady and I are hosting a Heaven/Hell-themed party (I am NOT overthinking my costume this year, not after the flame-war debacle of 2011) and then my family arrives in town for a visit.  Also I’ve decided to use Nanowrimo as an excuse to jumpstart the rewrite on my dissertation.  No, I won’t get 50K words, but I’d be happy with 20K and the wind at my back.  So if it’s quiet around these parts, know that I’m off generating more words, since words are the bricks I use to build this dream-life.  Gah, I’m still so full up with happy I can’t even.

Happy Halloween, everyone.  Wishing much spooky happiness to you all.

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8 thoughts on “An impossible thing before breakfast.

    • Nah, it’s my bad; I should’ve announced it on the googlegroup, too, for non-FB folks. I figured I’d just wait and share the link, since it’ll be up so soon.
      And thanks! 🙂

    • Thank you! And thanks again for the pick me up a few months back; I can’t tell you how much that helped. Congrats on hitting number 900, too–seriously impressive.

  1. Brooke, that’s exactly the way I felt after my first important sale. How can people who are not friends of mine, people I respect the hell out of, even have seen my name, let along read my story — and liked it? It’s weird and delightful.

    • This, exactly. I am weirded out, but oh so delighted, pretty much constantly. And seriously, thank you. You critique is all over this revision — not just the subtitles, but also the (crucial) clarification of the images connected to the brother and father.

  2. (Also, I use a piece of cardboard with post-it notes on it to track my submissions, so feel no shame for your Word Doc!)

    ((Also also, that story is still wonderful and I still love it to death. You should feel very proud and THIS IS NOT A FLUKE.))

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