Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Another short story sale

Just five days after I sold my first short story, I sold a second one.

Which seems a bit absurd, if I'm honest. I'd never sold fiction before and then I did it twice in one week.

Though that's a bit misleading. I'll start at the beginning.

First off, the first short story I sold was one I had a feeling was going to sell. Primarily because I wrote it directly in response to a magazine's prompt--I'd never done that before--and reasonably believed it was tailored to the editor's tastes. And although I had to edit a significant part of the plot based on some feedback, she sent me an enthusiastic acceptance when I was done. In addition, the magazine I got accepted to has not been around very long, and though that does not necessarily mean they have lower standards, it is true that as a newer magazine it probably does not receive as many high-quality submissions.

Part of the reason--probably--that I'd never had fiction accepted for publication before was that I was not submitting my work to non-paying or token-pay markets; I'm sure I had very high-quality competition because I restricted my submissions to pro and semi-pro publications. This is not because I want the money, nor is it because I'm obsessed with prestige, but because if a magazine pays its authors, I tend to think it has the resources to stay around longer and is less likely to suddenly disappear or stop hosting my stories. I like to be able to link to my work online and show people where it's displayed.

As you can imagine, I've collected my share of rejections over this. And with the exception of the fairy tale short story that had just been accepted, I hadn't submitted anything new in months, so when I saw a lone e-mail in my author inbox that said "Re: Fiction Submission: 'Her Mother's Child,'" I assumed it must be some lingering rejection left over from a magazine's undone homework after selecting their favorites. Instead, the answer to an e-mail I'd sent on February 2 read "Thank you for submitting your story to Kaleidotrope, as well as for your patience. I really liked 'Her Mother's Child' and would like to accept it for publication at this time."

Well. That was unexpected. And kind of hilarious, too, since it wasn't like I had been emboldened by finally getting a short story acceptance and decided to strike out with more queries. It just happened to arrive in the good-news window.

I buy myself a cupcake whenever I sell a piece.
I checked my submissions spreadsheet to see if there were any other pending pieces out and there actually were two others sent out the same day I'd sent this one. Maybe their editors are lurking somewhere waiting to tell me how much they love me too. ;) (By the way, the short story that was accepted was the one I was fidgeting about in an earlier post.)

My future intentions with my short stories:

Written, hoping to publish, will keep submitting:
  •  "In Love With Love," contemporary fiction, about a mom who's worried she's incapable of loving her son.
  • "Just Like Stephen," contemporary fantasy, about a guy who's hiding his magical powers so he doesn't get taken away like his brother.
  • "Baby Talk," contemporary fiction, about a baby's first words--very short.
  • "Uncle Avery's Garden," contemporary fiction, about lessons a young woman learned from her uncle who passed away . . . it's kind of overly sentimental, but maybe publishable.
  • "Protector Cat," contemporary fantasy/experimental fiction . . . I go back and forth between thinking this is a good story and thinking it sucks. It's really short though. About a guy who lives with a gang and has a dysfunctional memory.
  • "Wind," contemporary fantasy, and sometimes I think I should give up on this one too, but maybe a spit-shine and an open-minded magazine that accepts long pieces will take it. It's about a guy who falls in love with a fairy.
Unwritten or incomplete, hoping to publish when they are done:
  • Untitled contemporary story involving a protagonist dodging unwanted romantic attention. Involves queer people. Yay. Partially written, but need to finish.
  • Untitled contemporary story about a transgender boy in middle school. Haven't started it but have been thinking about it.
Old stories I'd like to rewrite and publish:
  • "The Curse," speculative fiction; it has two intertwined stories, kind of, and I need to revamp one of those stories so it's more readable.
  • "On the Inside," fantasy; the original story was from a transgender girl's perspective, and I think I'd like to try writing an alternate version of it from the point of view of an adult woman in the story.
I'll be developing a couple of my short stories into novels one day too. 'Cause I'm ambitious like that.

The latest accepted short story won't be published until sometime in 2015. So don't be looking for it anytime soon. You'll see a link on this blog when you can read it, I'm sure!


  1. This is awesome! You are inspiring me to get my butt going on short fiction again. I have some half-finished things and some need-revision stories.

    1. Awesome! Glad it's been motivating for someone besides me, haha.