Fast forward to November 2013, a cold and damp Friday night. I went to the mailbox and there it was, my self-addressed stamped envelope. I knew it was a response to one of my stories.
I remembered several writers, who had been published in the same magazine, told me the longer they take to respond, the more likely they’re going to publish it. My hands shook. Was this a contract for my first story submitted in 2011?
I paused and then tore into the envelope. There it was, a two-line letter, thanking me for my submission, but declining my story. There was no contract. My heart sank.
I went back to work on my current project with thoughts of the declined story entering my mind periodically. Finally, I came to terms with the fact it just wasn’t a fit for them. Perhaps one of my other two stories was what they’re looking for.
Two weeks later, there it was, on top of a pile of junk mail, another self-addressed stamped envelope. I knew the news wasn’t good. It was too soon. I had no expectations as I slowly peeled open the seal. Once again, I was denied.
The following week, another envelope arrived. At the risk of being repetitive, you can guess what the letter said. I swallowed hard and filed the letter, along with the other two rejections, into my submission notebook.
I figured I have two choices. I could turn my nose up to this magazine, like they did to my stories and never purchase it again, much less submit another story, or I could continue to do what I love. This weekend, I plan to begin another story for this same magazine. Am I a glutton for punishment? No, I just like to make up stories and when they get published along the way, well that’s just a bonus.