The value of persistence

IMG_20180420_072542So I’m posting here a photo of my Sir Julius Vogel award. It’s cool, and I guess I’m bragging a bit. But see those three folders underneath? Those are my rejection slips. You know, the letter you get from a publisher who for one reason or another isn’t taking your story. Gathered over more years than I care to admit.

I think there are about two thousand. I have a feeling I’ve lost some over the years.

Most of them are form rejections. Some are very nice personal rejections. One is a disappointingly rude personal rejection (I haven’t submitted to that magazine since).

And there, standing on the shoulders of all those rejections, is an award. To me this is the value of persistence. I mean this to be encouraging. Keep at it. Keep going. Pursue what you love doing. It’s not about the award (though that’s nice), it’s about loving doing it.

Six week break

Here’s what happened on my break away from just about everything electronic:

* Eleven rejection letters. Two personal (one from TOR, which almost feels like a handshake and a congratulations, without any monetary exchange).
* One acceptance.
* One publication (see below).
* An Honorable Mention for Writers of the Future Q3 (though I didn’t get listed on the page [because I was away when Joni emailed and she didn’t get a reply]. * I’ll take a photo of me holding the certificate when it arrives just to prove that one).
* Stood, once again, on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
* Found my favorite diner has closed and been boarded up.
* Arrived home to thunderous downpours after 30 days of virtually no rain in the American south west. Kind of want to be back in Phoenix.


Colored lens autumn 2013

New story – “Let’s Go Find Karl” in The Colored Lens.

The Colored Lens have published a few of my stories now, the latest, which came out while I was away, is in the Autumn 2013 issue. It’s available for

One day: three rejections

So while I’m busy writing (I’ve finished up the second novel, and completed a long short-story since I last posted), and tutoring (whew, almost at the end of round four) and, well, just life in general… I’m also busy submitting stories to magazines. Great news – I’ve had an acceptance (a sci-fi novella, coming out soon… more details on that to come). Yay.

Today, though, was one of those “oh, well” days. Three rejection letters. All form letters too. Along the lines of “Thank you for submitting but we regret that we cannot use your story at this time”. You know the kind of thing. So, I found some other magazines with current open submissions and sent those three off right away. Just because some editor doesn’t have space for my best, second best and third best stories, doesn’t mean someone else won’t.

Now, back to finishing up this last bit of tutoring, and writing the next story.