Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rescue Me...

Isn't it fun, when one part of your life sort of bleeds over and gives insight into
something completely unrelated? It happens to me a lot, but then, I have my feelers
in more side interests than a Gelatinous Gaffold. You know what I mean?

In this instance, I've become involved with a dog rescue group. As it happens, the group
is breed specific, which has absolutely nothing to do with the comparative revelation. Still,
it got me thinking. I've been submitting stories to various markets for awhile now. I've come
to realize that acceptance has a lot to do with just finding your work the right home.
A lot to do.

I got thinking. Submitting, dog rescue, submitting...hmm

I'm starting to feel like the arsenal of short stories I've diligently put to paper, edited, revised,
sent out, seen rejected, revised and sent out yet again are actually a motley litter of diverse,
potentially unwanted, puppies.

Talk about pressure.

So now I'm the pound manager. Some of my inmates are purebreds, some are mutts. Some are house
broken, and some bite. The trick, is to match them with the right owner. Read that the right market.
Perfect writing, characterization, plotting, and style will not guarantee a sale. Lesser works will
sell, and the fledgling author is left to tear at their hair and scream, "Where is the justice?"

Justice is dead. Read on MacDuff.

One editor might walk into the pound, and make a bee line for that glistening white standard Poodle.
The next will walk right past her and pick the slobbering, farting, snoring bulldog. Or perhaps, the
agent of your desires, prefers chihuahuas? Complete with snaggle teeth and a case of the shivers.
The point is, a lot of personal preference is involved here.
Maybe editor one would rather have the Benji-looking mutt instead, but his covenants only allow
purebreds. Maybe he's a cat person.
Editor two really likes the long-coated large breed, but her husband is allergic.
and so forth...

It's madness, I swear. How am I, from my post at the computer, supposed to know an editor's preferences?
I could read all the markets I intend to send to, spend a half-million on magazine subscriptions, and
still only have a general feel for it. For long fiction, I could land an agent (in my dreams) and let them
work it out. That's their job, to know editors. But for my meager stable of stories??
I guess I'll settle for try try again. It stinks, but what the hell.

At least we can feel better about rejections. Can't we?
Next time you get one, don't sweat it. Take a short drive to the local animal shelter and adopt
a fellow sufferer. Take your pick.

Cheers,
Frances

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