Monday, January 26, 2015

Poem Sold, and Other Stuff

Writing news: I sold a poem to Star*Line magazine, a publication of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. It's actually a long one: 52 lines. Title: "The Coming Dark."

The new, special issue #100 of Dreams and Nightmares is out with a color cover. I have a poem therein entitled: "One Day."

I don't talk about my rejections here, only acceptances, but believe me, I do get rejected. All the time. I'm stating this because sometimes assumptions can be made that if a writer is rejected it means the piece is not good, or not good enough. On the contrary, while that can be the case sometimes, one person's rejection can be another person's gold. The point is not to quit, not to throw something aside as bad just because of a rejection. Editors are human. They have differing tastes, bad days, unconscious biases. You just never know until you try. And just do the best you can. Be impeccable. You know when you're not. We all do. We all know when we're taking short-cuts. Don't take short-cuts. Do your best. Keep submitting. Harry Potter was rejected 10 times. Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire was rejected 3 times (very cruelly, in fact, she reports.)

Another thing of note: writers can be terrible judges of their own work. The above poem that sold to Star*Line was one I "shelved" awhile back because I judged it very harshly as too narrative. But I got to thinking that that editor tends to like narrative, long story-poems, so I got it out and said, "What the heck?" I sent her four other pieces, but that long narrative one I'd shelved was the one she bought. So you can't always know. Again, you can only do your best and then let go.

New subject: I have had a few people ask me why I don't go the route of traditional publishing for my novels. I am including here a link to a blog post that explains better than I can some of the reasons why. This does not mean I wouldn't take a trad pub contract if it appealed to me. I don't always see it as a black and white issue. And it does not address short story and poetry publication in magazines and anthologies, which I do believe are good ways to be pro published. But it does address a lot of issues in novel publishing I agree with, and why I am, so far, content to indie pub my books on Amazon.

I shall sign off now with a new short poem:

shadows are sacred
do not betray them
just because they are made

of shyness and rumors

Wendy Rathbone

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