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Post Pandemic Reject

The pandemic is waning and I feel so strange like I am seeing everything in a new light. Each step I take without a mask—where allowed—to explore this brave new world feels exciting. Were there lessons learned? I don’t know. The world is different now and there is no going back.

A new rejection has come for Imprint, a short story, for an ink themed anthology. Although the story did not make the final cut, it felt good to write a piece of flash fiction at exactly 300 words in the cyberpunk genre. One has to have a tough skin to put stories out there in the submission pool of the ever decreasing publishing world.

I keep a little red book to track all submissions and follow-ups. Entries are in black ink and rejections noted in red. The importance of tracking is the response time can be anywhere from three to six months. Rejection comes in many forms from the auto-rejection form letter to some a little more personal in nature. The worst is ghosting, when I never hear back and am left to wonder if my submission was even read. On the other hand, the rare personal notes are the best. Even under the guise of rejection, those notes offer solace and encouragement to keep submitting and bring a bittersweet smile.

Rejection is a thing usually to be shrugged off, but sometimes I let my guard down and feel the sting. And sometimes I feel like the Ed Wood of literature earnest, yet lacking the skill of a professional. Doubts swirl. Maybe my stuff is too dark or too gay. Sometimes it hurts. Though I always manage to shake the feelings off and keep going because I enjoy writing. The immersion into different worlds and the interaction between characters is an amazing outlet for emotion and creativity.

I am steeling myself for another round with Lane Bowden 1973, after finishing up some revisions and including some true crime factoids between most chapters. Next, I am tackling even more revisions with my Rebel’s Edge series—which will be fun—followed by a second draft of Future-Thrill.

I have had some success and have grown as a writer over the years. More good things are to come. The pandemic has reminded me not to take things for granted and to embrace being a reject just like my punk years so long ago. Until the one day I meet like minds and achieve a new avenue of release, I will keep trying.

In the spirit of a funny rejection, I am attaching the video I submitted for consideration in Bill & Ted Face the Music.


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