Received a rejection from Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction today at the P.O. Box in town, my 40th from him. Usually I get a pretty fast turnaround from Gordon, who'd been our Guest Editor at the 2004 Clarion workshop, but this one took 73 days. He wrote, "I've been on the fence about this one, but I'm afraid I've fallen off on the wrong side and I'm going to pass on it." Now another person might say, Damn, another rejection. (sigh). But I must confess that I had a totally different reaction.
Sure, Gordon ultimately chose not to buy my story, but he held onto it since early February and thought about it. This has to be the closest I've come to selling a story to F&SF, and I have to say I am greatly pleased. In my complicated scoring system, I have to score this as a Win and mark it down as an Encouraging Letter.
When you are still a work in progress yourself, you have to take your victories where you can find them, much as I've commented before on Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest. That's probably the strongest advice I can give writers just starting to submit their works.
And of course I re-read my story, tweaked it a bit and am about to print it out to send to Sheila Williams at Asimov's Science Fiction on Monday. Keep those stories moving! Now, do I have anything ready to ship that Gordon hasn't seen yet? Hmm...
Even without daydreaming of flying off to Australia for WorldCon this summer, there are a lot of SF/F cons to go to. Alas, Penguicon is right in the middle of Grade-a-thon, I passed on registering for WisCon over Memorial Day in case I'm teaching a Summer-I class, and I'm not even sure if I can get away to NASFiC in Raleigh NC in August or World Fantasy in Columbus OH this fall.
But today on Facebook, fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss posted a link to MadCon 2010. Apparently this is the first time in nine years that this Madison WI SF/F con is being run. Of much more interest is that besides guests Patrick Rothfuss and Allen Steele, the GoH is Harlan Ellison. Really? Harlan? I've never had the chance to meet Harlan or hear his stories in person. Lots of people tell Harlan stories, but geesh. Madison? In September? The 24th to 26th?
It's tough to drive around Lake Michigan and it's expensive to take the Lake Express ferry across Lake Michigan, and if I'm teaching in the Fall... But Harlan's going to be there?
(sigh) Pencils in MadCon 2010 for September.
In Case You Were Wondering... But Probably Not...
I know Patrick from the WOTF XXIV workshop in August 2008.
Demonic Patrick Rothfuss in Evil Hotel California
Actually, Patrick is a really nice guy who tells wonderful stories, both in print and in person. He and Eric James Stone were among the previous WOTF winners brought in to encourage us in our writing careers. Eric, of course, holds a special place in my heart as he is also a WOTF Published Finalist who went on to win in the WOTF the next year. It can be done! (grin)
Eric James Stone and Patrick Rothfuss holding court at WOTF XXIV workshop
Anyway, that's enough name dropping for one day. (grin)