Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Drought, flood, drought, flood

I sent work out during all of 2005 and got nothing in return for my efforts. No love, no ink, no shred of interest, and rejection after rejection after rejection. A year's worth of it. Hard to imagine going a year with next to nothing in the way of positive strokes, but it's the writer's life I'm afraid. Needless to say, I was getting bummed and wondering if I should just quit trying to get published in journals. The whole lit journal publishing racket leaves SO MUCH to be desired.

Then, on Saturday, I opened my email to a lovely acceptance from Xavier Review for the short story that is essentially the first chapter of my novel. This acceptance was especially sweet because Xavier Review publishes work about the southern US and Caribbean, and wants work that explores racial themes. Perfect fit! Yay, life is good.

Then, the mail arrived. In the stack was a letter from Primavera accepting another story of mine that was first submitted in 2004! (In 2005 they requested a revision to the ending, which I did, and they have now agreed to publish it in 2007. A long way off, one might think, but in this crazy publishing business I've learned that it really isn't so far away.) This is another excellent fit, as Primavera is a journal that showcases work by and about women and the story is about two very different women who come together and the assumptions that each makes about the other. The editors were wonderful and really considered and discussed the work before deciding to publish it.

My faith in the system has been restored. Although, in a perfect world, I would have preferred to space my acceptances out just a bit more--two in one day may be more excitement than this poor fragile writer can handle, and it mostly left me shaking my head in disbelief. But I've decided to stockpile the excited feelings--store them away so that I will have a stash of fortitude to get me through the possibility of another long acceptanceless year.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

Congratulations!

It's hard to manage without any positive strokes. I think your idea of stockpiling them away is a good one. Sometimes I just take positive things people say about me and write them in my journal to read when I hear the less-than-positive things.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Mary, this is GREAT news. I'm betting you are going to be staying on the flood side of things for a good long while.

Mary Akers said...

Thanks, guys. We work mostly in silence, don't we? Thank heavens for the Internet. It may give me reasons to procrastinate, but at least I do so in good company. ;)

katrina said...

Please keep in mind your place at Breadloaf. That is very prestigous, and if you ever have another drought like that again (which I doubt you will) keep reminding yourself you are an excellent writer.