Well, my first rejection has reared its ugly head. Harper’s Magazine politely told me to eat shit in a SASE (that didn’t contain my short story by the way) I received Saturday. In a way, I’m glad I heard from them so quickly. Of the 11 publications I submitted to, around three are major magazines. Had a smaller one immediately decided to print my short, I’d have always wondered if a larger publication would have scooped it up if given enough time. Regardless, my reflexive response to instantaneously being jilted was, “Dicks!” How could they have given my story “careful consideration” in such a short amount of time?! My obsessive mind immediately broke down the US Postal timeline: I dropped my bundle of envelopes in a mailbox on Saturday the 17th (where they laid patiently until Monday morning); Sunday the 18th goes by with no delivery; there’s no possible way it could have arrived on the 19th; it’s likely the envelope to Harper’s arrived mid morning to early afternoon on Tuesday, October 20, where the editorial assistant “Julie” read the first two pages, realized my story was a self-indulgent piece of sexist literature, trashed it, and happily dated a rejection form letter for the 20th and mailed it back to me.
That was my immediate response, but then I got to thinking. I didn’t submit to Harper’s Magazine because I’m a huge fan of their work. In fact, I’ve only ever skimmed the magazine. A smart writer would have cased out a magazine and whored his or her style in order to match up. But then what’s the point of writing? I like the way I write. I’m hyperaware myself and how you, dear reader, might be reacting to the words “shit,” “dicks,” and “whored,” but still, I make controlled decisions to use them, and I sneer with vulgar accomplishment at the thought that you’re tastefully averted. I’ve said before: there’s virtue in being awful. Perhaps I’m just a sore loser. Perhaps I’m just a troll. That doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t perform any quality research on who exactly might be interested in my literary themes. Oh well. One down, ten to go.