Back in 2006 or 2007, or somewhere in there, I had an idea for a girl who could hear the thoughts of others. Her name was Lucinda…Cinda for short. So i wrote it. And it received an honorable mention from the Writer’s Digest short story competition. I was very excited.
I was so excited, I decided to submit it. Remember Leading Edge magazine from my last post? They published my story “Marked” (the story that didn’t place in the same competition), so I sent “Cinda” to them. It was rejected. Now, the wonderful thing about Leading Edge is that they send feedback from readers. I had comments on why the story didn’t work, which helped me rethink the idea, and I rewrote it.
And submitted it again.
It was rejected again with more comments. Though none of what anyone said clicked in my brain, so I set the story aside.
I went off into the world of writing and did many other things. My writing got better. My writing got darker. At some point, my gaze fell back to “Cinda”, and my creative brain had an idea. A bit of a darker idea, but I LIKED IT.
The whole story changed. I retitled it as “Voices”.
I submitted it to Leading Edge magazine. It had been a while, but I liked working with them, so WHY NOT. Of course, they had moved to e-mail instead of packing the pages off in an envelope, which is super nice.
And I waited. A year later, I sent an e-mail to ask for any updates. They replied that my story had been passed on to the editors. WHICH IS GOOD! Another year later, I inquired again. And got the same answer.
Okay. STILL GOOD. But I was done asking and thinking about it. Time to let it go. Nearly three and a half…maybe four…years later, I got an e-mail accepting “Voices” for publication, as long as it was still available.
Of course, it was available! EEEEEK!
I went through three rounds of edits, working with a wonderful editor, who gave great feedback and was excited every time I made changes, telling me that she was more thrilled with the story as we went. Well, after three-four years of growing as a writer, I made changes, because I wanted “Voices” to reflect my writing now, not three years ago.
And finally, “Voices” was released in issue 73! You can find it here.
I didn’t make the cover this time, but no biggie. My story is in there!
With some cool illustrations! And I got paid!
Publishing is a lot of waiting. A LOT OF WAITING.
Will I submit to Leading Edge again? Maybe. I do like them. I like their magazine. I like how they work. I’ll be prepared to wait, to forget about that submission and move on. I’ll remember that the longer I wait, the better the news will probably be. They get a lot of submissions. And only a few stories make each issue.
To all slogging through the world of publishing, you are not alone. With tiny victories, we will make our way along the path. A path lined with tears and sweat and, most certainly, smiles. We just can’t stop trying.