Thanks for submitting "The Slave" for our consideration, and for your interest in LORE. While I enjoyed aspects of this tale, we are going to pass on this particular effort -- narrowly. This was good, to be sure. I hope we shall see something more from you in the future. Good luck in your ongoing endeavors.
First, I want to point out I've never posted a rejection online before. I can't say it won't every happen again, but I don't do it for a thousand reason, the biggest one being that this was a private conversation. I have the utmost respect for Rod Heather over at Lore and not just because he sent me this very nice rejection. Lore Magazine is chock full of fantastic fiction that I'd be proud to be part of. There's a reason why I put this here and posted my reviews from Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award. (Vine 1, Vine 2, Reader's Weekly.) Nor is it easy for me to put up my reviews for you to see my warts -- you'll notice I allowed my pride (footnotes in Meathead) to shoot myself in the foot. I'd been told before to delete them. But I ignored that advice and annoyed the reviewer. I'm also embarrsed by the comments about editing as well.
Moving on. I've been wanting to write about the nature of selling fiction for a while. I had hopped to have made another sale by now for one thing. I was feeling pretty high on the hog after my sale to One Buck Horror. A pro sale meant... means a lot less than you'd expect. When you haven't sold anything, when you're querying and getting nothing but rejections, your first personalized rejection is a milestone and a Pro sale the holy grail. This could be my 5oth personal rejection. I stopped counting. That doesn't mean it isn't meaningful. I really appreciate it when an editor takes the time to give me a few kind words. When I feel low, I pull them up and read through them. I let them wash over me and remind myself that it takes years and years for an overnight success-- not every writer is an overnight success. But I think you know what I mean.
So I have two pieces of advice:
Enjoy your milestones. I mean really, really enjoy them. Exalt yourself, your skill, your creativity, the genius that makes up all of you. Daydream about the big sale. Let your ego off it's leash. (Don't worry, there's a rejection around the corner that will put it back in check.) But most of all, celebrate your perseverance. Without it there would be no milestones, which all too soon they become part of the landscape.
Don't fret. Just write. I haven't sold anything in a long time and I'd be lying to say that isn't eating at me, but fretting over it isn't productive. I have to keep circulation the stories I've finished and keep writing new things. And maybe you haven't sold anything. Maybe you don't get personalized rejections yet. Don't fret. Keep writing new things and you will.
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018