Having a writing “career” is an odd thing, sometimes: There is an awful lot of waiting around for things to come out. No matter how many stories or novels or epic poems you sell, you spend a lot of time with nothing going on (aside from the maddening attempt to record your genius on paper, where genius tends to wilt and brown up a bit). That’s why whenever I have news, I tend to post it everywhere, to create the illusion that writing isn’t all about sitting at a desk in the dark, tapping on a keyboard.
So: Check out some samples of GUD Magazine issue 2.0, which include my short story closer in my heart to thee. You can read samples of all the pieces, and even buy individual stories electronically if you’re so inclined. From what I’ve seen, however, you should buy the whole damn thing as it’s excellent. I mean, damn, it includes a Somers story! IT MUST BE GREAT! Or something. Ahem.
Looks like I’ll end 2007 with 51 short story submissions and 1 sale. Last year I managed 64 subs and sold 4 stories – it always varies a little. Submissions can be a lot of work; in 2002 I managed a whopping 107 submissions (4 sales) but there’s been a steady slide since then as I’ve acquired a wife and 4 cats since then, not to mention a few steady writing gigs (like my column in Brutarian and my column in Xerography Debt, not to mention the Avery Cates books). I’m a little disappointed I only got 51 subs out this year, but on the other hand it’s almost a triumph of the will to have gotten that many out the door.
Plus, response times seem to have shot up all around as markets are deluged with submissions, and that’s a factor. If I’d gotten things back more quickly I might have turned them around a bit. I don’t believe in “trunk stories”; I’ve sold stories years after first sending them out, and I think a good story is a good story even if 30 people reject it. I admit that sometimes when a story’s been rejected a lot I take a second look at it and realize there’s a reason it keeps getting the bounce, but I’ve also had stories that were rejected a lot suddenly sell and get praise, so I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule. Besides, the damn things won’t sell unless you submit them, right? I mean, maybe when you’re world-famous editors are calling you up to beg for stories, but when you’re Jeff Somers, moderately unknown author, you have to hustle a little.
So. Check out GUD Magazine and buy some fiction fo’ yo’self, ‘kay?