Thursday, May 14, 2015

The slush pile

I didn't write any new short stories the first four months of the year while I was engrossed in writing my novel "Another Girl, Another Planet".  A week ago I began to get back to writing short fiction again. On May 6 I wrote and sent off a new story, "The Yellow Flag" - only 1,800 words - that was bought immediately by Jason Rennie at Sci-Phi Journal, who published my Hugo-nominated "On a Spiritual Plain" last year. The amazing fact was that it was only four hours from when I started the story until I submitted it and heard back from Jason. That' got to be some kind of record.

I also wrote - that same day - a flash piece which was sent off to Analog as a Probability Zero submission. I think it's obvious some story ideas were bottled up and ready to be poured out.

Since then I've caught up on my submissions, logging in all the rejections that came in since January and finding the stories new homes. Right now I have a total of 17 stories in various slush piles.

One thing I noticed, as I went back and updated my submissions log, was that my submissions turnaround seemed to slow down in the last quarter of last year. Looking back, I realized how little free time I had because the corporate drone who I was working for was working me so hard. The Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune was bought by a newspaper chain last summer, and one of the little tricks and dirty secrets of these types of operations is that they give their employees workloads that simply can't be accomplished in 40 hours, in effect making the journalists work off the clock. I think the publisher was working me to the nub hoping I'd quit, but I'm pretty stubborn and he had to finally fire me on Jan. 2.

During the last half of last year I had very little free time, an it shows in my submissions log. In the period from September 2014 until the end of the year I wrote only one short story. It's also clear from the various dates and the apparent lag times how busy I was.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:23 AM

    Hi Mr. Antonelli,

    Just so you know, I sent you an e-mail about an anthology I'm working on. I really liked "On A Spiritual Plain" and I hope you consider working with me.


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