A story of mine that I’d written awhile back, When Death Comes, was originally rejected by Fireside Magazine. I’d written it, initially, just for them and it was meant to fit into their guidelines.
Now, Fireside only had a couple of slots for their seldom released issues, and they had an absolute ton of people apply for those spots. With their previous line-up including such names as Neil Gaiman and Chuck Wendig, however, I knew I was throwing myself to pure-blooded wolves.
It was, however, my first actual form rejection. While I had braced for rejections before, it hit me in a different way than I had expected. Instead of the gut-wrenching “I am a miserable sack of crap that shouldn’t bother writing” idea, it subtly made me slow down on sending out other material or even opening Scrivener. It was slow, it was subtle, and it was toxic.
After I got that first rejection, I looked at this story and it made me second guess the whole thing. “This story is just … too much of a sharp turn,” I remember thinking. I thought it would be impossible to have someone pick it up.
So then I sent it out to another magazine, Petrichor Machine. It took a couple months, but I was finally handed a personal rejection there. While I took comfort in that it was personalized, it was still a rejection none the less.
After that, the feelings from earlier had been renewed. Again I found myself staring at the story, wondering just what in the hell I’d actually bothered to write, to create.
Then, come January, I found myself getting back into my writing circles. That isn’t to say I found myself leaving a reclusive lifestyle, since this hobby of mine lends itself to the reclusive attention-whores like myself. Either way, I found myself chatting with Doug Lance, Editor in Chief with eFiction Magazine. We talked and bantered, then I remembered I hadn’t sent him anything in awhile.
Resolving that I needed to get something out, I took another look at When Death Comes. I liked what I had, even if I knew it was a bit different towards the end. Call it creator’s bias or what have you, but I decided I’d send it to Doug and see if he could make something of it.
It was at the tail-end of January that I sent him the story. On Friday, 2/22/13, I signed the contract with eFiction for them to pick the story up for their March 1st issue. I haven’t heard explicitly why they chose to pick it up, but I can only imagine if they’d seen the same thing in the story that I did when I wrote it.
So yes, Ladies and Gents, When Death Comes will reside in the March 1st issue of eFiction Magazine. If you want to have a read at it, you’ll be able to pick up a copy this Friday (the 1st) from their website, Amazone, Barnes & Noble, ect.
The story itself is about a man waiting to have a face-off with three other partner’s in crime, but recounting his actions that led him there to a strange woman who shows up at his doorstep. I tried to drop a few hints and allusions to what comes later in the story, including using one character’s name as an anagram, so keep your eye open.
Until the release, and for some time afterward, I get to contemplate how my seeming failure has turned into another success. For the immediate and foreseeable future, however, it’s back to work on a mixture of Under a Falling Sky and Blood in the Machine.
What the hell is wrong with me, and how come nothing seems to stay a failure?