As I mentioned back in this article, I had “set a ludicrous goal.” You might also have seen me mentioned Project “S” on my social media feeds. These two are one and the same, and now will be revealed.
Project “S” is actually a short story that I’ve written since falling ill back on the 10th, titled “Salvaging Life.” At just under 4000 words, it’s a Science Fiction tale about a space-based salvaging crew that makes first contact with an alien species. Its entire purpose – besides telling a story that I wanted to create and all that jazz – was simple: have it be my first piece ever submitted to Clarkesworld Magazine.
Yeah, talk about shooting for the stars, right? Well, that was entirely the point. Due to the recent euphoric experience I had when I was accepted by Fireside Magazine, I decided that I needed to make an effort that either went big or went home. So I wrote the story, edited it multiple times, then sent it out for consideration.
It took less than 24 hours before I received a form rejection. When I saw it, I smiled happily.
“Wait, who the hell wants to hear they’ve been rejected?” I can hear you yelling. The answer is, the guy who wanted to be told that he wasn’t some jewel that just hadn’t been seen yet, who wanted to know that he wasn’t squandering some miraculous gift during those long nights where no progress was made.
If I had been accepted, I’d have sincerely felt like there was something wrong with the universe. I’d then also feel self-loathing at my squandering of my literary abilities (as if I didn’t already, but still). In a way, as amazing as being accepted would be, it feels better that I was knocked back down a peg.
It has felt like every time I shot for the stars – first being published, then being accepted by Fireside, ect – I wound up striking my mark. I needed to feel like I wasn’t infallible. So now here I sit with a complete short story that is looking for a home. There are plenty of options for me to take, so I’ll figure out what to do with it at some point.
For now, however, I’ll be quite content to be in the same mud as many of my fellow writers and work on more edits for other projects and imagine new tales to tell.