Officially closed. I think tonight I managed to break my writer's block with an image of a decomposing corpse reflected in a bar mirror. After that I started another piece, a bartender narrating a ghost story to a patron, with the reader as the patron. No, there's no expected dialogue to be imagined. I just kinda wanted to put the reader into the position of being the guy on the other side of a wooden bar with a talkative (and bored) bartender.
I checked my submission list the other day and came up with:
"Dead Air" at Aberrant Dreams I'm thinking this one either got lost, or was a rejection that never got sent out, or some other such thing. It's been well over 100 days. I had heard stories about slow response times...but man oh man...
"Tribe of Harry" at The New Yorker All I want this year is a rejection on their letterhead and a bit of personalization. That'd be almost as good as an acceptance from anywhere else.
"Demon Whiskey" at Harvest Hill I have no illusions of this one getting accepted, but I am looking forward to the comments when that rejection finally comes in.
"Poppa Bear" at Cause and Effect This piece has been called interesting but too sentimental, strong characters that turn into caricature, etc. The general consensus was that it needed some story work, which got done and got it resubmitted somewhere else.
"The Simple Account of Sergeant Shea, Immediately Prior to the End of the World" at Allegory Ezine , a piece that I had fun writing and submitted after a rewrite only at the urging of the undeniable Ms. Gardner, who insisted it could be found a home somewhere. I don't really mind, it was written for me.
"Big Jim Can Wait" and "Winter Wonderland" at Northern Haunts Anthology , if for no other reason than I had so much fun writing my accepted piece, "Many Comforting Words", that I wanted to write two more.
"Linguistic Prescription" at Postcards from Hell , a surefire rejection in waiting, but I'll be honest, I'm starting to get a kick out of reading the rejection letters for this piece, so I'm going to keep sending it out there.
"Sacrifice of Man and Cloth" at Saint Ann's Review , because, like the New Yorker, I want a rejection from these people.
"No Tell Motel" at OG's Speculative Fiction Magazine . Ever since it got shortlisted and then cut from Voices Anthology , this sucker has been making the rounds, racking up two form rejections in less than a month and a half.
In addition to this, I have a basic idea for the Malpractice anthology if I can get it running, the aforementioned Bar Story got it's first two intro paragraphs done tonight (my writing time must be fit into a busy schedule, don't harp on me), and a developing idea for a serious piece after I finally finish "Norton's Watching".
On other fronts, work is going well. A couple more weeks and I'll be shifting calls without supervision, the pay is good, and even on a tight budget we manage to live a decent life. Worrying now about Christmas, what with three kids and all.
So...how're you all doing?