I’ve finished a big nonfiction project that I was working on, and before starting the next one on my list I’m going to take a bit of a break and look through my unsubmitted or rejected poetry and stories and try to get some of those out in the world for consideration. I’ve been so focused for the past 7 months that I’ve even neglected updating my fiction submission files, which I’m normally quite good at, and have not submitted any of my available poems or stories in quite a few months.
It looks like I have sixteen short stories that I could submit. Two of these have previously sold but ended up never being published. Interestingly, both are SF tales. One is “Floater,” which I wrote many years ago and which has been rejected by virtually everyone. It did sell once but that magazine folded before it could appear. The main problem with the tale is that it’s too long and the ending doesn’t hit with quite enough payoff. The second one is “Love in the Time of Cybersex,” which was written for and which sold to a nice anthology that ended up never being printed. I’ve sent this out a couple of other times to SF mags without luck. I think the story is a bit romantic for most of the SF readership, although it was perfect for the anthology’s guidelines.
To my thinking, the best story of the bunch is a microfiction piece called “An Affair of the Heart.” I can’t figure out why this hasn’t sold because everyone who has read it has laughed out loud and loved it, but it might be because it doesn’t really fit in any specific genre. It’s been submitted a lot of times but I’m not giving up on it. Another piece I really like is “Unicorn Lost,” which I’ve also submitted a bunch and which a writer friend of mine named David Lanoue referred to as the best thing I’ve ever written. It’s still unsold, likely because it is quite an experimental piece and also doesn’t easily fit into any particular genre.
The two most recent pieces are “Sundered Man,” which is a heroic fantasy retelling of Shakespeare, and a political story which will remain unnamed and which is probably way too perverted and sick to ever see print. I wrote the latter when I was completely wasted on Vodka, and if it is published it’ll be under a pseudonym. I’ve debated not submitting it at all, but dammit it does have some interesting things to say.
How about you? Do you have any stories you will never try to publish? Do you have any stories that you’re particularly fond of but which have never sold? Do you give up on stories after a few rejections, or do you keep sending them out into the world to sink or swim?
BTW, those glowing green eyes? We're pretty sure they're a big old coon who comes around most every night. Of course, who knows if he's really a coon or just masquerading as one.