Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hope Springs

Well, I’m officially silly. I’ve been striving for this recognition for quite some time, and although I was recognized for my silliness by Lana, I have to admit that I half suspected her of bias. Now I have independent corroboration of my silliness, however, and can feel comfortable in proclaiming it to the world. Lest some of you doubt my achievement, just eyeball the pretty little picture below. Read the caption. And bow, or at least offer the glorious raspberry of goofiness, to my greatness.

Why did I receive such an award, you may well ask? And if you don’t I shall tell you anyway. It’s for a story called “Mirthgar,” which I recently submitted to a humorous fantasy anthology. And which was acknowledged today as “worthy” of inclusion among other jewels of jocularity. I’m not sure when this will be published but will let everyone know.

Just in case readers of this blog begin to suppose, based upon my last couple of posts, that every word that falls from my word processor is immediately snapped up for publication, let me copy a selected section of my submission record below:

Dec 1, 2007 – Sub “Love in the Time of Cybersex” to Space & Time. Rejected.
Dec 1, 2007 – Sub “Life is Football” to Today’s Christian. Rejected.
Dec 1, 2007 – Sub “Charade You Are” to Otherworlds Anthology. Rejected.
Dec 1, 2007 – Sub “Unicorn Lost” to Coyote Wild
Dec 6, 2007 – Sub “Insomnia in a Quantum World” to Abyss & Apex. Rejected.
Dec 6, 2007 – Sub “Silence Razored” to Abyss & Apex. Rejected.
Dec 6, 2007 – Sub “You Were There” to Abyss & Apex. Rejected.
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “Blue Soul” to Dreams & Nightmares. Accepted 12-23-07:
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “With Souls Electric” to Dreams & Nightmares. Rejected.
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “Exquisite Machine” to Dreams & Nightmares. Rejected.
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “In Poetry We Trust” to Dreams & Nightmares. Rejected.
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “Neuronomicon” to Dreams & Nightmares. Rejected.
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “Recompense Reprise” to Niteblade. Accepted, one line change
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “Psychosorcery” to Niteblade. Rejected.
Dec 7, 2007 – Sub “Need” to Niteblade. Rejected.
Dec 11, 2007 – Sub “Emotion and Medium in Writing” to Bret Funk. Published
Dec 28, 2007 – Thank you note to Dreams & Nightmares.
Dec 29, 2007 – email note to Space & Time, thanks for consideration.

Jan 1, 2008 – Sub “The Unshriven” to MicroSpec.
Jan 1, 2008 – Sub “Inspiration” to MicroSpec.
Jan 1, 2008 – Sub “Love in the Time of Cybersex” to Strange Horizons. Rejected
Jan 2, 2008 – Sub “Worms in the Earth” to Flashing Swords. Contract Sent.
Jan 3, 2008 – Sub “Plague” to Whispers of Wickedness. Rejected.
Jan 3, 2008 – Sub “In Poetry We Trust” to Whispers of Wickedness. Rejected.
Jan 3, 2008 – Sub “Forever” to Whispers of Wickedness. Rejected.
Jan 3, 2008 – Sub “Exquisite Machine” to Whispers of Wickedness. Rejected.
Jan 3, 2008 – Sub “Neuronomicon” to Whispers of Wickedness. Maybe?
Jan 5, 2008 – Email thank you note to Flashing Swords.
Jan 5, 2008 – Sub “Grammar Primer” to Bret Funk. Published.
Jan 6, 2008 – Sub “Branded” to Star*Line. Rejected.
Jan 6, 2008 – Sub “She Is” to Star*Line. Rejected.
Jan 6, 2008 – Sub “Song to a Rose” to Star*Line. Rejected.
Jan 6, 2008 – Sub “Remember” to Star*Line. Rejected.
Jan 6, 2008 – Sub “Far Beyond Home” to Star*Line. Rejected.
Jan 10, 2008 – emailed note back to Whispers of Wickedness.
Jan 26, 2008 – Sub “Mirthgar” to Silly Fantasy Anthology. Accepted
Jan 29, 2008 – Sub Where it Wanders, 500 words to blog contest. Rejected.
Jan 30, 2008 – email Strange Horizons thank you for consideration.
Jan 30, 2008 – Sub “Love in the Time of Cybersex” to Heliotrope.
Feb 2, 2008 – email Abyss and Apex acknowledgement to their email.

Rejections are a fact of life for writers. 2008 has been a good year for me so far, but as you can see from the entries above there have been more rejections than acceptances. So what. You keep going. A story comes back, it goes out again. I got a rejection on “Love in the Time of Cybersex” on January 30 and sent it out again later that same day, even though I had to edit out 250 words to get it down to the submission requirements for that market. You get a rejection, you send a note to that magazine saying thanks for their consideration. Because you know it’s nothing personal. And one day you might send something their way again. Maybe they’ll even take it. Hope springs eternal in the mind of a writer.

By the way, when I first posted this I forgot to mention that many of these subs are poetry. To avoid confusion, the stuff to Star*line, Abyss and Apex, Niteblade, Whispers of Wickedness, and Dreams and Nightmares is all poetry. The stories here are "Love in the Time of Cybersex," "Charade You Are," and "Unicorn Lost." "The Unshriven" and "Inspiration" are microfictions. "Life is Football" is an essay.

Also, this is not all recently written stuff. Some of it's new. Some is older stuff I'm still submitting.


Lisa said...

Well congratulations on the silliness award, Dr.Gramlich. Although "silly" wouldn't be one of the first words to come to mind when I think of you, it is an honorable word indeed and few people appreciate silly more than I do. I also appreciate your matter of fact sharing of submissions, acceptances and rejections. It's a testament to both your perseverance and the unpredictability of this business and serves to remind us that rejection isn't personal. Although, I'm really starting to root for "Love in the Time of Cybesex" finding a good home soon :)

Lana Gramlich said...

I knew it, I knew it! You are SO silly! :) Where do the editors who rejected you live? Lemme at 'em, LEMME AT 'EM!!!

Miladysa said...


I always take away something with me every time I visit this blog.

As Lisa has just said, thank you for sharing your submissions, acceptances and rejections with us.

I am also intrigued with "Love in the Time of Cybesex"!

Shauna Roberts said...

Congratulations on getting your story accepted and for official acknowledgment of your silliness.

Maybe it's because we've only exchanged a few words in person and I know you primarily through your blog, I've always thought of you as being on the serious side.

Do you always send a thank you note for rejections? I've always worried that further contact about a particular piece, even to say thank you for a kind word or quick response, would be a burden to the editor since they have so many submissions to read.

virtual nexus said...

Congratulations on Mirthgar - and admiration for the unflagging persistence re the other lot....!

Precie said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing! That's impressive.

ZZZZZZZ said...

That is terrific! Congrats and keep the silliness coming! We could all use a little silliness once in a while.

david mcmahon said...

Mate, cheer up. Twelve publishers told an unknown writer that he manuscript was rubbish. A thirteenth publisher saw value in it.

The writer was JK Rowling.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, I'm rooting for "Love in the time of Cybersex" myself. I know it's a good story. It'll eventually find a home.

Lana, awwww. My number one fan! You too sweet.

Miladysa, that's just a smidgen of 'em. Though I tend to go long periods without having much change to submit stuff. When I do get time I send it all out.

Shauna, thanks. Actually, I think I'm a fairly serious person most of the time, but I've gotten less serious living with Lana. She's good for helping me see the lighter side of things. I do enjoy writing an occasional humorous piece, though. As for the notes, I don't send a formal "thank you note," but I do send an email or a brief note in letter form saying "thanks for considering my work. Just a sentence or two doesn't take them much time to read and I feel like it's an important touch.

Julie, I realized when I got through graduate school that stubborness was one of my better qualities.

Precie, thanks for visiting.

Sheila, Lana wouldn't let me go long without silliness. She considers it an important food group.

David, like I say, rejections don't really get me down. I try not to take them personally.

Travis Cody said...

Congratulations on being silly!

Life is way too long not to fill it with silliness. Wait...maybe I meant life is too short not to fill it with silliness.

Well, whatever it is that I'm trying to say, please know that I have tossed confetti and flaming walnuts in your general direction, and will be juggling leprechauns later while singing in the rain to honor your achievement in silly.

LoveRundle said...

So far, two rejection letters to start this year off and one, "I'll think about it." Good thing I have such a strong back bone.

LoveRundle said...

Forgot to mention your list of stories is amazing. Really inspirational for beginners like me.

steve on the slow train said...

I'm rooting for "Love in the time of Cybersex," too, and I've read only the title. The sheer volume of your submissions is impressive. And I know you're a good writer.

Charles Gramlich said...

RRN, thankee.

Travis, that means a lot coming from you, my friend. I've long suspected you were quite the silly fellow. ;)

Christina, I should have mentioned that some of this is poetry subs. The stuff to Star*line, Abyss and Apex, Niteblade, Whispers of wickedness and Dreams and Nightmares" is all poetry. The stories there are "Love in the Time of Cybersex," "Charade You Are," and "Unicorn Lost." "The Unshriven" and "Inspiration" are microfictions. "Life is football" is an essay.

Steve, thanks. Of course this is not all stuff I've done recently. Some of it's new. Some is older stuff I'm still submitting. And some is being submitted as possible reprints.

the walking man said...

Well now...as the king of boobs I hereby nominate thee for position of court jester. By the by if you reject this please send no note of thanks as I will be to caught up in my boobery to read it.

One festering question though, how does such a silly man find the time to do what the boobs never do, which is work and, write and, publish like a dervish?



Michelle's Spell said...

Congratulations on all the acceptances! As for rejection, damn, I do know how you feel. There should be a whole class on it in any creative writing program about how to deal with it gracefully -- the note sending is brilliant as it is classy and also says, I am not dead! My latest rejection said, "You knocked this one out of the park, but we have no room. The other two poems were weak." The other two poems have already been picked up elsewhere, the one that I "knocked out of the park" has been at every journal on planet earth for years without so much as a kiss my ass on the rejection notes. Such are the vagaries of publication.

Bernita said...

And the other lesson here,besides the fact that good writers get rejected, is that you have to keep sending stuff out!

Chris Eldin said...

You may be silly,but you are WAY organized!
Thanks for sharing your journey. I never assumed it was easy for you, but I had no idea how many stories you've written and how many you are subbing.
Kudos for the ones making it!!!!


writtenwyrdd said...

My god, you are prolific! I never figured everything you wrote got published, though. Just sayin'.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, the secret compartment of my ring I fill, with an underdog super energy pill.

Michelle, that is so weird when you have a piece that you just "know" is good and yet time after time it goes out and...nothing. Such a strange biz.

Bernita, and out, and out, and out. Yes.

Christine, thanks. I do have a lot of stuff, it seems.

Writtenwyrd, you know I never think of myself as prolific because I tend to write very slowly. It's just that I've been at it a while and I tend to write every day so the stuff builds up.

WH said...

I always heard that rejection slips make excellent wallpaper, and a friend of mine even "did" his office in these slips. Not as classy as using NEW YORKER covers, but it actually looked pretty cool. It's a numbers game anyway. Sure does eat a lot of postogae, though.

Erik Donald France said...

"So what. You keep going. A story comes back, it goes out again"

Priceless advice for anyone, silly or not.

Charles Gramlich said...

Billy, I remember spending lots of money in postage although these days I do a lot of subbing through email so that saves money.

Erik, thanks.

Josephine Damian said...

What I'm most amazed at is your organizational skils- keeping tracks of all those stories and dates.

Do you make house calls, Dr. Gramlich? Cause I can use some help in the organizational dept.

Seriously, a short story credit! Woot! And a funny one at that. Did you know in TV, the highest paid writers are the comedy writers? It's way harder to be funy on the page than most folk realize.

I seem to remember Moonrat saying on Jan 1: "I think 2008 is going to really rock!" Charles, let's hope this acceptance bug is contagious for all our blog buddies. Of course, it's all about perseverance.

Stacia said...

Congrats on the silliness award!

And wow, you are prolific, aren't you?

Danette Haworth said...

Prolific is definitely the word! C

Congrats on the acceptance and good luck on the other pieces.

I've got some short stories making the rounds, but as it's been said here before, the lit mags take an awfully long time to respond and many of them don't take SSs and they read only during the school year. Short stories can grow long in tooth while having visited only a few editors' desks.

Sphinx Ink said...

Congrats, Charles, on persisting over the years, not just in your writing but also in submitting. Thanks for posting that list, which shows the reality of life as a writer.

As we all know, we can't be published if we don't submit, and we can't submit if we don't write. I admire your self-discipline and drive, as well as your talent.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Well congrats. I am jealous. But then you are a wonderful writer, dedicated and true. Where do you send these things to?

Perhaps I should get off my duff and get busy. Charles this only shows me what I thought to be true all along, you are wonderful and I am sre Lana would agree!


Tyhitia Green said...

Congratulations on your award. You have to have a sense of humor in this very serious, scary world. :*)

Charles Gramlich said...

Josephine, I am organized. I'll give myself that. I may lag in other ways but I can keep track of stuff when I set my mind to it. Yes, I hope 2008 rocks for us all.

Stacia, you're one to talk. Most of these are short pieces or poems. Not whole novels like you've been writing.

Danette, yes, I'm amazed sometimes to realize how long ago I wrote a piece that still hasn't sold, and yet it's only been out three times maybe.

Sphinx, thankee. It keeps me busy, and is better for me than watching the NFL network and drinking beer all day.

Tara, I get a market report from the Horror Writers Association, of which I'm a member, and I find other markets from checking out online sources. I find quite a few possible sources from looking at blogs by writers who are doing the same kinds of things I do. I also visit online forums such as Unified SciFi forum and SF reader forum, which often contain market tidbits.

Demon Hunter, thanks. Humor does make a pretty good defense against the slings and arrows.

Cate Gardner said...

Congratulations on making the Silly Anthology - and kudos for getting so many submissions out there and not giving up.