Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dead Parrot Society

If you've been paying attention to the sidebar (and I know you have, because you're so interested in every aspect of my fabulous career as a writer), you may have noticed how the number of stories I currently have out and where they are under consideration has been fluctuating between 14 and 17 in the last week or so. That's because I've been getting rejections (two last weekend) and shuffling stories off to the Revise pile and shuffling other stories out of the Revise pile and back into the Send pile and finding out about markets that have since died and finding new markets.

For example, Shadows of Saturn is no longer with us. They've had a story of mine since December and I only found out they were an ex-parrot by checking their website. Thanks for the note, SoS. Hello, Polly! No explanation. They must be pining for the fjords. Beautiful plumage, the Norwegian Blue.

But that's nothing. I just heard the all time winning story for non-responsiveness from a publisher, via my friend Corey Mesler - owner of Burke's Bookstore, brilliant poet, and author extraordinaire. As an aside, Corey's new novel, We are Billion Year Old Carbon, just came out, I've read it, and I really think you ought to buy it and read it, too. One of the story chapters was nominated by storySouth as one of the best online stories published in 2004.

Ok, to Corey's tale:

Saturday I got a call at home from a woman who said she was the editor of N3# P®3$&. She wanted clarification of a word in my poem. I couldn't remember the poem but she rattled on, scolding me really, saying, "We have checked and there is simply no such word." So she reads the poem to me (I still don't remember it) and she comes to the offending word: ensorcelled. I say, ahem, well, it certainly is a word and it simply means under a spell. She says, hm, well, I guess I learned a new word today. I will turn your poem over to the editors now. I say, excuse me, but before you hang up, can you tell me when I submitted this poem. She rattles some papers and says, oh, yeah, 2000. Over five years ago, I say. And she says, yes, it just came to my attention.

Hello, Polly! I've a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you!

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