I had begun to despair that this piece would ever be published, even though I consider it to be one of my better stories. It had some strikes against it - it's long, over 13,000 words, it's historical, set in a period which few people know much about, and it contains somewhat graphic sexual content - too graphic for most mainstream publications.
The story was rejected by all the wrong magazines and anthologies, and that it's finally being published is a testament to the importance of finding the right market. When a story is rejected, it's not always because it sucks. Sometimes it sucks, but not always. Often, it's just not right for the magazine. Keep in mind the last two of Heinlein's Rules of Writing:
- You must put the work on the market.
- You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
If you believe in your work, you have to keep trying.