Well crap….

January 22, 2017

I’ve made some bad mistakes before. Some I’m so embarassed by I’ve blocked them, or at least go out of my way to bury them. What I did just a little bit ago might not be the worst thing ever, but I feel like I’ve made such a stupid, amateur mistake that it might cost me.

I just submitted a story to a few publications. You know, the typical thing. Unfortunately, instead of using my professional email address that I always do, I was still signed in to my regular, personal use email.

I highly doubt any of these publications even notice that stuff, let alone care. For all I know, they might have authors that use emails like footlongdong_69@yahoo.com. I don’t even know if that’s real, nor do I care. And I’m sure they don’t either.

The point is, I can’t believe I let myself overlook that basic thing. Especially because on every cover letter and within the submission itself, my professional email address was on there. They might be like, huh? But then realize what a dolt I am, and toss it in the trash.

Maybe that’s why NewMyths.com rejected the story within ten minutes?

Yep, no joke. Never happened, not ever, not once. Not even with The Dark, who is quick enough to get their rejections to me within 12 hours.

Anyway, I hope this doesn’t cost me. I doubt it will, but when it comes to the things we love, the things we put our hearts and souls into, we worry about minutae, because we demand perfection.

So why can’t we give ourselves what we want?

PS – Glad to hear about so many women in the Women’s Marches all across the country today! I know several fine ladies who participated, and I’m so proud and happy to see so many people banding together against tyranny and oppression! Keep up the awesomeness!

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The worst kind

September 16, 2016

I have a story up for critique on an online workshop. I love it, because some of my best stuff has come from the help and guidance I receive on there.

There’s one kind of critique I can’t stand, however, and guess what? I just got one of them.

To be honest, I didn’t want to finish reading the critique. Not because it was negative or made me doubt my abilities as a writer, but because it was, well…shitty.

Some people out there just don’t “get it” when it comes to fiction. I mean seriously, fiction means fake, right? So why do people look for “grounded in reality” stories and question even the most basic tropes of science fiction or fantasy? There’s an alien over there! Well that doesn’t make sense because we’ve never had any proof of that happening.

Sometimes it’s even worse. How many times can I explain that something is glowing orange, and the very last reference to it you question it? Or the fact that yes, character A is driving and character B is in the passenger seat. Why is that such a big deal? They’re just talking!

Gah…

I hate to vent like this, but geez…if you’re that clueless, should you be critiquing stories?

Probably not. But then again, I probably shouldn’t let it get to me like this.

I’m glad I’m not a heavy drinker, because this would probably cause me to guzzle half a bottle of the hard stuff…

In my last post, I briefly talked about how I have a new “real world” job, and can’t dedicate 100% of my life to writing and editing. It would be nice, but alas, duty calls. And lately, that’s about all I’ve been doing. I mean, I have been editing my novel, but not as much as I’d like.
However, I can say that the adjustment period is over. I’m back in the saddle, and getting things done (finally!). That isn’t what I want to talk about, though. Not today. I’ve got something much more important to write about today.
I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!
As we all know, I am a writer. An author. A spinner of yarns, a teller of tales. Whatever you call it, I write stories and then submit them to publications in the hopes that a lot of people will read them, and I get paid a couple of bucks.
So about two years ago, I saw a call for an anthology. I wrote a story, busted my ass on it, and sent it in. The editor wrote back, gave me a few suggestions, and I did a nice rewrite. Then I submitted it, and hoped to hear back.
I never did.
In fact, the webpage ceased being updated, all communication ended, and that publication pretty much folded, silently and painfully.
So the story sat there for a while, just collecting dust. Until a few months ago! I found another anthology with a very similar theme. After a fine-tooth lookover, I submitted the story.
Today I got the news.
It was a rejection. No surprise, as that’s the majority of what I get. But it bothered me immensely. Like, more than it really should have.
As you all know, my name is Myke Edwards. For those of you who REALLY know, my real name isn’t Myke Edwards. Let’s not worry about that, but I will say that my first name is Michael. Big shock, huh?
Well anyway, I open up this email, only to see “Hello Matthew,” at the beginning.
Matthew?
Who the fuck is Matthew?!
And my story wasn’t “Forgotten Sons” but they sure seemed to think it was. What the fuck is this shit?!
The rejection was an obvious form, saying that the story wasn’t accepted not because of the writing, but because it was either too similar to a story already accepted, or because it just didn’t fit. Hey, not only do you get my name and story title wrong, but you can’t even be bothered to tell me exactly why?
So I did what any concerned, dejected, pissed off writer would do. I wrote a reply.
I thanked them for their obvious form email. I then proceeded to question their mistake, not only on my name, but the story title as well. While it is probably nothing more than a mistake in their mail merge, I had to say something.
I then proceeded to say that while it is obvious and understandable that I (Michael) am rejected, I had to ask about it. I closed the email by saying whatever the case, point taken—meaning that I “get it” that Michael is rejected, and they don’t need to apologize for their error…although it would sure be nice!
The more I think about it, I’m not overreacting. I understand that editors are busy. They are overloaded, and have a lot more to worry about than personalized rejections to shlubs like me and Matthew. I know I don’t have enough high profile publishing credits to make any editor really give a shit, but come on, people. Have a heart!
I doubt they’ll reply. I hope not. I hope they read it, cry, and question their life choices. Who knows, maybe I’ll inspire them to give up publishing and go into charity work, or feeding the homeless? Maybe something good will come of this!
But probably not. Realistically, I’ll probably get placed on a blacklist, and get a super nasty reply from them within a month or two. One that’ll make me cry, most likely.
Tears or no, you’ll hear about it here, make no mistake.
Still, what a kick in the crotch.

UPDATE – I just checked out the website for the publisher, and they were cool enough to put up a list of accepted stories. I only say this because that seems like it never happens. My name wasn’t on there, and I’m still mad at them, though.