I include e-mail in this. But here’s the deal — writers live and die by the mail carrier. Here is what I am waiting for:

Word on two short stories, and Duotrope says that a response should be coming any day now for both of them.

Royalty checks

The letter from the rich benefactor who wants to turn all of my books and short stories into movies

A short list, yes, but it makes the day a little bright with anticipation. Except for Sunday but that makes Monday’s mail all the sweeter. And while it seems that constant disappointment can dull that sharp edge, Wednesday’s mail delivered the cocaine jolt to the monkey brain.

Nothing like the next check of the advance money to hit the mailbox.

I’m still waiting on the rich patron, and the clock continues to tick, but I got my fix.




A3 · April 7, 2012 at 9:46 am

So what is your threshold for _any day now_ based on duotrope? I start getting hopeful when I see that a market has responded to multiple stories that they received after mine, figuring that means they’re at least considering it. Until then, I figure it’s just in the queue.

And email comes even on Sundays. 🙂

Patrice Sarath · April 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

So I go by a combination of the market’s own submission website and duotrope. So for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, they say like, don’t query til 5 months have passed. And then I check on duotrope and see if there have been other responses. And then I forget for a week until something reminds me, and then I dither about querying, and then I query and one of three things happens:

They say oh yeah we rejected that (I hate when that happens)
We never got it, resend (sigh, mutter mutter, resend)
Give us a few more days, we’re still deciding. (this actually happened to me, and then they buy it.)

See how rational and logical it all is?

A3 · April 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Ah, so your “any day now” means “I’m thinking I might have to send a query” whereas mine means “I think they’ve read it … so I’ll probably get a response soon.” I should probably adopt yours; it might make the wait easier (like the sea captain waiting to see his family in Jane Austen’s _Persuasion_ and “pretending to deceive himself, and saying, ‘They cannot be here till such a day,’ but all the while hoping for them twelve hours sooner”). Ah, Jane Austen. So wise. I’d definitely still be hoping for them twelve hours sooner.

Patrice Sarath · April 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Just because I do the former doesn’t mean I don’t also do the latter. ; -) I do know that most magazines are the most unbelievably chaotic places imaginable, with interns and copy and pizza boxes all over the place. In one of my story sales, the editor bought it even though she had lost the last page somewhere and there was…not a twist but closure on that page. She also pulled it from the stack ahead of 100s of others, not because I’m special but because …well can you imagine what her office looked like?

I love Persuasion with a fiery love. Thank you for the quote. Human nature: waiting for the 12 hours sooner.

A3 · April 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel.

Patrice Sarath · April 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I think it’s her best book. Pride & Prejudice is my sentimental favorite but Persuasion I love more for its craft. She really did reach the height of her writing powers. It’s such a shame that she died so young.

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