Five Minute Rant

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LDWriter2
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:13 pm

LaurieG wrote:My 2 cents, LD. Take the "good points" your critiques pointed out, and strengthen them.

Also, re-read a story you wrote a year ago. Do you see things you would do better now? If so, your writing IS getting better, and you're mostly suffering from lack of self confidence. Neil Gaiman confesses that, about 3/4 through writing a novel, he is ready to quit being a writer because he "knows" he's no good. And that's after winning Hugos, Nebulas, World Fantasy Awards, and many others!

I'd offer to see your work, as other generous forumites have, but I'm busy preparing for my son's wedding in a few weeks. wotf007


Thanks for the thoughts and Congrats to your son.

From what I understand most pros go through that. A couple have even quit for a while over it-that is after sells and awards.

But besides a couple of "very good"s from none writers and new writers I don't get any statements that would give me confidence. Well, usually. Two HMs from Dave help but even the editors who usual say something, like at BCS, don't add anything extra. That lazy writing comment from Edith at Universe Annex still burns.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LaurieG » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:40 am

What the hell. Send your best story my way and let's see if I can give you some input. Just keep in mind that I have yet to make a pro sale, only semi pro's. And those 2 Finalists. But I have gotten good critiques on my Semi's, and one from a major editor, so at least I know what makes a critique helpful. I'll PM my email.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:03 am

Louis, I've made comments over at Baen's Bar. Plus I've tried to re-write the setting of one scene to show how you might increase the pace of the story. I hope this helps a little.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:01 pm

I will send the story but it looks I may have my answer.


But one thing I thought of this afternoon

I do think I am getting better. I am doing what I am told to do, so it would seem I have to be getting better.That is one thing that is frustrating-no one else thinks so. Except a couple of people over on Google+. I am doing some flash stories based on pictures. Basically just write it, spell check it and post it, sometimes with a bit of revising. Nothing like I am doing on these stories though. The stories could use some more work which I have done on a couple of them later. I do get a couple of positive comments. But that's it.


And no positive comments in the critiques either. I have read positive comments by Edith for a couple of writers but except one story a couple of years ago, she has never left me any. Pretty much the same for everyone else with any story.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
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published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:07 pm

I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. The writing that made up my story turned out to be almost a mess.

So I redid the opening. Started the story later and it's more condensed. Or so I hope. The next section may stay pretty much the same. I won't say what it involves since I may send it back in the next Q2. Unless it sells by then but I don't expect that. Anyway, there are smaller areas of the next section I may delete and others rewrite as I did the opening. The ending? I am not sure. I have not gotten a lot of feedback on that.

If anyone wants to read the new version, it might be done by Sunday. Or so I plan. But I have a couple of other things to do too.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby emilymccosh » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:36 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. The writing that made up my story turned out to be almost a mess.

So I redid the opening. Started the story later and it's more condensed. Or so I hope. The next section may stay pretty much the same. I won't say what it involves since I may send it back in the next Q2. Unless it sells by then but I don't expect that. Anyway, there are smaller areas of the next section I may delete and others rewrite as I did the opening. The ending? I am not sure. I have not gotten a lot of feedback on that.

If anyone wants to read the new version, it might be done by Sunday. Or so I plan. But I have a couple of other things to do too.


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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:56 am

I have today, for the first time, replied to a rejection. Usually I just note the contents, take or reject any criticism and move on to the next submission.

However this 135 day personal rejection from Enter The Apocalypse was different:

The writing in this piece actually made me feel the acidic air. However the story of a man taking his family (without agreement) to some final destination doesn’t work for me as it doesn’t seem to wrap up anything.

A perceptive PR you may say. What's wrong with that?

Just this. My story contained no acidic air, nor men taking their families anywhere (with or without agreement), neither to a final destination nor anywhere else.

I am not hoping for a reprieve. I assume this error is the result of a mismatched mail-merge. However if one has come to me there must be a chance others have gone or will go out and I thought I should point this out.

Double Rant. I had submitted a sequel to Enter the Aftermath. I suppose I should expect shortly to receive a rejection for that too.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby amoskalik » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:29 am

I would say you are justified in pointing that error out as it is something they should be eager to correct. I have a submission to Aftermath as well. Hopefully they have their processes in better shape when they start on that one.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:54 am

Actually I should correct myself - my other submission is for Rebirth not Aftermath. Nevertheless, I suspect they'll be more careful in future because -

TARANTARAA! I got a reply to my reply. This offered an alternative personal rejection. Slight problem. Wasn't mine either.

I replied to this effect.

Got another reply. (I paraphrase.) Was I quite sure my story wasn't ...? Wait a minute, is this one yours? Yes, third time lucky.

Got a third personal rejection, considerably less complimentary than either of the first two!

But in the interests of all who come after, we also serve who only rant with fate. wotf013
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby emilymccosh » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:09 pm

Okay, I've been telling myself that I shouldn't complain too much about this because I've waited longer for a reply before, but it is driving me NUTS!

I have had my SHM story at Asimov's for 115 days now, and not a peep! Not even a change on the submission portal! Their guidelines says they mostly respond between 5 weeks, but query after 3 months. 5 weeks passed. 3 months passed. Queried. Still nothing.

The crazy part of my writer brain is going 'oh my gosh, they're never going to respond. I am stuck in a submission black hole!!!'

The more logical side of me realizes they'll get to me eventually, and they're just busy.

But, the logical side of my brain is not the dominant one when it comes to my stories. *sigh*

Okay, I feel better. wotf008
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:47 am

emilymccosh wrote:Okay, I've been telling myself that I shouldn't complain too much about this because I've waited longer for a reply before, but it is driving me NUTS!

I have had my SHM story at Asimov's for 115 days now, and not a peep! Not even a change on the submission portal! Their guidelines says they mostly respond between 5 weeks, but query after 3 months. 5 weeks passed. 3 months passed. Queried. Still nothing.

The crazy part of my writer brain is going 'oh my gosh, they're never going to respond. I am stuck in a submission black hole!!!'

The more logical side of me realizes they'll get to me eventually, and they're just busy.

But, the logical side of my brain is not the dominant one when it comes to my stories. *sigh*

Okay, I feel better. wotf008


Asimov's have been on a massive go-slow of late. They pretty much stopped reading for 100 days from June 1 for no apparent reason. But it has started moving again (and I have the form rejection to prove it wotf008) so hang in there.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:53 am

My lead submission to Asimov's is approaching 170 days. NNiNN!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby amoskalik » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:57 pm

I'm at 126 days. They must have lost their slush readers or something because they are now slower than Tor used to be.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby emilymccosh » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:03 am

Well, it appears I'm in good company then!! wotf019
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
1 very hopeful: V34 Q2

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby disgruntledpeony » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:32 pm

This thread's been quiet for awhile, so I might as well contribute! Sent a story that I personally would categorize as a Weird West story to a semi-pro market (it's basically worked its way out of all the pro markets). They said it was more Fantasy than Weird West, so they weren't interested. And, I mean... I guess I maybe haven't read enough Weird West fiction or something, because it seemed viable to me? It's set in 1880s Texas, there's a combination of Native American and European fantasy elements... Is there some other criteria I'm supposed to be meeting?

Ahh well. On to the next market! (As soon as I find one.)
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:21 pm

Been a while since I have been here. Mainly because I haven't been sending out stories. And that is what this rant is about. Got half a dozen new stories with one to three times they have been sent out, but I am so far out of the habit I just don't think about it when I have the time. Ugh, I know my writing has improved but maybe subconsciously I think I still have no chance. Or I am just too busy with novels. Whatever the case I need to send out some.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:02 pm

Do it!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:31 pm

Been while since I have been here. I have been busy with Indie publishing books and writing them. And writing a few very short stories to pictures. All are under 600 words but many are 200 to 400 words. A couple around 100.

Anyway, still learning to write and all that, which brings me to something I badly need to rant, or vent on. If you read this and or comment Wait to I get to the end. The what might surprise you.


I have taken what is, I think, my third online workshop from Dean Wesley Smith. Second for sure. This one is about writing and selling short stories. I learned more than I expected because it included a lecture series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch on short stories. We had to write a total of four short stories as if we were writing for an anthology. So they each had a premise, 3,000 to 6,000 words, in by each Sunday, and had to be professionally formatted. Dean read them and Kristine read at least some of them. He explained what he liked or what he did not like about them. Why he stopped reading etc. He read each of mine all the way through, made some very complimentary comments Told me-almost commanded me-to send the Urban Fantasy story to a fantasy market. And he ended the last one by saying that he enjoys reading my stories. He started reading my stories for Strange New Worlds way back when and has read a few complete stories and a few openings along the way. Starting with the last two SNWs he has said good things about my writing.

Okay, now we reached the point of my Rant.

Snarl, He. Is. The. Only. Editor. Who Likes. My. Work. And he is not buying! He describes how editors start noticing certain writers and even start to look forward to read stories by them even though they are not quite good enough to buy. By nice if some of that would show up. I can't even get the few editors who write more notes than usual, to say anything. Well, Sheila Williams did say once she didn't mind reading my stories. I am upset and feel like roaring. But since I have been learning and since I have a couple of fans for those picture stories, maybe these will be better received. I do need to get back in the habit of sending out stories. I could probably send out 12 to 20 if I got on the ball.

So now I have four stories that need to be sent out-actually around seven all together. But one thing he doesn't do is notice certain things, like off grammar and typos that most editors demand. So I figure I better get mine grammar checked. Nothing else just that. I have asked about four of then, in a couple of places. So, I have stories that might attract the attention of an editor. I know where I will be sending most of those stories. I need a market for a thriller type though, but they are just sitting there waiting.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morganb » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:01 am

I totally feel your pain, LD. You meet that one editor and the two of you totally connect and they really like what they're seeing in your work, but your work isn't selling at THEIR OWN MAGAZINE. Argh!

Workshops are unique because it's a smaller group of writers and the workshop leader -- in this case DWS -- gets a chance to see everyone's stories firsthand. Only trouble is that outside that workshop setting, out in the real world, you have to pass through the slush readers, and their tastes may be much different than the editor's, and they are usually reading stories blind, meaning they have no idea who the author is. Not only that, but your story is up against hundreds of weekly submissions. And since there is limited space in a magazine, the publishing staff has to be very selective in what they choose.

There are so many reasons why good stories aren't selected for publication with a particular venue at a particular moment from a particular reader. Keep writing, keep submitting, and when a story doesn't make it through one magazine, send it out to the next, and the next, and the next. I keep telling myself that my stories will eventually find a home. Seven years now and I'm still telling myself that. I know I'm getting close though because I'm starting to collect personal rejections, which probably frustrate me more than form rejections because I'm close . . . so CLOSE . . . just not quite good enough.

Keep writing new stories and keep improving your craft. You'll get there!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Just wanted to say that I responded a day ago, but must have clicked the wrong button because it isn't here. Or it showed up on another thread. But among other things I said Thanks for the response.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:14 pm

It had been so long I forgot. The system that Analog, Asimov's and the two mystery mag, use for the online submissions does not like my version of .doc files. It always says it's too long no matter how short the story. With Asimov's I can use .rtf but my current WP doesn't do that format. I have an older version that still does so I tried that one. But if I recall right, they won't be able to read it even though it went through. And now my first Mystery to Ellery Queen is stalled for they only take .doc files.


Pardon me as I pound my computer desk.

If I recall correct, a second time, Analog will work for me but I need to finish revising of those four stories to be able to check on that. Somehow I got a couple of stories to Sheila William but they may have just been 500 words and less, or I did something I forget. ug Ug UG.


Drum fingers...

Same with Analog. They only take .doc files even though I am still sure I sent them stories somehow.
So the story went to IGMS instead. And after I revise another story a bunch I will send it to BCS. Oops, forgot I have a fantasy on my laptop. hmm another fantasy mag someplace?
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby YM Pang » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:26 pm

I've gotten three form rejections today (one for a story "Held for further consideration") and the day isn't even over. Grumble, grumble. Normally rejections don't bother me (or rather, they bother me less than many other writerly annoyances), but it's nicer when they don't come in a big batch...

And right after I gleefully announced a sale too. So the universe can laugh at me. :P
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Sataris » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:10 am

i feel you. i just had a market that doesn't ask for revisions very often ask me to make some pretty specific ones, so I went ahead and made them, then they told me that the story was worse for the changes I'd made and rejected it. i dont take the rejection personally, but man, a little surprised they felt the need to insult the material after all that, lol. wont be submitting there again.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:14 pm

Second time I have done this. I hit Post reply but my note just disappeared the other day.

Anyway, When I used to send out a bunch of stories I would get anywhere from two to six back in one day. Not enjoyable.


In fact yesterday I just received two rejections. Finlay took a little longer than he has in the past. He did say to send in another one, of course no extra note, but that probably means he read the whole thing. And another "do send another" I can not get further than that no matter how much I learn or who likes my stories.

I was wondering when I be getting the one from Analog back but I won't be. Because of the triple cursed web site they used for submissions now I can only send stories in that are flash-f if even they work anymore. That is true for Hitchcock and the other mystery mag also. But I know that Ms Williams was able to read my file despite the strange gymnastics I had to go through to send my file with .rtf
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:15 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:Second time I have done this. Just figured out what I did wrong. Rolls eyes And why

Anyway, When I used to send out a bunch of stories I would get anywhere from two to six back in one day. Not enjoyable.


In fact yesterday I just received two rejections. Finlay took a little longer than he has in the past. He did say to send in another one, of course no extra note, but that probably means he read the whole thing. And another "do send another" I can not get further than that no matter how much I learn or who likes my stories.

I was wondering when I be getting the one from Analog back but I won't be. Because of the triple cursed web site they used for submissions now I can only send stories in that are flash-f if even they work anymore. That is true for Hitchcock and the other mystery mag also. But I know that Ms Williams was able to read my file despite the strange gymnastics I had to go through to send my file with .rtf
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:37 pm

Got a rejection today... yet another in a long string of form rejections. I know these folks don't have time to spare for lowly folks like me, but this one tripped me up and got me in a funk all damned day.

You asked for a specific style of story, I provided said story in that style (and really liked it), and you send me a fuggin' form letter!? ARGH!

*deep breaths*

It'd be really nice to get a little win, you know? Just a taste of success outside of the Wolverton class feedback I *paid* for...

*deep breath... breaking off into frenzied shouting*
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)
WotF Results:
  • R:2
  • HM:5
  • sHM:0
  • SF:0
  • F:0
  • Last: HM, Q2 v35
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby kentagions » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:44 pm

Get it out, man. Just let it all go.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:29 pm

michaeljwyantjr wrote:Got a rejection today... yet another in a long string of form rejections. I know these folks don't have time to spare for lowly folks like me, but this one tripped me up and got me in a funk all damned day.

You asked for a specific style of story, I provided said story in that style (and really liked it), and you send me a fuggin' form letter!? ARGH!

*deep breaths*

It'd be really nice to get a little win, you know? Just a taste of success outside of the Wolverton class feedback I *paid* for...

*deep breath... breaking off into frenzied shouting*
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)


FWIW, it feels--subjectively--like slush piles are growing ever larger, and form rejections are getting commensurately more common because, frankly, it's so much quicker than analysing precisely why something didn't work for you. Reading for slush is a different mindset to reading for feedback, and you're moving faster because there's hundreds more responses* to get through, and you just know when something isn't working for you even if you can't always put your finger on it.

Personally, when I'm slushing, sometimes a form is a sign that a story is more nearly there than a personal: if I can easily say "story was too distant from the protagonist's head" I'll drop that in because I know already, typing the sentence takes no extra effort--but it means the problem was obvious to me. Sometimes I can't quite put my finger on why something isn't winning me over, probably because it's a culmination of a dozen small things (too familiar in setting, in plot, in character, voice doesn't stand out enough, not clear enough motivations...), at which point I have a choice of stopping slushing, switching mindset, working it out and writing it up, or... sending a form and moving onto the next story to try and keep response times down.

And, frankly, as an author I know I'd prefer the faster responses. When I'm slushing I am there working for the magazine, not for the author (sorry), and I'm also aware that a personal rejection can't help but carry more weight than just-one-more-email-from-Critters. But my feedback is not necessarily anything special, and I don't want authors giving it more importance than it should, especially if the reason wasn't screamingly obvious.

All of which is to say: believe me, I know forms suck, especially after an unusually long wait at a market (Strange Horizons got me that way just this week). But please don't read too much into only getting forms; it could mean, counterintuitively, that in some regards you're getting closer than you realise.

*case in point: Fireside opened for five days last week. Checking the Subs Grinder, which anecdotally captures about 10-20% of all subs made, they got at least 900 stories in those five days. WHAT.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby YM Pang » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:37 am

@Sataris
Ouch. That really sucks. I did have an experience that could be considered "Rewrite request that didn't entirely go to plan," but in the end it did result in an acceptance. To do that work and just a rejection... ouch!

@LDWriter2
Any chance you could change your word processing software? If it's giving you this many problems...

---
So, over the past five days, I've received 8 rejections. Fun, fun. Shiny new cover letter isn't doing the trick. Maybe I should follow Matt's advice and discard the credentials paragraph. :D

Not sure if slush piles in general are getting bigger/more competitive. But it certainly feels like this contest is. Back in 2009-11 I got some HMs for stories that (reading back on them now with my oh-so-improved, oh-so-critical eye) I barely consider intelligible anymore. One such HM was during KD's last quarter. I reworked the story years ago, rewrote, made it so much better (imo). Sent it in last Q4 and got... my only R in a long time. wotf027
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:47 am

MattDovey wrote: All of which is to say: believe me, I know forms suck, especially after an unusually long wait at a market (Strange Horizons got me that way just this week). But please don't read too much into only getting forms; it could mean, counterintuitively, that in some regards you're getting closer than you realise.


I appreciate that and, logically, I know that's all true. Still made for a difficult day.

MattDovey wrote:*case in point: Fireside opened for five days last week. Checking the Subs Grinder, which anecdotally captures about 10-20% of all subs made, they got at least 900 stories in those five days. WHAT.


Yep. I'm one of the Rs there... that one came in today.

Why do they always come in bunches? wotf027
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