Short Story Stats

"Don't let statistics do a number on you." Interested in finding out how much of writing involves waiting? Look no further. I've been trying to shop around a 2100-word short story for a while. No bites so far. Here's my record of numbers: First date submitted: October 2016 Number of submissions: 5 Number of responses: 4 Quickest response time: 7 days Longest response time: 8 months Extra notes: Two personalized rejections, one form rejection. One of the customized rejections went … [Read more...]

Tracking Rejection

"Failure is not defeat until you stop trying." As any working writer knows, pushing your stories out involves rejection. Even J.K. Rowling displayed a rejection letter on Twitter to encourage other artists to persevere. I've been in submission mode recently. For short stories, I used to plug information into a spreadsheet, but now I send stuff out into the ether and wait for a reply. Often, magazines have their own submission system, but some also use Submittable. If you set up an account … [Read more...]

It’s My Party, and I’ll Cry if I Want To

"Seek out the significance of your problem at this time. Try to understand." Let me preface this by saying: It's my birthday month. Growing up, my doting parents made sure I felt special on my birthday. Even if it was just a card, cake, and candles. To this day, I still have fond memories of pink champagne cake (do they still sell that anymore?). So it was with great excitement and hope that I entered this month. Alas, I've already been slammed with three rejections. One of which was the … [Read more...]

Look Again: Reviewing the Submissions Process

Yat Batjouh, Yih Batyau: to do something by hook or by crook; to not stop halfwayYes, that's me hiking in Montserrat, Spain.I'm excited to announce the publication of my flash fiction piece, "Look Again," in the March issue of Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. Part of my enthusiasm comes from finally feeling validated as a writer. Here's a parallel example that explains my thinking: When I did math problems at school, I always double-checked my answers. If I ended up with the same solution twice, I … [Read more...]

When Do You Call Yourself a Writer?

Louhcheut Mahgeuk: to reveal one's secret or fault (lit. to expose Mah's feet)The queen of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1328-1399) was surnamed Mah. Once, she was riding by on her sedan chair when a gust of wind blew aside the carriage's curtain. Everyone on the street could see that her feet were not bound, a daring break in the typical foot binding tradition for rich women.Sometimes I'm afraid of exposing my own faults. When confronted with a blank line for my occupation on aย  … [Read more...]

Being Mulan

Jiujik: acting too proud in one's speech or behaviorIn ancient times, Fa Muhk Laahn (the Cantonese pronunciation of the Disney princess Mulan) worried about her father's draft into military service.ย  In the Song of Muhk Laahn, the verse goes:"We can't hear the sound of the shuttle of the loomwhen Muhk Laahn is weaving,But Jikjik again and againWe can hear her sighing."Jikjik is Cantonese onomatopoeia for sighing.ย  When a person behaves too proudly, he will jiu (arouse) the jik (discontented … [Read more...]