This is why I blog
I haven’t tried to submit a story for publication in about 15 years or so, and there is a good reason why. I have never felt a single editor actually read a thing I wrote. Well, I did send one query letter last year, but that only confirmed that editors never actually read anything. A friend of mine knew some publishers who wanted some dark fantasy and convinced me to write a one page for Twins In Death. It took them seven months to prove that they didn’t read the one sheet of paper that had been shoved in front of them. Actually, it was an e-mail, but the fact that they sent a rejection claiming fear of copyright infringement from my group of original superheroes just made me shake my head in disgust. It doesn’t help that I have a physical reaction to trying to do anything with the business side. Writing proposals, query letters, even looking up formatting requirements gives me a massive headache and I have to walk away.
It brought back all the memories of the very last time I even tried to submit something.
The last time I submitted a short story to an editor, it was about an old man punching a Space Nazi. It wasn’t subtle either, it was called “Grandpa Miliquest Vs The Space Nazis” so, you know, there was that. It was a parody story of 1950s invasion movies, only I had the old man be the hero instead of the square jawed scientist type. The old man and his grandkids see the invasion starting on TV and they drive out together on his motorcycle and he punches the Space Nazi. Then Grandpa and the kids take the space ship and fly off into space. The Space Nazis aren’t even pretend subtle. They have no knees, so they always goose step, and talked in a way that even Colonel Klink would have found distracting. Not the best story, but it was funny and silly and kills ten minutes when you read it.
The letter I got back from this editor was a rant about how this particular person was tired of seeing stories about old people being depressed about reaching the end of their lives and only wanted to see dynamic people. This editor was complaining about the story where grandma sits by the window and waxes poetic about the love she never had, or at least the one she let slip away, and demanding a story where she actually does something. Old people doing things, that’s what this person wanted. The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if they ended it with “Maybe a story where a grandfather punches a space nazi or something.”
I mean… if you didn’t read the story, okay. Send a note saying “Not at this time.” Or “Didn’t peak my interest” or whatever. I would have got that, but to just be a dildo and demand a story where an old person does something, when I submitted a story of an old person DOING SOMETHING… I would accept that one person was an aberration, but I have never received a letter from any editor, or publisher that gave me the impression that they’d actually read anything that was in the query, story, or article.
And that’s why you will only find my work on blogs these days. Pretty sure Jack Collier would come back with a note demanding stories where holidays are personified and what they’d say about Baby’s First Noir makes me shudder.
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