Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Deep Thoughts For The Week.

1. Unfortunately, as defined in a dictionary, means undeserved bad luck, disastrous or regrettable. Most editors and publishers commence rejection letters with this adverb. My rejections have nothing to do with luck, they weren't disasters, and I suspect the editors didn't really regret their decisions.

I've recently had three or four personal rejections that commenced with this word, and then pointed out strong aspects of my work before declaring that the story simply didn't fit in with the 'vision' of the anthology.

So what is this elusive vision? My stories hit the guidelines and met the published 'what we're looking for' criteria.  I guess at some point during the slushing process the editor forms a more detailed overview of the direction the anthology is taking.

I understand this, but I do feel a little frustrated this couldn't be defined earlier. (And I recognise that's not always possible) I only wish they could let me know my story isn't a fit prior to the closing of subs to allow me a second chance. I feel most annoyed when my story is rejected like this, but when I read the final anthology I see stories that neither fit the guidelines or theme. (None of this is a criticism of the editors and their processes.  They can choose to buy and publish whichever stories they want, like and believe fit together the best. It's merely my own frustration and lack of understanding at what they are looking for.)

So when I receive a rejection with the words 'unfortunately' and 'didn't fit the vision', I have to wonder whether this is completely true, or whether they are just being polite and trying to pre-empt further correspondence from crazed writers.

2. Duotrope is about to become a paid service.

I have previously donated, but I must say I haven't yet sold enough work and made enough money from writing, or found Duotrope necessary enough to warrant the $50 per year subscription charges.

One area I do find useful is the suggested response time based on data received. The suggestion is that this user data represents approximately 10% of all submissions. As of next year I suggest this will fall as fewer writers will subscribe. Thus, of course, will lead to less accurate data.

I understand the need to finance this website. I don't believe it's worth the subscription they want.

3.  So the Universe is accelerating its expansion. I've known this for some time, but the consequences of this hit me during the week. Of course, we can't think of this expansion occurring from a single central point as it's more of a stretching expansion that anything else.

The Universe is estimated to be around 136 billion light years across, and it's expanding at a rate of 74.3 plus or minus 2.1 kilometers (46.2 plus or minus 1.3 miles) per second per megaparsec (a megaparsec is roughly 3 million light-years).

OK, fast and big. And one day it's going to tear itself apart.
See? Not all my thoughts are happy thoughts about writing.

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