My three submissions for the forthcoming anthology, Treacheries of the Space Marines, were all rejected this week. This was not entirely unexpected: one pitch was a bit vague on plot and not quite on target for the book's theme; one I was half hoping would get rejected because I've developed other plans for its protagonists; and the one I liked most would have played havoc with a bunch of other Black Library authors if it got published. Lessons learned:
- Thoroughly polish every submission before you send it in. Yes, the submissions window came up on short notice, but I might have been better off putting some extra work in to my stories and waiting for the next go-round to submit.
- Think about salability. This doesn't mean writing with sales figures in mind, or trying to piggyback of a trend. If you're writing in somebody else's universe, though, you should do your best not to write anything that breaks the universe, no matter how good a story it makes. I've done this twice, once because I'm a damn fool and once because I couldn't resist. No mas!
- Always be patient when waiting on a response. Editors celebrate the holidays too. (I was actually good about this one - not even a hint of nervousness.)
The oven situation in our house has, happily, been resolved. I got to learn how to wire a new heating element into an oven after our old one broke (read: blew a hole in itself, caught on fire and spilled white powder all over the bottom of the oven). This also involved learning other things, such as how to remove an oven door for easy access and how my toolbox doesn't (didn't) have a quarter inch hex wrench in it. We'll have a test cook of something in the next two days, and barring fire I'll mark the project down as a success.
Finally, my wife's sister is visiting and we're all going to see Black Swan tomorrow. I've heard nothing but good things, so I'm looking forward to it. I suspect watching Natalie Portman suffer a nervous breakdown on screen is going to be inspiring.