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Editorial Vacation

Okay, I'm firmly convinced now that June is the month that all editors take for vacation. Between the ten or fifteen other writers with whom I'm in frequent contact, the responses to our fiction submissions have been sucked into the black hole of wait time.


You know, this writing game gets addicting. You push yourself to finish stories and get them in the mail. You track your submissions, ensuring you don't violate some magazines guidelines (they all seem to want you to submit a different way), and watching your snail and e-mail box like a hawk. You already know somewhere in you brain where you'll send each story next should the editor show the herculean bad taste to actually reject your masterpiece ;-).

You play the game. You double space this sub with proper manuscript format; you single space that one with a double space between paragraphs and actually INCLUDE italics (a serious no-no in SMF); you attach this one to the body of an email; you send another in RTF format. You don't just jump, you leap through their flaming hoops in order to avoid pissing off the editor before he/she even reads your story.

And then . . .

You wait.

For those of you out their who aren't writers, let me try to explain the feeling of waiting for a response from an editor.

It's the night before Christmas and you're trying to fall asleep.

It's the awkward moment of silence after you ask the woman/man your just crazy about out for a date but just before they answer. You know the moment; that brief eye-contact of appraisal where you can see the wheels spinning behind his/her eyes . . .

It's the moment just before the wheels of the airplane touch down safely on the runway.

It's an emotional null-space, the false-dawn of hope.

Friggin' editors.


Well, off to wait some more. Enough hyperbole for one day.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss.

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