I've yet to make a living as a writer, so it functions perhaps more as a hobby. That said, I probably send out 10-30 "things" (stories, poems, essays, artwork, etc.) every year. In a good year, I get maybe 3 acceptances out of those. So I was quite happy over my Spring Break here at Humboldt State to receive 4 acceptances in the span of one week. And two of them went live today.
The first was a short little thing called "Rent." It was just a snippet of an idea, but when I heard that Short, Fast, and Deadly was looking for fiction of no more than 420 characters, I sent it out. And would you believe I was 5 characters over (I didn't realize that line breaks counted as characters). Read it here in Short, Fast, and Deadly, issue 16.
Second was a short story of roughly 1000 words, which had been rejected 12 times before, so 13 was my lucky number with this one. Previously, I'd received some positive feedback on it, with a few editors taking time to tell me they thought it was well-written and made them laugh, though they didn't feel it was quite right for them. Anyhoo, Daniel McDermott, the editor of Bananafish magazine, had some very nice things to say in his email notifying newsletter subscribers of that week's content (they feature one story every Sunday):
This week on Bananafish: "Roommate From Hell" by Ryan Forsythe.
Wallace Stegner said, "Hard writing makes easy reading." And Ryan Forsythe's writing perfectly illustrates this concept. Most readers - those used to professionally written books and articles polished by professional editors - take for granted the ease with which their eyes float from one phrase to the next. But such a feat is not easily accomplished. Take it from someone who reads hundreds of literary submissions each month. Unfortunately, most writers, even good writers, insert a transitional hiccup or two in every paragraph - a tempo-crushing grammatical instance or word choice that causes the reader much brow-bending confusion. Ryan Forythe's work, however, is brilliantly structured and therefore easy on the eyes - genius masquerading as simplicity. Nowhere in reading "Roommate From Hell" do I find myself bogged down or yearning for alternate word choices, and that's saying a lot considering the many esoteric, underworld monikers attributed to Ryan's Hellish characters. Perhaps I'll temper my evil, judgmental mind the next time I see a group of cloaked individuals with red-stained lips.
Thank you for your kind words, Daniel. I guess I'll keep at this writing thing.
By the way, the aforementioned Daniel, who published my story at Bananafish today, was one of the 5 other artists featured with me today in Issue 16 of Short, Fast, and Deadly. Coincidence?