On September 13th I had a dream. (Yes, I know, I hate hearing about other people’s dreams too. There’s a point. I’ll be quick.) I’m holding in my hands a book, well, not quite a book. It’s papers with book-like organization and book like shape and it has my story in it and pictures of me. Not quite my story, there are differences, but my story and weird pictures I don’t ever remember being taken, but they are of me. I flip through the unbound pages to the cover. Glimmer Train. “Oh,” a woman’s voice says, “You aren’t supposed to see that yet.” The story is The Fisherman, which I submit to Glimmer Train for their Short Story Award for New Writers award the end of August. In my dream I saw my story in the magazine.
I have read countless articles and books on writing. Get it out there, they all say. Just keep submitting, they all say. Then they always say, “I didn’t even remember I had such-and-such story out there, when I found out I got published.” Okay, I know I’m a newbie, and I know this is my first submission but WHAT?!?! I’m going crazy here. I have a full time job, I’m a mom, I’m fostering two kittens from the animal shelter, I’m coaching my daughter’s soccer team and I still check my e-mail several times a day to see if I’ve heard from Glimmer Train yet. Are these other writers beings with hearts and souls of stone, or am I just nuts?
It’s kind of fun. The site says, “Winners will be contacted directly the week before the public announcement in our bulletins” and the bulletin is due out November 1st so the longer I don’t hear something the more giddy and butterfly-stomachy I feel. Sixteen days….but if I don’t hear in nine days is that good news by default? *flutter flutter* Then I tell myself, “They just moved to a new computer system. You know how that goes. It’s what you do for a living. They are probably just doing a batch update in the old system and that’s why you don’t know yet.” *flutter flutter*
I’m trying to keep my rose colored glasses on. I know the odds are slim. I know they get tons of submissions. I know no one gets published on their first submission. Why did I have to be the one who submit a story when they got a new computer system? But I haven’t heard anything yet so the excitement builds.
They probably just lost it. It’s stuck in some bit or byte and they don’t even know it’s there. November 1st will come and go and I won’t hear anything, and I’ll miss my chance to submit to the Writer’s Digest competition I’m eyeing. I’ll be that awkward whiny person who e-mails them, “Uh, did you ever read my story?”
Gasp. Maybe they like it. Maybe I’ll get published. Maybe it really is good. I think it’s good….sometimes.
It’s like a writer’s Christmas Eve, but this time Santa really might not come, or he might bring me coal. Do you hear the reindeer’s hooves?
I just checked. Still no e-mail. Still no update on my submission status. I’m still In Process – Your work has been received and is in the review process. Check guidelines for response times. Of course the guidelines are gone, because of the new system. This is like every user I’ve ever programmed for paying me back for moving stuff they want to find on a website. When will I move to Complete or *flutter flutter* Accepted for Publication?
Nine more days, or sixteen….