I have rather romantic ideas about Real Writing (as opposed to fanfiction,
where I’ve seen the worst literature has to offer, and then some). One of
them concerns how you burst onto the scene like LMB and they shower you
with Hugo awards. Not that this was going to happen to me,
mind you, but it was an ideal to strive for.
My personal plan was to get one short story into Analog and
then die happy. I’m not much for planning ahead, though I suspect that getting
published would only lead to more trying to get published, rather than the
contented old age I’ve been hoping for.
What I didn’t expect was to open up a magazine from last month and find
a short story of mine in it. At first I didn’t believe the byline - I write a column
for this magazine, and that could easily lead to typos. Nor was I quite sure,
looking at it after a more than a year, that I’d written the thing. (It did come
back to me after a few paragraphs.)
When I first sent it in, the
editor, like the Real Editor he was, said I was telegraphing the ending and
made some other equally non-encouraging remarks about the story.
I assumed he’d sent it straight to the circular bit-bucket.
Either the new editor has different tastes, or they’re getting desperate for
fiction again. I can’t really complain that
they disinterred the thing and published it, but they could have at least
told me about it. It’s not like they’re paying me - by fanfic
logic, they therefore owe me feedback.
I don’t like this sneaking up on Real Writing. My career should start like a
good plot, at the first significant twist. I wish I had that trick of appearing out
of nowhere like Penny or MJB, but I think I talk too much for that.