First rejection letter, huzzah!

I took a big step a couple of weeks ago: I submitted my first story for publication. This morning, the reply was in my inbox:

Thank you for your submission. “A Hitch in His Getalong” was
interesting, but unfortunately, it was not quite right for us at this
time. We have had to reject many good stories for a variety of
reasons unrelated to their quality. We look forward to future
submissions from you.

So a form email, only fifteen days after submission, and I’m just a little giddy about it. I’m not saying there’s no disappointment, but come on, it was my first submission of my first story. The chances of getting it picked up were Lotto-type odds. So yes, I’m a little sad about it, but on balance this is positive because:

  1. I get to send it to the next publication.
  2. I get to send Escape Pod the next story when it’s ready
  3. I have proof that I’m a working writer.

It might sound strange, but I’ve had “Get my first rejection” as a goal for over a year. It’s obvious to me now that I wasn’t taking it seriously, or it would only have taken weeks, not months. But this means I’m one tiny step from completing my first round of the . I’ve taken the step most people never get to. (You’ll have to get the ebook to find out what the steps are.)

The next story, Calculating the Volume of Solid Objects, is in editing. I’ve already cut it by almost five percent and I see places to improve and tighten it all through. (I have to get the word count down, though. It started out at 10,300. Waaaay too long.)