Another Question for the Universe

Last December, I received word from a literary magazine that they wanted to publish one of my stories.

This sounds like a fine and dandy thing, I know, but here's the deal: I'd submitted the story to the magazine as part of a pretty well-renowned contest. My story hadn't won the contest, but the magazine thought enough of my submission that they wanted to publish it. At the time, the story was still a finalist in a few contests, and under consideration at a few other magazines, so I told the magazine in question, "Thanks, but no thanks." I didn't think it was too big of a deal. I mean, they had written me for permission to publish the thing.

Now, though, almost a full year later, the story in question remains unpublished. And my question for you, universe, is: Did I anger the karmic gods here? Was I greedy, or self-important? Did I screw up?

Talking about submissions, of course, and about slightly paranoid delusions, makes me think of J.C.

I can hear her already, saying, "Didn't you just, like three days ago, quote Marlo Stanfield's philosophy, 'You can't lose if you don't play the game'?"

"You're right," I tell her. "I did say that."

"And if the story's good enough to get accepted by one magazine," she's saying, "aren't the odds pretty good it'll get accepted by another?"

"Yes," I say. "The odds are pretty good."

"Then knock all this stuff off," she says. "Geesh. The 'Karmic Gods'? Are you kidding me?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is: the real and lasting stories don't belong to the people who know how to tell them. Those stories belong to the people who have stories to tell, but no way to tell them-- and an audience that doesn't know the difference.