War Journal 38: Torture Musing

Technicolor goes on hiatus and editors everywhere mourn, abandoning the slushpile…

They say while you’re waiting for editors to respond to your story submissions, you should take the opportunity to write more.  I agree with that because it’s not like sitting around doing nothing is going to make the slushpile move faster.  More stories in the stable means more opportunities for paydays.  So yeah, write while you wait, a fledgling storyteller’s version of “whistle while you work.”

Still, I can’t write but so much.  My last longing look at my Duotrope told me I currently have 18 stories working the slush, ranging from 218 days away from home to 2 days.  Close to half of these subs have exceeded the average response time, meaning while other writers have already gotten their responses, these same markets have decided to keep me on the edge of my seat waiting to hear their reply.  For nearly two weeks now, I’ve been wearing out the fabric on the edge of my seat. The only thing that’s changed is the number of markets who are keeping my response the next best kept secret since the colonel’s original recipe.

Of course, I try not to think about it.  Write a lil more, drink some Tang, work out, pass time in the forgotten reaches of Helmand Province.  But I’m a storyteller, and I see stories in everything, including these gaps in response times.

Meanwhile, at the shiny, futuristic offices of Publisher X:

*Intern Bob bursts into the Head Editor’s Office waving awesome story by yours truly*

Intern Bob: Head Editor Mary!  You’ve got to check this story out, it’s got legs!

Head Editor Mary: Who are you?

Intern Bob: You ask me that every Monday.  I’m Intern Bob. Read this story.

Head Editor Mary: Come back tomorrow, Bill.  I have to recover.  I spent my whole weekend going wild enjoying modern amenities not available in Afghanistan, things like high-speed Internet, lite beer and Waffle House.


Intern Bob: I got this story, Mary.

Head Editor Mary: Ho ha!  Not while I’m practicing my Kung Fu… Eagle Claw!  Praying Mantis Fist!  Tiger Style!!


Intern Bob: No crane kicks today, I see!  Great, now you can check out this story…

Head Editor Mary: Who’s this?  James Beamon?  That’s not a cool name, a writer’s name.  You want to know a cool name for a writer?  Minister FaustCat Rambo!  Hell, your name’s cooler. It makes me want to learn more about you. What sick mother names her son Intern?

Intern Bob: I never knew my mother.  I was raised by a roving band of fortune telling circus clowns.  It was a fun childhood.  By the way, you shouldn’t come to work next Tuesday.


Intern Bob:  No lie, Mary.  Really.  Check this out.  For serious.

Head Editor Mary: Who are you?


All I’m saying, is that the mind can play tricks on you in the remote mountain wilds.  Right now, I can’t be sure this isn’t really happening at one of those publishing houses that are past due on a letter.  Here’s hoping for Friday.



Filed under War Journals

2 responses to “War Journal 38: Torture Musing

  1. Vinita

    Hahahahaha you’re so funny! If nothing else, I am now officially a fan 🙂

  2. Pingback: War Journal 39: The Royal Treatment | fictigristle

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