Monday, June 22, 2009

Stuck in the Denver Airport

Yukkk, we are on the way to Omaha, Nebraska, and we're stuck in the Denver airport. Luckily, we have crossword puzzles to fill our brains up. (Or empty them) I've been revising my metal dump story and reading friends stories. I finished Olive Kitteridge and highly recommend it. I'm going to read the novel Brooklyn by (????Colin Tolbin???) Sorry if I butchered his name. I also have a literary magazine along for the ride--River Oak Review. Okay, so for you short story writers out there, I sent a story to Gargoyle, and the reader sent me a note within two days, suggesting other venues: Baltimore Review, Post Road, So to Speak, Pedestal Magazine, and Folio. I went on-line and looked at them and it seems like they might like more traditional or regional topics. So I sent him a different story...more trendy, unusual format, and he immediately sent back suggestions for several magazines, some the same, one or two different, but he also commented briefly on the second story. So, that made me happy and nervous. First, I was so heartened by the fact that this editor would take the time to suggest other venues he felt might be more suited to the two stories, and second that he liked the way I had written the second story. I was also nervous b/c I don't like being pegged as a regional writer. I wonder what "regional" means? Anything that deals with a specific part of the country? Stories dealing with cows and pastures and country people? Stories that deal with the Midwest region? Anyway, neither story dealt with country people or cows or pastures. One did take place in the Midwest, but didn't specifically state a place. One was a story about a family; the other a story about rats. Are rats regional? Anyway, the next day...an editor responded to a piece of flash fiction I sent him and he said something about my story opening spaces inside him that he'd forgotten about. (Different story) I needed to hear that. So my story is that you never know what editor your stories will appeal to, but it does help if you've researched a little. It's funny, because I had already sent stories to four of the five magazines on the first editor's list. I'd read sample work of these magazines on-line or I'd picked up a copy somewhere (the USF lit. mag. library, the bookstore, or ordered a sample copy.) I had never sent to Gargoyle before but I liked how they looked and sounded on-line. I think I should order a copy, though. As L. Buzbee used to say to me, "Do your homework." Keep Writing.

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