Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Wanna hear a strange story? What am I asking, of course you do. Everyone likes to hear weird stuff.

Now this story isn't strange in a creepy, eerie or even freaky way. Rather, it's just odd; strange in a head-scratching, WTF kind of way.

Back in December I submitted a short story to an online venue and was pleased when, a few weeks later, the editor contacted me to say that my submission was being accepted for publication! Not only that, but I was given a specific date when this story would be featured in their pages.

Awesome, right? Now, this wasn't a paying market but that was cool; it was only a short story, after all, and I am happy to take any exposure I can get while I wait for my novel-writing career to take off, which I fully expect to happen any minute now...I say, any minute now...Oh well, I'm sure it will be soon.

Anyway, the date of publication for this story was coming up soon, so last week I checked in at the site for no particular reason other than to see my name listed on the calendar next to the date of publication. What can I say, I'm funny that way.

Want to know what I saw?

Absolutely nothing! Well, that's not entirely true. I saw someone else's name and story listed on the date specified by the editor as the date my story would be featured. Scanning quickly down the list, I discovered my story wasn't listed anywhere. It was gone. Disappeared. Vanished, like Jimmy Hoffa or the U.S. economy.

Naturally, I assumed I must have made a mistake, so I checked back in my saved email, and sure enough, I was remembering the correct date, etc. etc. etc.

Weird, right? Now, I don't think I'm being overly sensitive when I wonder what the hell happened. It's not like I can't handle rejection; I've certainly had plenty of it, from agents, publishers, magazines, etc. in the three years I've been trying to bust the door down in the publishing world.

But doesn't it strike you as odd that I would get an acceptance, including a publication date, and then my stuff just disappears into some publishing black hole; into the world's biggest pothole on the information superhighway?

I sent a polite email to the editor at this website, asking if there had been a problem with my story that could be fixed with a rewrite (Although there certainly didn't seem to have been a problem when the story was accepted), and you'll be surprised - or maybe you won't be - to hear that the answer to my email was: nothing! I'm still waiting to hear back. I'm guessing it's not going to happen.

I'm discovering as I take this journey that you really do have to expect ANYTHING in this strange and alien world of writing and publishing.

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