When a story survives 14 rejections over 2 years to finally find a good home, I can't help but feel awash with relief.
According to fellow writer Steve Ramey, perspiration + persistence = persperistence, and that's the formula necessary to succeed as writers. We can't give up on our stories, and we can't lose faith in ourselves, no matter how long it takes for our work to be published.
I wrote the first draft of "In His Eyes" in 1999 and trunked it. I had other things to keep me busy in my 20's: college, teaching, surfing, running my church's summer camp. I always figured I'd get back into writing someday, just not anytime soon.
Then I met my wife. After reading a few of my other trunk stories, she encouraged me to submit them for publication. It took me a while to warm up to the idea, but as most of you In Medias Resgulars know, the summer of 2009 was my starting line. "In His Eyes" was one of the first I sent out into the great unknown.
Among its 14 rejections, I had reason to hope. From Chizine: "I like the dark science fiction and farm setting here, but the story didn't resonate for me as strongly as I would have liked." From Andromeda Spaceways, who shortlisted it: "Well-written, but may be a bit on the gruesome side. Nice horror story. Not bad, but not great." And from Ideomancer: "I enjoyed the juxtaposition of futuristic technology with the more rustic life of Aurora and her father's farm. The story didn't quite come together for me, in the end."
Then last month, I received the following from from Graeme Hurry: "I thought it was well-written and evocative and would like to accept it for Kzine."