Wearing Sheila Williams Down

I got a rejection letter from Asimov’s yesterday, passing on ‘The Great Hymn of the Aten’–an alternate history story of ancient Egypt. Okay. Fair enough.

But what was nice was that I think Sheila Williams might be starting to remember who I am, as she’s now writing what appear to be (short) personal rejection letters to me, with the last few encouraging me to submit new work soon. Now, these have mostly been two- to three-line rejections, but I might as well have been trying to read tea leaves or augur the future for all I poured over this last one.

It says she’s “looking forward” to seeing my next story…Hmm…What does that mean? Does that mean maybe she likes my stuff but nothing is working for Asimov’s yet but she’s hoping to buy something from me someday soon? Does it mean maybe she hasn’t liked anything but thinks perhaps I have some talent somewhere and that eventually I might come up with something decent that she’ll want to publish?

All this from two lines. If it had been four, I’d likely have spun such circles in my own head that I’d be catatonic right now.

Witness the kind of insanity it takes to be a writer…

– S.

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