When I was in college there was this bar that had bouncers who took turns playing St. Peter. They stood outside the door going: You. You. You. Not you. The whole idea was so ghastly to me (I knew that I’d be the one person in whatever group I was with who’d be left on the wrong side of the velvet rope) that I swore I’d never, ever subject myself to anything like that.
I became a writer.
For those who aren’t afflicted with the compulsion to write-slash-be read, trust me, there’s nothing quite like pouring yourself into a story, obsessing over image and cadence, eventually being (really) satisfied; then submitting it for publication and having it roundly rejected.
It’s akin to going on non-stop job interviews. Naked.
So it is with some shock-slash-trepidation that I find myself on the other side of the publication process. I’m going to be taking a turn as fiction editor at Streetlight Magazine — the beautiful online quarterly. Streetlight is another entry into the arts and it is eclectic and interesting and full of wonder.
The only way I’m going to able to do this job is because of an epiphany I had recently. It happened when I submitted Close to two different professionals. One came right out and said she hated my protagonist, Kik Marcheson. But the other said she wanted to be friends with Kik.
(Guess which woman I want to be friends with.)
Anyway, what I finally got from that experience was this: gatekeepers’ judgments are subjective. That’s just what it is. I will choose stories that speak to me. Which doesn’t mean the ones that I don’t select are not equally publishable.
On another note. My dad was honored for his leadership in the antiwar movement. When I went to look for coverage of the event I found the following.
What the hell?