I’ve made a careful survey, and I think I can say authoritatively that I’m now the only blogger in the world who’s never mentioned Susan Boyle.
Oops. Scratch that.
Over at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, there’s this amusing article about the (vain and counterproductive) lengths some writers go to, to get a magazine editor’s attention. It’s a fun read, and there’s much wisdom there. (Tip: Loren Eaton at I Saw Lightning Fall.)
I enjoyed reading this article in particular because there are a number of quotes there from George Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer, who used to be my agents. Before they were my agents, they were my editors at Amazing Stories, which gives me a rare opportunity to feel smug, since I managed to please these discerning connoisseurs of slush, once upon a time.
I’ll tell you how I made my first sale to them, too, at no extra charge.
I read an article they had published in Writer’s Digest, in which they explained some of the basics of writing short stories for a magazine. It included an address where I could send away for guidelines for Amazing.
I sent for the booklet.
I studied it.
I wrote a story, following the guidelines to the letter.
I sent the story in. I waited.
Eventually I got an acceptance letter.
I think the moment I read that letter was the supreme moment of pure joy I’ve experienced in my life. I danced around the living room (and, as you’ve doubtless guessed, I’m not one of life’s Dancers. And yes, I was alone).
I was unemployed at the time. I was living in the basement of my aunt’s house in St. Paul.
But I was, by golly, a professional writer now.
Getting a book published, for some reason, never gave me the same kind of jolt.