Two of my short stories have been rejected this week, and it's frustrating.
"Kinuyo and the Kitsune," a fifteen-page historical fairy tale set in Japan just after the collapse of the Shogunate about a young girl's encounter with a shape-shifting fox while searching for her missing mother, got rejected by Orson Scott Card's Intergallactic Medicine Show last Sunday. It's also been rejected by The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Clarkesworld.
"The Necklace of DuChelle," a three-page fantasy flashfiction about a necklace that can strangle people, made it past the first round of Daily Science Fiction, before getting rejected in the final round last Friday.
I don't know which is worse. The story on rejection number 3 or the story that almost made it.
What makes it hard for me, is that I'm still new at this rejection game. It's taken me years to even build up enough courage to submit. Rationally, I know authors get rejected several times, over and over again, but that doesn't help the touch of despair that creeps into your heart when you get that dreaded email. Not that I cried or anything. Just felt a little sad.
A few things do help, though. Printing out the rejection and labeling it helps. Oddly enough, this changes the rejection into an accomplishment. I now have five rejections. I figure once I get to fifty, I should be published.
Interestingly enough, this motivated me to continue writing short stories, proving that even negative feedback is better than silence. I feel the need to prove myself. I will get something published, even if I have to wear the editors out with my persistance. Just you wait.