The holidays can be so filled with Himalayas of joy and Marianna Trenches of despair that I’m happy to report my family—all of them—and I came through them with great experiences, sensations and memories. One added Christmas present came on Dec. 26 when I opened my mail to find an acceptance from Every Day Fiction (www.EveryDayFiction.com) for the flash piece “The Last Person on Earth.” [Publication date to come shortly.] Camille said of it, “A fascinating concept and well-crafted prose. The last line is particularly well done.” Co-editor Jordan remarked, “Wow. This asks so many questions beyond the actual story. It’s so deep and yet so short. Another beauty from you.”
This is my second piece to have been accepted and published by this new  online magazine. As with a few other editors, it’s a pleasure to deal with these thoughtful people. Every writer has received snarky rejections from don’t-bother-me editors. A friend of mine actually got an-mail back saying, “This story is crap!”
How nice then for BJ Bourg, publisher and editor of Mouth Full of Bullets (www.MouthFullofBullets.com) to tell me in September that he was truly and personally sorry he had to reject a story. A few months later, he wrote about another submission, “Thanks for submitting such wonderful work! I really enjoyed ‘Epitaph with Flowers’ and will publish it in December 2008. I hope all is going great for you and that you have a Happy Thanksgiving.”
Wow! Those are the kinds of responses—for acceptances and rejections—that keep writers coming back. I’ve struck a number of magazines off my list of markets because there didn’t seem to be a human being at the helm. Queries weren't answered, delays were interminable, approvals were later cancelled. Others, however, have gotten my checks for subscriptions.
As a side note, this encouragement means I've spent more time—successfully—writing to specific genres. The good editors are making me examine their markets more closely—and making me a better writer. Makes me wonder if editors know the effect they have on writers.