Writer's Journal: July

Gee: almost the end of August, and I'm putting July's Journals online. Nothing changes... *sigh*

Week of June 27th - July 4th, 1999

In the last Journal section, I forgot to mention an important publication: near the end of July, I had my first opportunity to be a co-writer on a comic strip for Montreal's newspaper, The Gazette.

The writer and artist for the Angloman comic strip, Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette, are friends of mine. For one strip, Mark had written a political controversy as a wrestling match. Problem is: his knowledge of wrestling ended in the 1970s, and as a result the dialogue was very dated.

Gabriel suggested me to re-write it. Looks like my often joked-about wrestling hobby paid off.

Unfortunately, Mark didn't get me a copy of the artwork to work from, so a line or two don't work. Still, it made for my first published work in a few years.

Week of July 5th - 11th

On the 7th, I could finally, truly say that I am a professional writer:

I received my first ever rejection slip.

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction turned down Y2K. I stared at the rejection, more puzzled than disappointed. You see, nothing I've ever submitted for publication has ever been rejected before... I'm simply not prepared to process it.

Undaunted, I mailed the story off the very next day to try again, to Science Fiction Age magazine.

Meanwhile, I've found myself slacking off on Comicopia. With the deadline on the 13th, I really want to be finished and ready as soon as possible, especially with this being the 9th Anniversary.

Week of July 12th - 18th

I received rejection #2 on the 17th, this time from Science Fiction Age.

This rejection slip annoyed me, because it was the first unapologetical photocopied form rejection slip I've received. It even states that it's a copy of the same rejection letter used for other people. At least the note from MF&SF mentioned me by name, as well as the name of my story.

I've already begun preparations for a third submission attempt, this time to Amazing Stories magazine. I performed a re-write on the story draft, and renamed it Life-Compliant, in case the name Y2K had become too much of a cliche.

I'll have to wait for the beginning of August to send it out, though. For every submission I make to an American publication, I have to purchase an International Reply Coupon. Each IRC costs me $3.50 Canadian; the entire mailing costs me close to $5.50. On a Welfare budget, that's more than I usually have free this late in the month.

At least the receipts, and the rejection slips, count as proof of justified expense deductions on next year's taxes...

Week of July 19th - 25th

I got my copy of the 1999 Writer's Market this week. Although it's now pretty late in the year, I'll be able to research potential markets for my fiction better from now on.

I've also started working on my next story. The insane weather we had in Canada at the time led to an idea that I'll hopefully be able to pull off. I won't give any details on the story yet, but we'll see what comes of it.

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Last Updated: September 1, 1999

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