Dribble Drabble

Image by Bernhard Hanakam, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A funny thing happened. If you recall, I posted one of my old stories which won a contest. Well, I won another one right after that!

Rune Bear is a digital literary magazine with a focus on brevity. I can’t say being concise is one of my strong suits as a writer, so when I came across their drabble contest, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to draft a story of that length, let alone win with one.

Drabbles are exactly one hundred words. Not one hundred and one or ninety-nine, precisely one hundred.

This post? Already there…

It’s an art form and one I recommend exploring on their site. Quarterly and weekly, they publish incredible stories pared down to the barest essentials. This quarter, they selected my drabble, “Hibernal Bliss.”

The theme was winter with a horror vibe: “Dead of Winter” (not to be confused with the board game of the same name which I have also reviewed because, geekery.)

The story is the first of my 2021 fiction submissions to see print. Getting back into the subbing game has reminded me of the patience and sheer willpower required of writers seeking a more traditional path to publication.

Of the six stories submitted, I’m still waiting to hear about two. Acceptances and rejections can take weeks or months. And when they’re rejected -I’ve had three so far- that isn’t necessarily the end.

(For those of you doing the math, submitting six stories, waiting to hear about two, and having three rejected means, yes, I’ll have another sale announcement soon!)

Often, stories are rejected simply because they don’t fit the editor’s vision for their publication not because they aren’t good stories. I’ve already received one personal rejection (as opposed to the dreaded form letters) indicating as much. In those cases, it’s simply time to shop the story to other markets. Others, you need to revaluate the story and find out where it went wrong.

You work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, and let the results dribble in.

Or was that drabble?

I’m enjoying the change of pace from book publishing. Both require immense work but being able to fire off stories to someone else to print and market and obsess over the statistical details has been a relief. Too many roadblocks had formed for my self-publishing efforts and I needed to get some distance, step back, and review my career as a whole.

Sort of like I’m doing now with this story that didn’t sell. A little spit, a little polish, and it’s back into the slush piles.

Enjoy Rune Bear and show them some social media love with the likes and shares. And check out my story or any of the other incredible pieces available, for free – the perfect quick read over your morning cup of coffee. I’ll be back soon with my next acceptance announcement and many more to come!

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