Well, let me explain. No, is too much, let me sum up. (Gotta love Princess Bride quotes.. hehehe)
Ok, so the story I submitted to Tesseracts 14 didn't make the cut for Tesseracts, but the lovely people over at the Aphelion webzine found space in their hearts and on their webpage to publish it for me. So, in essence I've been publish. It's on the web and I didn't receive any money for it, but it's out there for complete strangers who've never met me to read. Keep in mind, up to this point I've met everyone who's actually read the story, even the editors for Tesseracts 14 (Lovely gentlemen I met at Ad Astra).
So why am I pointing this out? Well, it means I'm actually getting feedback from people I have no direct relationship with and have absolutely no reason to care about me one way or another. I'm going to assume, well, hope really, that they're decent human beings and will give me usable feedback and not comments like, " it was total garbage, the guy who wrote it should be taken out back and shot," and so far that's been the case. There have been two posts about it in the Aphelion forum, and both have been honest and helpful.
I did have the chance to change the story before Aphelion posted it, but aside from a couple of typos I didn't. There were a few reasons for this. First, the story's done and I should resist the temptation to continually tinker with it. Maybe in a few years I'll pull it out and rewrite it and see if I can get it publish for payment, or maybe I'll just leave it as is so it remains as an example of where I was in my development as a writer when I finished writing it. The second reason I left it as is, I wanted to see if the feedback I received matched my own thoughts and what I received from the pros, and that wasn't going to happen if I started making changes.
I'm happy to see some of the parts I was worried about go so well. From the feedback it seems the character of John went over alright, and no one has told me that Unwyn was unrealistic. Also, no complaints about my dialogue. So, while the story wasn't perfect at least it wasn't a complete flop.
All in all, I'm happy to see it published somewhere, and Aphelion looks to be a great starting point for authors looking for an knowledgeable audience. Hopefully, someday someone will pick up a novel I've written, read it, and say, "I remember when this guy published on Aphelion. He sure has come a long way."
We'll just have to wait and see. Well, you wait, I gotta get back to writing.
For those who are interested, the story can be read here.