Well, as you've probably already heard the winners for the Scalzi/Wheaton contest have been announced, and I'm not one of them.
Part of me would like to use much stronger language in regards to this, but that would be counter productive and truly unfair to the actual winners. As much as I'd like to vent and rant about it, there is no good reason to. Heck, I should be proud of myself for even entering. I could have just sat on the sidelines and then regretted not trying. The only way I'll get published is if I keep trying. Who knows, maybe John Scalzi will take the suggestion about making this an annual thing to heart and I'll get another chance next year.
I'm glad I took a few days to mull over my feelings before making this post. I think the thing that really, really bothers me, is that the rejection for this was impersonal. There was no other way it could be of course, with the over 350 entries (I think that was the total number they quoted), so it's no one's fault. And it's not like I'm not used to rejection, but what I've been getting from other places has been so positive.
I know, I know, positive rejection, what's that? The best way I can put it is, the messages I've been getting back on the Riding Europa submissions have been polite, mostly form letters, but encouraging me to still submit. That may not sound like much, but it's a big difference to hear "this doesn't work for us, but please continue to submit," instead of "this doesn't work for us."
Maybe I'm just grasping at straws. Who knows? Still, I've written three things since I finished Riding Europa; a novella that's being read by friends, the Scalzi/Wheaton submission, and the first draft of a short story I just finished tonight. Each one has felt stronger than the last, so even if Riding Europa doesn't make it I've still got things in the pipeline I can send out.
Also, I haven't run out of ideas, not by a long shot. Gonna spend the rest of tonight reading, and then start working on another new project tomorrow while letting the first draft of my current story percolate in the back of my brain.