Rejection, Canadian-style. I just got a rejection letter from Alley Cat publishing re: erotica story, "Customer Service": "The story is well written & creative and I like the humour but it goes too far over the top (not sexually) but stylistically, at least for our purposes."

Deadline for submissions: March 31st. Postmark on letter: April 4th. I shot the guy an e-mail thanking him for the prompt and courteous reply.

Sigh. I wasn't expecting anything, unless I really was. Lee says I should be encouraged: already past the form-rejection-letter stage. Yeah...but you know how it is when you start a new job. There's a period of adjustment and learning, when everyone says, "Nice try, you'll get it soon enough." I hate that stage. I want to be an asset now.

One of Lee's nose-to-the-grindstone stories: at a con in Iowa a couple of years back (GOH: Spider Robinson), he wandered into the used book area only to discover the proprietor was Glen Cook, who, as it turns out, is a really nice guy. He told Lee that he supported himself as a writer for--fifteen years, I think it was--a long time as a porn writer. --Lee told me that last night, and I bit off my immediate reaction, which was "And I can't even sell that." He was trying to help. I know.

So this morning I start looking for another market for "Customer Service," and I find another one, nearly perfect, called "Hoot Island." On-line. "Silly Sex for Silly People." Problem: non-paying. Other problem: the fiction section is poorly organized; there's no "feature of the week" or anything -- just an archive section with a couple of "New" buttons. Aiyiyi. I'll keep it in mind, but I think I'll look elsewhere first.