Well, I just submitted something to the New Yorker for the first time. Despite the glamorously low success rate for first-time authors, hopes are high.
At the risk of jeopardizing what little hopes I do have, here is a short selection from my short fiction piece, Bloody Gerald, submitted in this first day of Spring.
Reader, I was in a pickle. I needed another publication, and there were only three journals of sufficient calibre to count in my application for the fellowship: I’d already been rejected by Imago Verbo and I knew the chance of getting into Medii Aevi were slim to none. If Vita Quotidiana knocked me back, it was goodbye to my dream of three years at the Walberg, sipping beer on the banks of the Tint.
I considered my options on the way back from the meeting. Firstly – and this was very tempting – I could just invent someone, despite my protestations otherwise. Names for a third armless monk came readily to mind: Gerald the Bloody was the most appealing, but Gerald of Yarmouth was the more auspicious on account of being the sort of name a thirteenth-century monk might really have. A whole series of questions soon sprang up about this Gerald. Was he born near Yarmouth, or had he come from somewhere else? What was his relationship with the two monks from North Wales? Had he cut off his arms after they did, or was he, in fact, the initiator of the trend? What did he look like? Was he tall? And so on.
The problem was not that the editor would spot the fictional insertion. He’d never have known, if I hadn’t just gone and told him that there were only two. I cursed my garrulous tongue...