They lie. It's yellow cheddar garlic white bread. But I forgive them, because it's delicious and brings its own cheese. Even if it is yellow cheddar and not white. (This is a distinction that only matters to New Englanders, and to us, it's an issue of religion. Yellow cheddar is not real cheese.)
Anyway, the other thing I got yesterday was my slushbomb rejection, which entertained me. The story I sent is "The Rest of your Life in a Day," otherwise known as the penis-tattooing story. (Poor John. I do this just to make him suffer.)
It's related to both Blood & Iron and a novelette previously rejected by F&SF, "Cryptic Coloration," otherwise known as the venom cock story. (Interestingly, the cock in this story is a real one, not a metaphorical one.)
...Aaaaanyway, both CC and TRoyLiaD (best acronym evar) concern Matthew Magus in the time before B&I. TRoyLiaD takes place when he's eighteen and nineteen, in the very early '80's. CC is set one year before Blood & Iron.
The funny thing is, Gordon mentioned in his rejection letter that he thought this second story (TRoyLiad) was the better of the two.
Now, me, it seemed to me that the story is sort of irrevocably broken. It's broken in a way that I don't think is fixable, that has to do with it having a swinging joint in the middle where Matthew stops thinking its a story about one thing and starts thinking it's a story about a different thing. And I've tried to patch that up and shore it up and spackle it to match, with thematic resonances and parallels and so forth.
But I still think it's broken. In part because it's self-fanfic, on one level: it's backstory for Blood & Iron and Whiskey & Water, and there are things that happen that don't have results until fifteen, twenty, thirty years later.
On the other hand, it also does some interesting things in its own right, and I think it's as good as I can make it.
"Cryptic Coloration," on the other other hand, I thought was a successful piece of short fiction, and I would personally call it the better of the two.
Just goes to show what I know.
The moral of the story? Still can't judge my own work.
(one more post in my morning livejournal spam, and then I'm off to edit.)
They can all kiss my ass
But if they wanna kiss my ass
They better do it fast
Because we're all gonna die someday.
Thank you, panjianlien.