GermanPastries

“Thank you for letting us see [your story], but we’re sorry to say it isn’t for us. Do not be discouraged! We get many stories that aren’t for us, and many of those would be great for somebody else. Best of luck with this one.”

“Thank you for sending us [your story]. While this particular piece is not right for us, we encourage you to send us more of your work.
Keep reading, keep writing, keep book culture alive.” (x2)

“Thanks for the look, but I’m afraid we’re not going to use this one.”

“Thank you for the opportunity to read your submission. After careful consideration, we have concluded that we are unable to publish your work at this time. The opportunity to assess the unpublished creations of writers from around the world is a great privilege and responsibility, and with that in mind, we want you to know how honored we are that you have trusted us to consider your work. We invite your further submission and correspondence and remain grateful for your continued support of the ongoing [Literary Magazine] project.”

“thank you for submitting
I received a lot of pieces and I read them all and tried to select the ones which fit together the most cohesively
I don’t think your piece fits with this issue but please consider sending me something next month
and keep reading!!!”

“We are sorry that we have not found a place for your work in [our Literary Magazine].
All good wishes.” (x3)

“Thank you for sending us [your story].
Editor’s Note: A touch elliptical for my taste; maybe you’d like to think of expanding it?
While this particular submission isn’t quite what we’re looking for, we were very impressed by your writing. We hope you will feel encouraged by this short note and send [our Literary Magazine] something else in the near future.
We look forward to reading more.”

“Thank you for sending us [your story].
Unfortunately, we don’t think this submission is quite right for [our Literary Magazine], but we did enjoy reading your work all the same. While we respectfully ask that you wait at least one month before submitting more work for consideration, we strongly encourage you to keep [our Literary Magazine] in mind for future submissions.” (x2)

“Thank you for letting us see [your story]. We’re going to pass on it, but we did enjoy it, and we hope to see more from you.”

“Thank you for sending us [your story]. We appreciated the chance to read it. Unfortunately, your piece is not quite right for us. We enjoyed the abstract construct, but the repetition of [the opening phrase] carried on for such a lengthy piece, ultimately felt like it detracted from the overall surrealistic touch.
Please consider submitting to us again, for our Summer 2013 issue!
Thanks again. Best of luck with this!”

“Thank you for sending us [your stories] to us [sic]. We appreciated the chance to read them. Unfortunately, they are not quite right for the upcoming issue. We wish you success in finding a publication for these pieces and hope you will consider submitting to us again for the next Issue. Keep at it!
Thanks again. Best of luck with this!”

“Thanks for your submission, but I don’t think it’s quite right for the issue.”

“Thank you for sending us [your stories]. We rely on submissions like yours since a good portion of what we publish comes to us unsolicited. Unfortunately, we can’t find a place for this piece in our next few issues. But please feel free to submit again in the future as our tastes and needs continuously change.
Thanks again for your efforts and letting us see your work.”

“Thank you for your submission of [your story] to [our Literary Magazine]. We gave the story careful consideration, and though we are not accepting it for publication, we hope you find a better fit for it elsewhere.
Thanks again for trusting us with your work.” (x2)

“i’m sorry for the incredibly delayed response
unfortunately, I don’t feel that your piece works with the upcoming issues
thank you for submitting
i hope to hear from you soon”

“Thank you for considering [our Literary Magazine] for your work.
Having read [your story], we unfortunately don’t think it’s quite suited to our journal, so we’re going to pass on it.
We wish you the best of luck with placing this work elsewhere. Do feel free to submit material to us again in the future if you think you have something suitable.”

“I took a look at your collection and it’s not right for [our Literary Magazine]. I do wish you the best in placing it elsewhere.”

“Thank you for sending us [your stories]. We appreciated the chance to read them. Unfortunately, they are not quite right for the upcoming issue. We wish you success in finding a publication for these pieces and hope you will consider submitting to us again for Spring Issue.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this!”

“Thank you for sending us your work. We appreciate the chance to read it. However, we have decided to pass.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this.”

“Thank you for your submission of [your story] to [our Literary Magazine]. We gave the story careful consideration, and though we are not accepting it for publication, we hope you find a better fit for it elsewhere. Thanks again for trusting us with your work.

“Thank you for your interest in [our Literary Magazine] and for the opportunity to read [your story]. Unfortunately, we are unable to use the fiction you submitted. We wish you the best of luck in placing your work elsewhere and hope you’ll consider us again in the future.”

“While your list was certainly strange and unique, I’m afraid it wasn’t quite funny enough for us to use. We’ll pass on this one.
Thanks for the try, in any case!”

“Quite clever (I saw mine in there!), but unfortunately (and funnily enough) we don’t accept literary magazine lists and rejection letter lists. Specifically this particular type of list.
Thanks anyways. It was funny for me, if it’s any consolation.”

No response. (x11)

Sometimes a Cowboy Is Just a Man in a Cowboy Suit

She fell in love with a man who wasn’t there. Oh, a man was there all right, just not the man she fell in love with. That particular love had more to do with what the man could be, what he could turn into. Which had nothing to do with the man who just fucked her. Or took her to dinner. Or once for her birthday flew her first-class to Vancouver to fuck her and take her to dinner. He could really flash that money around.

***

In Reverse

She was surprised to discover, looking back, that she’d been in love with – but had never loved – the man who treated her like that. Like a blank sheet of paper he was uninterested in decorating.

Close Scrutiny

The system cannot withstand close scrutiny. Not the way he’s got it rigged. What with his boundaries unspoken and his rules so subject to change. Once when we were stoned he told me he loved me. “I love you, Davey Houle.” His exact words. But just the once. The things he did to me. The things I allowed him to do. I want him to suffer like my mother suffered.

***

Distraction

He came to me fully formed. Immutable is a meaner way to put it. He didn’t change, had no intention of changing, and that’s why I was nothing more than a distraction to him. Because I had my plans. And he could never take seriously someone who wanted him to be someone else. Even if that someone else was better and better for me than the man who, apparently, wasn’t good enough in the first place.

***

From a Mile Away

Those few years he had on me made me defer to his judgment more often than I would have. And he carried himself like an older man – even older than I allowed him to be. Which along with it came a certainty or an air of authority that was easy for me to follow. Because at that time in my life I thought I needed to be told what to do. And he could sniff out that need in me from a mile away. I only realized this after the fact, of course – years later. None of this did me any good at the time.

With a pointy stick they scratched a line in the dirt, roughly the length of their six-year-old bodies, and then held hands as children do, as best friends do, and vowed that by crossing that line they’d get to their safe place. They closed their eyes and counted back from five. The closer they got, the more their friends and their families and their sadness and secrets and their favorite dolls and favorite teacher Miss Aubernee and the one’s older brother who took such pleasure in teasing two little girls who were so in love, as children are, as best friends are, all funneled down to the bare spot in the backyard where they stood, and nothing else mattered as they got to zero and inhaled together and felt the other shifting her weight as they each lifted a leg in unison and began to lean forward in the shade and the sunlight poking through the shade and together they made the decision to leave it all behind and start over and never be apart and they stepped across the line and, yes – yes it was! – completely different on that side.

He says that she’s wasting her time writing stories like that. As if he best knows how she should spend her time. To him it’s a question of sheer human perversity how she’s writing so-called stories that will not survive a moment beyond her death. As if he determines her work’s significance to posterity. He’d rather she stick to translating into English a French writer’s (male) apparently more worthwhile words. As if he even has a say.

Rose Dennison was a crow. And as a crow her eyes could bully. Small and severe – stooped over, rail thin, all hard angles – it was Rose who’d spread the rumor that Earl Kramer poisoned his late wife, Bethany, and then blew the insurance money on the slots before he fell down the basement stairs and his children brought him here: The Dappled Oaks Assisted Living Retirement Community. But what Rose and her tar pit eyes were now proposing even her henpecked septuagenarian boyfriend Walter Kern could not abide. She wanted Earl dead.

When Walter refused to go along with her plan, she cawed. Rose thrust her head up and cawed.

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