Three of my short stories, “Memories Are Made of This,” “The Banjo Singer,” and “The Broken Dream Factory,” all returned to me homeless with editors’ regrets this weekend. I’m reminded of my dating life in high school, only in those days, rejection was mercifully quick: Work up your nerve, make the call, “Sorry, you’re not quite what I’m looking for at this time.” These editorial regrets, however, often take months and months to reach me. Too bad I can’t switch the processes. Back then I thought I was immortal; these days I know I’m not.
All three stories are sleeping comfortably. I tucked them in and reassured them I still love them. Tomorrow I’ll send them out in the world again to join a half dozen companions and their big brother, my novel The Donut Man, all awaiting another judgment. It’s like dating across light years, serial apocalypse.
I’ll be showing Dr. Strangelove in class today, in the perfect frame of mind for the Doomsday Machine.