Yesterday I received an e-mail late in the afternoon from an editor I’ve worked with many times on Cleis Press books. He’s quirky and always interesting. And because I’ve been working so hard on contracted books for e-publishers, I haven’t submitted much to him in the past three years. But once a relationship is established with an editor, it usually lasts forever. And an exchange like this is never a surprise to me.
Editor: Hey Ryan, do you have a short story that’s 1200 words or less for an upcoming anthology I’m editing?
Me: I’ll check and get back.
Me, two hours later after hunting through my files: Hey, just checked and came up with this story. I’ve attached it. It’s a little longer than what you wanted, about 2500 words, but feel free to cut it down if you want. And you don’t have to ask; just edit away. Seriously. The story has been sitting in my files for years and I’d forgotten about it.
Editor, early this morning: Hey Ryan, I have good news and bad. I can’t use the story you sent because it’s too long. But I can use it for another book I’m working on. Is this okay? Let me know.
Me: Feel free to use it. No problem. Talk to you soon. And sorry I couldn’t help out with the other book.