Everything that could go wrong did, which I almost take comfort in. I wouldn’t trust it if it went well. My internet connection kept crapping out on me when I tried to attach the photograph of the bread that goes with the story. It took about an hour to get it sent off. Finishing the edits was grueling as well. I had four sex scene fragments that I needed to reshape line by line, which took me all day. Then I had to go through the rest of the story with an eye for where the changes made to those scenes contradicted the rest, either in word or in spirit. It was awful.
I find sending these stories out only marginally less terrorizing than sending things out to regular publishers. On the one hand, SSBB doesn’t really reject anything, unless it needs too much proofing or is too short, or so they say. Which, okay, the proofing thing is something I’m pretty paranoid about, as the stupidest things get past me. But on the other hand, everyone at SSBB is just doing this because they think it’s cool; no one’s paying them to put up with me if I mess up. So I’m less likely to be refused outright, but I’m more likely to be shamed beyond the telling of it.
I love my job?
But in truth, I had a lot of fun with this story. It was something that had been tickling me for a while and it felt good to get it on the page. And actually, the line-by-line edits were a) good practice and b) extremely satisfying when I got them right. My whole promise to practice writing sex scenes to get over this inhibition of mine (back in November) went over like a lead balloon. Despite that, I found it easier to write them this time, just in terms of not staring at the blank page, paralyzed by the knowledge that I have to write sex now. It was also helpful to stop thinking of it in terms of the whole and just look at it one line at a time and focus on rhythm. I can handle words. Erotica, less so. But I’m a work in progress.