A few weeks ago, after a slew of rejections, I got an email informing me one of my short stories “Mishibizhiw,” would be published. The magazine in question was The Potato Soup Journal, an online literary magazine whose stories I quite enjoy. Here’s what it took to get this piece published:
This story had only one major draft. I made some revisions to the original, but I was happy with the story without giving it a major overhaul.
Time to Write
This story took longer to write because I had to do a lot of research. The story deals with Native American legends and the operation and working life of Great Lakes freighters. I knew little about either subject before I started researching, but enjoyed the process and learned quite a bit. When I felt ready to write the story it took about two weeks, give or take. This is my current average. The final piece clocks in at 3200 words.
These are very lucky stats, and surprised me when I tallied them. I thought this story had been rejected far more than it actually had. This is also the most withdrawals I’ve had to send out. I even got a very nice email from the editor of one of the journals I had to withdraw it from. So far in my experience, that is unheard of.
If you’ve read it, you probably won’t be surprised that this story is inspired by the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the many other ships that have sunk in the Great Lakes. It is such a volatile place, with conditions that can turn deadly in no time at all. I wanted to explore such a scenario through the lenses of the Native American legends concerning the Great Lakes. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of water offerings (shared by other cultures including the Romans, Celts, etc.) and wanted to incorporate this practice of the Ojibwe into the story.
You can read the story here!
You can read my last post about our recent beach trip here!