After an extremely long day yesterday, I received an email from Robert R. Ward, editor of the literary journal Bellowing Ark. It was a lovely e-mail, for a number of reasons.
Reason #1 is not just because he requested to pick up all five of the Lilith pieces I sent him (though that was enough for me to do a little dance in and of itself. Bellowing Ark does a "Featured Poets" section where they present multiple poems by a single poet, and I think I may have scored that section if they're taking all 5 - but we'll see).
Reason #1 is also not because editor Ward asked to see more of my work, though this reason is definitely #1a. That's never happened to me before, and I'm ecstatic about it. Just think! Someone soliciting more of my poetry! Excuse me while I do a happy dance here on my couch...
The nicest thing about this email is that is was just damned kind. As a writer, I work with words on a constant basis, and I try to always be mindful of the impact my words have on others, though admittedly I'm more conscious of this when writing poetry than when dashing off an email or a FriendFeed message. What I don't pay as much attention to is how much other people's words affect me. Let me share the first line of the email with you, and I hope Ward doesn't mind:
"Your poems came as a delightful surprise and brought some enjoyment to a tedious workday."
How wonderful is that to read? That is exactly how I want people to feel when they read my pieces, and I am beyond thrilled that I could engender that sort of reaction from an editor of a long-standing lit journal. It's more than that though - I am ridiculously grateful for those few words - it makes me feel as though the sweat and tears I put into my writing is worth it because someone enjoys it. And telling an author you've enjoyed their work...well, other than buying a copy of their book, if they've got one, that's just about the nicest thing you can do, as long as you're saying it sincerely.
The titles picked up by Bellowing Ark are "The Book," "God in My Throat," "Retrieval," "Drawing Board," and "Original Sin." These are all pieces from the as-yet unpublished manuscript God in my Throat, that Lilith collection I yammer on about at length. I have never even heard of anyone placing a whole submission anywhere, much less had it happen to me. Whee!
So, thanks to editor Ward and Bellowing Ark for making my weekend a very happy one. I'm looking forward to seeing these pieces come out in a good lit journal home, and will be thinking about what other (solicited!!) pieces to send editor Ward's way. Huzzahs and warm fuzzies all around!