tenerifeSometimes, I write a story or poem, tune it a little, submit it to a magazine that has a short turnaround time, it gets accepted and this all happens relatively quickly. Between The Lines, for example, was written, submitted, and accepted in four days back in 2009. Wish You Were Here – which is published today at Everyday Fiction – is the opposite of that.

It was written towards the end of 2010 and sat patiently on my hard drive until January of 2012 when I remembered it existed and sent it off to EDF. Once again, it drifted from my mind, probably because I was stuck at home with labyrynthitis and going through a frenzy of submitting everything I had that hadn’t yet found a home just to give myself something to do. The clock, however, didn’t forget and it kept ticking.

Skip forward a year and a bit and I was checking my tracking spreadsheet and spotted the “Returned” field was still sitting blank on this, by now, very old submission. This is completely unlike EDF who are extremely timely in their responses so I sent them an email saying that I hadn’t heard anything back, assumed it had been rejected, but if they could confirm the outcome that would be great. Within 24 hours I got a reply saying they’d actually sent me a rewrite request about 10 months ago. They were kind enough to extend that request again and so I gave it a quick polish, resubmitted it and it was finally accepted for publication at the end of March, some 14 months after it was first submitted and around 28 months after it was written.

Wish You Were Here is, as you may have guessed from the title, told through a series of postcards. This isn’t the first time I’ve used this means of communication to drive a story. Postcards from the Departure Lounge, available to read over at McStorytellers, touches on postcards used to deliver a far heavier message than the quality of the weather and food in foreign climes, a theme I kinda revisit here. Nor is it the first time I’ve written an epistolary story and Since You Left, published in Café Lit in 2011, was the foundation that I eventually built a whole novel upon. What interested me about Wish You Were Here when I first had the idea was that each communication had to be pretty short and snappy, no longer than what could feasibly fit on a postcard, and yet still tell a tale.

Written from the point of view of a bride during her honeymoon with her new husband, it indirectly refers back to the events that occurred at the wedding and its lead up, and also hints at events further in the past through correspondence to several different people. I always imagined this would be a take it or leave it story because there’s no room for exposition and a lot of the backstory has to be inferred by the reader to fill in the blanks. EDF agreed and went with it anyway.

You can have a read of Wish You Were Here, leave a comment, and give it a mark out of five like some modern day Roman emperor, by clicking this here link: