Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comWhen I finish a piece of work, I always have a reasonable idea in my head of how easy or difficult a job I’m going to have finding it a home. Some of the work, a reducing number as years go by, I deem just not good enough and so I don’t even bother sending it out only to be proved right.

It’s somewhat amusing that after writing short stories and poetry for around 8 years and after being published somewhere around 70 times, I am still no closer in developing any kind of accuracy with these predictions. I find myself constantly surprised that stories I think will get accepted straight away end up picking up a dozen rejections, while stories I don’t particularly rate end up finding an accepting editor’s eye at the first time of asking.

The latest example of this – Marigolds, published today in Allegory – was written at the start of 2011. At the time of writing, I was obsessing over a couple of songs by bands with names at the quirkier end of the spectrum; Brothers on a Hotel Bed by Death Cab For Cutie and Fly From Heaven by Toad The Wet Sprocket. The former gave me the initial image as suggested by the title while the latter kinda deals with charlatan faith healers in a very biblical setting. This combination asked me what would happen to the brother of a man celebrated as a healer, what would life be like for this seemingly less important sibling. Marigolds is my attempted answer.

It’s changed significantly in a couple of places since the first draft. Things that did happen, now don’t. Things I made explicit, I’m now more cagey about. But even with these changes, I never had the sense that this was going to be a story that would be an easy sell. As part of my initiative earlier this year of submitting everything homeless, I sent it off to Allegory and raised both eyebrows when, after three months, it got a yes.

I’ve read the story again since the acceptance and I have to say, I’m more happy with it now than I was when I submitted it. Like I’ve said before on these pages, I’m all about validation.

Allegory is another new publication for me, specialising in Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy. I’m not sure which of these buckets my story fits most comfortably in. Perhaps it touches on all three.

You can read Marigolds and decide for yourself by clicking on the link below: