Correction, FOUR stories in slush piles:
"Jack of Stones" at Weird Tales,
"Lover's Knot" at Aberrant Dreams,
"Strange Love" at The Town Drunk,
"Hummingbird" at FlashFictionOnline.
I think that's the most stories I've had out in the cold cruel world, EVER! That's pretty good for me. It's been a long, slow struggle back from a seemingly bottomless pit. I feel in some ways as if I'm starting over again, and in other ways that I'm a stronger person and writer because of the experiences I've had over the past five years.
It feels good to be writing again, and I'm finding I'm not nearly as sensitive to the rejections. I've grown a thicker skin, maybe. Or perhaps I've grown a deeper understanding of the editorial world together with a deeper confidence in my work.
The hardest part is the waiting, checking email every day with that little heart-flutter of hope.