Maybe you have one of these. Something you’ve sent out to the great beyond, and it’s been out there for a while.
Maybe it’s not even a story. Maybe it’s a résumé. Or a request for information. Or a sculpture for a show.
Whatever it is, it’s out there, and you’ve noticed it hasn’t been batted back to you as quickly as those things sometimes are. In fact, it’s well past the time when you were told to expect a response. This happened to me about a month ago.
With stories (and résumés), it’s not always the case that you get a receipt-confirmation. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you get a note saying the story is being held over. That’s always good.
For the others, the ones that go into the ether at the press of a ‘send’ button, there is a point where they enter the realm of Schrodinger’s Story.
Your story (or résumé) is neither dead or alive. It could be either, or both. It’s quantum.
And you don’t necessarily want to ask after it, because opening the box will have its own results.
So what do you do, when you have one or more of these? Personally, I find myself wondering if I wrote the address wrong, didn’t attach enough postage, or missed a reply. And I try to forget it, until things have gone so far past the query date, that I open the box and send a polite note checking in with the journal’s editors. But other times, I just sit and stare at the box.
None of which, I should note, is remotely related to writing. I should go do that.