This is starting to become something of a ritual, these Tuesday updates.
As of right now, I have five stories making the rounds: The Bright Walk, Magic Words, The Cantina, The Machine, and most recently, Postcards From Arborville.
Of those stories, The Bright Walk has been out the longest, at 35 days. The "estimated" response time from Duotrope is 90 days, with the average being more like 140, so I probably won't be hearing back on that one for a few months yet.
Magic Words has been out for 20 days, but the estimated and average response times for its market are around 30 days, so I might be hearing back within the next week or so.
The Cantina has only been out ten days. The estimated response time here is 70 days, with a 45 day average, but this market temporarily closed in order to catch up on the slush pile just a day or two after I submitted my piece, so the response might take a little longer than usual.
The Machine, which currently owns my personal rejection record (three), has been out less than a week, but the response time from this market is generally about a month, so it wouldn't surprise me if this is one of the first two I hear back on.
Lastly, Postcards has only been out for a couple of days, and I don't plan on hearing back on this one for a long time. Response times from this particular market are so slow that Duotrope won't dare an estimate, and the average is nearly 180 days. From visiting the magazine's site, I can tell you that they're still working on slush from 2009, so I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I don't hear back until sometime in the summer of 2011.
I've mentioned before that my two dream markets, Lightspeed Magazine and Clarkesworld, have mandatory seven-day period following a rejection in which they ask you not to submit to their magazine. It helps the slush piles, to be sure (though I wonder how many writers actually follow that guideline), and I'm more than happy to wait. Well, the waiting periods are over as of Thursday (though I can submit to Clarkesworld as of today, if I chose to), which is very nice news. Unfortunately, I don't have any finished stories to send them, so I guess that's how I'll be spending my week.
Which brings me to my current project, the yet-to-be-titled story about a hitman in sorta-near-future Paris at a time when robot emancipation is only just beginning to be discussed seriously. I'm only about 2,300 words in, but I don't really see this one climbing to the 7,500 word range (gosh, does that make Postcards a novelette?).
I've had fun with this one so far. It takes place in Paris, so I incorporate quite a bit of French into the text, at least when referring to titles and places. I guess I'm a stickler; I'd rather not Americanize France's Assemblée Nationale into the National Assembly. There's also been a lot of Google Earth's Street View to get the lay of the land. I swear, you don't even have to have been to these places anymore. If your purpose is to have a nice exotic setting for your story, you just need the interwebs.
OK, I guess that's all for today. As always, I am on call 24/7 in case of a finished draft or a response from a magazine, but failing that, I will check back in a day or so.