“A Formal Feeling Comes”: It All Depends on the Editor

Click on the cover to read “A Formal Feeling Comes”; it begins on page 16.

Publication in Remington Review

I am pleased to share that my short story, “A Formal Feeling Comes,” has been published in the Fall 2021 issue of Remington Review.

This is the first time a story of mine that was previously published has been published a second time. A big shout-out to Remington Review for their willingness to accept reprints! Click on the cover to read the story; it begins on page 16.

Publication in Mystic Review Review

The story was first published in the Spring/Summer 2001 issue of Mystic River Review, a literary magazine that is now defunct. The reason I submitted the story to be published a second time is that the editor of Mystic Review Review changed both the title and the ending. In addition, the story was incorrectly listed in the magazine as an essay. Back in 2001, I had only a small handful of publishing credits. I agreed to the changes so that the editor would publish the story. Would I agree to those fundamental changes to a story now to get a publishing credit? No, I wouldn’t.

Editor’s ending to “Sea Glass”

Rejection by Coastal Shelf

In another bit of editorial weirdness, when Coastal Shelf rejected “A Formal Feeling Comes,” the feedback I received was that there wasn’t enough emotion in it–even though It’s a story about three generations of women who are emotionally repressed!

Coast Shelf Rejection

Two Children Who Were Not Emotionally Repressed

155 thoughts on ““A Formal Feeling Comes”: It All Depends on the Editor

  1. Liz, congratulations on having the story published – twice! Yes, one learns a lot with experience and time but credit to you and your writing that it’s been accepted not once, but twice. The reason for the other rejection beggars belief – judges can be fickle!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Liz, I have finally had a chance to savour both the main story and also read the first printed ending. The writing is extraordinary; exquisite detail, incredible capture of three generations of women with so much unspoken emotions my heart goes out to all. I can see how you would now not be happy with the Mystic River Review ending as with a sudden twist it reverses everything previously conveyed in the story. The original is perfect, but heart-breaking. Xx

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your publishing journey with this story, Liz. It just goes to show that there’s no definitive way to approach the industry, as well as the value of experience. This is a beautiful story and emotional! in a very poignant way. Relationships are complicated, and therein lie the stories that grip our hearts. Many congrats.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I so loved reading your beautiful story!!! Reading it now at Thanksgiving time, it really shines like a bright copper penny. It highlights the intricate and deeply profound ways in which our beloveds touch our hearts. We carry the memories with us always, at once both ‘tucked away’, but there at a moments notice. The holidays remind us of all our blessings…and the bittersweet nostalgia of all we have known and experienced. It all comes together like a woven tapestry of love. Thank you for this marvelous story, a tapestry full of many colors, some muted, some brilliant, all threaded together with care, wonder, and love!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Is this you and your brother in a family picture? (And who are the adults?)
    Congrats on the publication.
    BTB, I just read ‘Siren song’. Had copied it to a Word file. Don’t know why it took me so long. I like it. Great structure and story. I felt a bit sorry for the main character… I wondered where you got the inspiration? Did you see many drifting youngsters? Perpetual losers? Sad isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s my brother and I in the family picture, along with our maternal grandparents.

      The inspiration for “Siren Song” was a conversation with a high school classmate a couple ofyears after graduation. He should have known better than to tell that kind of a divorce story to a writer. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s a very nice picture… Fond memories I’m sure.
        As far back as High school? It’s fine, writers are predators of sorts. We listen, and sometimes the story comes back in part or in whole or changed, but it comes back in print.
        It’s partly what I call the sample of 1. Statistically a sample of 1 means nothing. But if one person experiences something or does or think or say something, others will too.
        Madame Bovary was a case of one. Fiction and/or reality who knows and cares. But her story “resonates” for thousands…

        Liked by 2 people

          1. LOL. Feel free to. I used it a lot in research. Quantitative vs. qualitative. In Qualitative, very small samples, each individual response, attitude, opinion was taken very seriously and analyzed in depth… The habit remains for me in other fields.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes and no. Quali is derived from phsychology. Mostly Freudian in Europe and South America. a dozen in-depth interviews and/or a few focus groups. Unstructured. The aim is to discover attitudinal, motivational issues about a product/brand. And ideally to help design a questionnaire that will put numbers on all with a large sample. 100-500-1000 interviews. So ideally one does Quali first then Quanti. BUT. The client doesn’t have the budget… you just do 2 focus groups! 🀣 Or you skip the Quali go straight into the Quanti. Or, the Quanti discovers unexpected issues and you do a Quali afterwards to understand better.
                I had a lot of fun for many years… 😎


                1. Hi, Brian. I apologize for my delayed response. I found your comment in the spam folder. What you’re saying about the methodology of using qualitative and quantitative research to complement each other makes sense to me.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. It worked well. Of course budgets were and are the final criteria. If you can’t do the huge study do a small well-constructed one. Plus two new aspects: Desk research via the Internet yields incredible results unattainable before, and new tools allow you to work on content. I’ve used Google Analytics with good results. Take care Liz.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Yeah. Back. We were flying to Colombia today but I got a minor health problem. Nothing serious just a pain in the… So I couldn’t travel. And “forced” my wife to go. She hasn’t seen her family in more than two years. Meanwhile, once I “recover” i’ll be doing “home alone”. πŸ˜‰

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Can there be any greater joy for a writer than a reader who fully apprehends what a writer has striven to say with meager words? Conversely, when a reader misses, their “miss” is to be forgotten. The love and appreciation you have for such a broad spectrum of literature shine through in your wonderful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can there be any greater joy for a writer than a reader who fully apprehends what a writer has striven to say with meager words? Conversely, when a reader misses, their “miss” is to be forgotten. The love and appreciation you have for such a broad spectrum of literature shine through in your wonderful blog.

    Liked by 2 people

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