Years ago, I was regularly honored and cursed by the responses I received from the lit mag Puerto del Sol. Honored because I always received a personal note from the editor about the strengths and weaknesses of my story (yes, this was before online submissions, and the notes were quite thorough and thoughtful). Cursed because, well, I received rejections, and I couldn’t figure out how to break through (perhaps because I stubbornly didn’t receive the feedback too well).
I didn’t submit anything to Puerto for at least a decade, so I was happy when my last submission was accepted for their Fall 2013 issue. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the print issue, so I’ve posted the story below.
Early review: last night my daughter Simone read it. She turned to me afterward and said, “I don’t get it.” The eight-year-old market will forever elude me.
Oh, and Puerto editor Emily Haymens interviewed me for Puerto‘s blog a while back as well.
Here’s the 100-word story…
Sal often missed highway exits. Perhaps because he was dreamy, perhaps he just trusted that the road he was on would get him where he needed to be. He was surprised when he returned home one day and discovered his wife had left him. He called her cell phone, but she’d stopped her service. Her closet was empty except for the dresses he’d given her. On the closet floor was a collage she’d made titled “The Places He’ll Never Take Me.” For her 40th birthday, he’d put on a gaudy cape. He’d tried to pick her up in his arms.