I was wrong when I indicated a cold would last a month no matter what one does. I'm starting week seven and my cold is still lively. I probably didn't help myself last week when I happened to pick a particulary blustery day to mow my yard, a four hour process. The dust, clippings, and pollen I sucked in must have revitalized the cold germs because they are back in full force. It's also possible I wasn't wrong and I suffer from an entirely new cold that will last anothe two week no matter what I do.
I haven't spend all my time sitting around and whining. I was able to finish another story, about 7000 words. Now to get a final edit done.
Still no word on the last story I sent off. It's been over 90 days. I have this theory about magazine submissions. I think the acceptance process involves a gauntlet of junior and senor editors who discard at will. The surviving stories go to a final round-table where the senior-most editors choose n of m stories for the next edition. The remainder are discarded; none are saved. If you get a story rejected in the first month, either it was: not formatted properly, not appropriate for the magazine, or really bad. The longer the story remains in the process; the better the story. That's my theory.
I've not had a story accepted, yet. I suspect the odds for me are only slightly greater than than winning the lottery. It's fun to try. I enjoy writing, especially the creative aspect of fiction. After starting two novels, I realized that short stories allow more opportunity for feedback, something a beginning writer like me really needs. In my mind, selling a story is the best sort of feedback one can hope for. Stephen King said as much in his well-known tutorial on writing. Writing and selling a few short stories will help establish credibility in case I eventually decide to continue those novels.
I've been a fan of science fiction all my life and have subscribed to SF magazines for many years, so I chose that genre for most of my stories. I've found the writing resources on the sfwa web page to be very helpful. Most magazines have web sites where they post their submission guidelines.