Still working on refining the Mermaid Story outline. In the meantime, I'm checking up on my short story submissions. "Thicker Than Water" got rejected from Shiny, no big deal there, and now it's off to its next destination. Fairy Kingdom is at Electric Spec, no word expected until July. Avatar is still rotting away at Hub, and it's expired its allotted time according to both itself and Duotrope/Ralan's.
So I sent my first "what's the status of my story" query. Initially, I wasn't sure what to say, but my vast experience in cover letters asking for employment has taught me to be short and sweet. And especially in this business, there's no reason to say anything other than what you want. No flowery speech about how I love your magazine, or angry rants on how unresponsive and slow they are, even compared to the rest of the industry. Nope, just inquiring the status of my story, sent on so-and-so date, please respond.
But I'll tell you, my story's been rotting there for almost a year, and I've gotten nothing back. That's not cool. And in the meantime, I could be sending it to other magazines. It's just a matter of odds - I could've sent it to four or five other magazines in the time that it's been there. This magazine is not kind to the new writer, so if they don't respond by the end of the week, it's next in line.