Rejection. Form rejection. As much as the little voices wanted to, tried to convince me otherwise, I'm glad I listened to the sensible voice in my head that said it was to be expected well before it came. I would have been setting myself up for crushing disappointment had I gone in expecting an acceptance. My first story, first submission, bought with no problems? Unlikely. I've been knocked down, but instead of sitting there crying about being on the ground, I choose to get back up, dust myself off, and say, "All right, let's try this again." I'll build up my callouses, collect the scars. I'm proud to have my first one.
I'm not going back in as blindly as before, though. Late last week, someone on AW mentioned a site called The Grinder, where submissions are followed and days out tracked. And I'll be damned if the ones for Asimov's weren't right on the nose. The last few responses were rejections at 52, 53, 54 days. I was at day 49 and the status had just changed to "Under Review" on the website. Yesterday, at 53 days waiting, my rejection came in, exactly as expected. So now I have a resource to track wait times, try to submit to the places that are responding faster. At the very least, I won't have to live in my email anymore. It's cold in there.