I get more time to listen to stories for fun than I do to read them; so, as you may have noticed, I like podcast stories, such as the Escape Artists group. But I've been trying to branch out and am currently giving trial runs to Beneath Ceaseless Skies (mostly sword and sorcery fantasy so far), The Drabble Cast, Nightmare Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and a few others.
Which brings me to the whole thing about submission and rejection, which is the usual life cycle of a story: after any writing and editing you do, then comes the submission process--and whether you're submitting your work to your writing group, some friend, or a publication, there's always the strong possibility of some rejection.
I've been thinking about my audition for the Second City Conservatory track, where I was rejected and felt not so terrible about it. Or rather, I felt a lot like I did after I had my first "bad" bike accident. I use quotation marks because I wasn't really hurt, but I was psychologically rattled. I walked my bike home that day, but as soon as my leg stopped hurting, I had to get on the bike again--I couldn't let it become a thing, I couldn't let my relationship be defined by that fall. That's how I felt after the Second City audition: I was rejected, but I signed up for some more classes and the next audition--which I actually had to cancel since I moved away from Chicago.
With that in mind, I recently sent some stories to two non-traditional venues: the short fiction/flash podcast, Toasted Cake, hosted by fantasy writer Tina Connolly, whose novel Iron Skin has been getting rave reviews; and the Pseudopod forum flash fiction contest (which is only available to those registered for the forum). I don't know if those stories will go anywhere, but just getting back on the bike feels good, bruises and all.